Niceville, FL 32578, USA

Course Descriptions

The following Course Descriptions are to provide an overview of the outstanding programs you will expect this year at the NW FL Volunteer Firefighter Weekend!  Specific course scheduling for the year will be listed in the Course and Event Schedule. 

Aircraft Incident Management (NEW) 
This 4-hour course… (Instructor JR Suddarth, Asst. Chief, Eglin AFB Fire Department)

Animal First Aid
During this 4 hour class students will learn how to safely approach and provide initial treatment for pets from medical emergencies, such as wounds, possible broken bones, airway obstruction, and CPR. Other topics will include advise on items needed to assemble a Pet First Aid Kit. (Instructor Donnie Thornton, Licensed Venterinary Technician, Eglin AFB Veterinary Treatment Facility)

Beyond Hoses and Helments (NEW)

Pierce Fire Apparatus and the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) of the International Association of Fire Chiefs are pleased to offer an educational training course designed by practicing chief officers that delivers real world expertise through an interactive educational experience. This 16-hour course will offer instruction on the following topics: problem solving, marketing, recruitment, retention, leadership, team building, training development, conflict resolution, principles of negotiations, and verbal communications.  (Instructors Greg Render, Chief Signal Hill Fire Department and Stacee Martin, PIO Evergreen Fire/Rescue)


Company Officer (NEW)
Designed to assist fire officers in solving the varied problems and situations they will be required to manage effectively in today’s ever-changing fire service. The curriculum includes a review of fire department organization and administration, management theory, leadership, communication, motivation, and small group dynamics.  NOTE: This course may require work to be done prior to and /or following attendance at the course. Students will be notified prior to the class. Part of Fire Officer I.  (Instructor Bruce Gillingham, Fire Chief, High Springs FD)

Firefighter Suicide Awareness (4 hours)
This course is designed for those currently certified to provide awareness of the problem, some of the reasons for Suicide of a responder, and how it will effect the department. This course will then provide some coping mechanisms and some avenues for seeking help. This course will not make counselors out of students. This is just the beginning of the process. Course objectives include understaning the problem/stressors, warning signs, coping mechanisms, positive ways of dealing with it, and where to get help. (Instructor Joseph “Butch” Parker, Paramedic, Okaloosa County EMS)

Emergency Incident Rehabilitation (Rehab) (8 hours CEUs for Instructor) (Revised Course for 2020)
(Prerequisite: First Aid & ability to take patient vital signs – this will be verified by instructor at begining of class)
This course is now 2 parts.  The first part is a 4 hour classroom or e-learning on Rehab that will review NFPA 1500 and NFPA 1584 and the second part is a 4-hour hands-on training course that will allow the students will setup and function as an actual rehab during the Live Fire Evolutions course. Prerequisites: First Aid skills and the ability to take patient vitals. (Instructor Barbara Warren, Windsor VFD; and …)

Emergency Vehicle Operation Course (EVOC)
This is a 16-hour course that includes classroom discussion on safe driving, state laws, physical forces that effect driving. The practical portion includes driving an apparatus through a course designed by VFIS. (Instructor Doug Harrell, Fire Chief, Westside Volunteer FD)

Engine Operations: From Hydraulics to Hose Streams
(16 hours CEUs for Instructor)
This 16-hour course encompasses the basics needed to be a proficient pump operator including “down and dirty” hydraulic calculations as well as practical application of the calculations to actual engine operations at a fire ground. This course will include classroom and HOT training applying theory to practical pumping operations. (Instructor Wayne Watts, Fire Chief (ret), Panama City, FL)

Explosive Awareness and Recognition 
The purpose of this course is to familiarize first responders with various Explosives and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Participants will be able to identify various components of an IED, have an understanding of what a bomb looks like, and will understand what safety precautions should be taken when dealing with explosives or IEDs. (Instructor: John Bell, Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations)

First Due, What Line? (aka The Art of Weapon Selection)
Applying water on the fire with the appropriate weapons makes all our problems go away. It’s the one thing we do at all fires, and we cannot afford to get it wrong to fulfill our promise to protect life and property. In today’s fire service, we are doing increasingly more with less. By having reduced staffing, we are losing the opportunity and skills to choose the proper weapon and make the proper stretch. This 4-hour class will review system tests, our target flow rates (GPS), different types of nozzles and fire hose, reading smoke and matching the weapon to the conditions found on arrival. The citizens that you protect and the firefighters performing other tasks depend on you to pick the right weapon and place it into service quickly and efficiently. Are you up to the challenge? (Instructors: Chris Brown, District Chief Walton County Fire Rescue; Carl Hohenstein, Ret. South Walton Fire Department)

Fire Service Course Design (NEW) (Additional Fees – Textbook Rental $10 or Purchase $)
This course covers the principles of effective curriculum design. It stresses the principles of adult learning and student-centered learning. Designing courses and units that address learning, performance, and behavioral objectives is the program goal.  NOTE: This course may require work to be done prior to and /or following attendance at the course. Students will be notified prior to the class. Part of Fire Officer II, Fire Instructor II and Fire Instructor III. (Instructor Patrick Giacobbe, Bureau of Fire Standards and Training)

Firefighter I Practical Skills Sign Off
(Must have FF I Task Book 1st signature prior to September 13th)
Under the new Florida FF I Certification Guidelines, Firefighter I students must have an independent certified instructor sign off their skills for Firefighter I completion. Firefighter I students who need their 2nd skills sign off, may attend the Practical Skills Task Book “sign off” on September 19 & 20, 2019. (Instructors Susan Schell, Pat Garvey, & Harold Pool)

Firefighter Water Rescue & Survival
(Complete Bunker Gear and SCBA required)
This 4 hour program will consist of lecture and practical applications. This introduction to the various water rescue disciplines takes the students through the basics of self preservation in the water and fire service application of the reach, throw, row, or go concepts. Full PPE including SCBA is required along with a change of clothes, towels, etc. Gear should be cleaned prior to attendance. (If you have a second set of gear, please bring it. Your gear will get very wet.) (Instructor Susan Schell, Bureau of Fire Standards and Training)

Hazardous Material Operations (NEW)
Upon successful completion of this 16 hour course, the responder shall be capable of assessing the basic hazards and risks associated with incident response, determining appropriate protective measures, initiating defensive control operations for which they are properly equipped and providing support functions necessary for any subsequent offensive operations by technician level responders.  (Instructor TBD)

Health Concerns for Today’s Firefighters
This 4-hour course is a practical in-depth, fast paced presentation that focuses on knowledge, experience and lessons learned. It gives participants the boots on the ground approach to starting a program while looking at knowledge gained from active fire events and current trends and analysis. This is an honest look of the how’s and whys of the Health and Safety Officer and reliving the moments of if I had this to do over again. (Instructor Joseph Suddarth, Asst. Chief/Safety Officer, Eglin AFB Fire Department)

Incident Safety Officer (Florida) (NEW) 
This course will cover both national and Florida specific information relating to an Incident Safety Officer. Topics include: The Safety Officer’s Role; Safety Concepts; Regulations, Codes, Laws, Standards and Procedures; Designing an ISO System; Professional Development; Reading Buildings, Smoke, Risk, Hazardous Energy, and Firefighters; Triggers, Traps and Working within ICS; Basic Approach to ISO Duties; ISO at Structure Fires, Wildland Fires, Haz Mat Incidents and Technical Rescues; and Post Incident Responsibilities (Instructor Corey Winkler, Captain Crestview Fire Department)

It’s Not the Fire that will Burn You (NEW) Course designed for Company Officers through Fire Chief (4 hours)
An alarming number of firefighters across the country are being charged, injured or even killed while performing duties which were intended to protect the public. This fast paced multi-media seminar will explore fire service leaders’ roles in protecting our firefighters and EMT’s. Fire service leaders also have an obligation to the firefighters to provide a safe working environment and to the public to protect the interests of the tax payers and to limit liability that may be imposed on the district or department. The no holds barred seminar will review the leading causes of injury, death and liability issues facing fire service organizations and provide sample policies and procedures to help limit these exposures.
This program will look at case studies and examples of liability claims being brought against fire and EMS agencies across the country today. We will discuss 10 different areas of concerns including vehicle operations, harassment issues, lack of use of proper incident command procedures, failure to enforce policies, social media use and ineffective leadership. The problems we see facing fire and EMS agencies are pretty consistent, all that changes is the color of the trucks and the names on the door. By learning from mistakes that other agencies have made, we can prevent them in our own departments.
Learning Objectives:
• Students will be able to list common liability issues in fire and EMS organizations.
• Be prepared to examine the potential for these issues in their organization.
• Describe steps to prevent these issues in their department. 

(Instructor: McNeil and Company)

ISO – Public Protection Classification (4 hrs CEU for Instructor, Inspector, and Fire Code Administrator)
This 4-hour class reviews the ISO Public Protection Classification Program and reviews all portions of the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule including water supply, training requirements, classifications, and much more. It will also review on how to prepare for an inspection. (Instructor Kyle Biles, ISO Senior Field Representative)

Live Fire Evolutions
(Class will start on Friday 9/18 at 6p CST) (For FF I Students Only. Students are required to attend Friday night, Saturday and Sunday class to receive credit.)
The students will participate in live fire evolutions. The evolutions will consist of an exterior Class ‘A’ fire, dumpster fire, vehicle fire, grade “room & content” fire and below grade “room & content” fire. Upon completion of the live burns, the Firefighter I candidate will have completed five of the six live burns required for Firefighter I certification. (NFPA compliant Bunker Gear and SCBA are required) (Instructor Nick Anderson, BagdadFire Rescue)

Large Animal Technical Rescue Awareness Course  (8 hours CEU’s)

Awareness Level Animal Technical Rescue training prepares the participant to perform scene size-up, identify the need for technical rescue, identify necessary resources and determine how to obtain them, identify specialized equipment, recognize associated hazards, and know methods for mitigating these hazards. Participants with this training are expected to be able to perform limited roles within an animal technical rescue emergency response. This course is based on the learning objectives from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards 1670-17 and 1006-17 for Awareness Level. (Instructor Brandi Phillips, UF Animal Technical Rescue Branch Director)

Left Seat Tips and Tactics (NEW)

There is no doubt that the Engineer(driver/operator) is one of the most critical jobs on any fire company. This class is a fast-paced look at effective, time-tested techniques, tricks of the trade and tips for Engineers.  This 2 hour course will review tactical considerations on a variety of incidents uniquely from the perspective of the Engineer. The wide variety of incidents a fire company responds to requires the Engineer to be on his/her game at all times. Left Seat Tips and Tactics is geared towards current, newly promoted, and step-up engineers, as well as those firefighters seeking to promote and company officers looking to provide quality company level training to their crew.  (Instructor Nick Peppard, Captain Holley-Navarre Fire District)

Lost Person Behavior (8 hrs. CEUs for Instructor)
The successful conclusion of a search for a lost person (missing hunter, Alzheimer’s patient, lost child, etc.) is a function of knowing both where and how to look. This 8 hour class focuses on determining where to look and suggests key initial action strategies. (Instructor Bart Walker, Marion County Fire Rescue)

Lost Person Search Management (Saturday Only)
A successful search for a lost person is usually due to knowing how and where to look. This class primarily teaches the “HOW to look” part. This course will focus primarily on the initial phases (first 24 hours) of a search but will discuss some long term management issues as well. We will discuss several topics including information gathering, initial planning needs, different resources, incident management, accountability, communications and technology, safety, initiation of a hasty search, initiation on a grid search, debriefings, and critical stress considerations. While primarily a lecture and discussion format there will be short field exercises to help re-enforce some critical concepts in search application. While there will be some discussion on where to look, the “where” part is included in Lost Person Behavior offered on Sunday. Pervious search knowledge or experience is helpful but not required and you do not need to bring any equipment to this class. (Instructor Bart Walker, Marion County Fire Rescue)

Mass Casulty Incident Triage (NEW)
This 8-hour course is intended for emergency response personnel (EMS, Fire, HazMat, etc.) who may be called to respond and/or manage a mass casualty incident. A mass casualty incident results when a large number of victims become ill, injured and/or may be exposed to hazardous materials. This may be through Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), or natural disasters or man-made disasters. All personnel need to have a working knowledge of the MCI and the triage system for patient care.  Given information, resources, and an opportunity for participation in a mass casualty scenario, at the completion of this drill, the student will be able to manage, triage and treat victims of a mass casualty incident, in accordance with National Standards.  (Instructor: TBA)

Mental Health and Resilency (NEW) (Meets FL Statute requirement for FFI or FFII) 
This 4-hour course is an introductory view of the effects on responders from exposure to traumatic events and will focus on culture and resources for the individual. These events can effect the mental wellness of responders and may lead up to Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder. While this course is fire service based, it is intended to enlighten aspiring first responders as well as remind incumbent first responders of all disciplines. Program Objectives include; Review stressors associated with emergency services Discuss reactions, symptoms, and syndromes; select disorders related to critical incident stress Explore individual and organizational activities for both promoting and improving crew mental health Describe the basic objectives and the intervention steps of Psychological First Aid “Normalize the Conversation”.  (Instructor: TBD)

Meth Lab/Grow Houses/Street Drugs (NEW)
This 4-hour course will provide the first responder the latest information… (Instructor Matt Legler, Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations)

Modern Fire Attack (a.k.a. IFSFI – SLICERS Program) (NEW)
Changes are occurring in buildings materials and construction techniques used to construct today’s buildings. Household furnishings and other building components are increasingly constructed from petroleum-based materials. Today’s fires release energy faster, reach flashover potential sooner, may reach higher temperatures, and are much more likely to become ventilation-limited than did buildings fires of even a few years ago. Because of these differences, it is important that our techniques for ventilation, applying water, and performing rescue reflect the changes in modern building construction.  Four topics to be covered are Principals of modern fire attack, modern fire attack – offensive attack, modern fire attack – flow path, and ventilation.  (Instructor: Stan Merrett)

Natural Gas Emergency Response
Natural Gas Emergency Response will provide the attendees an unprecedented look into the Natural Gas Industry. You will be given the opportunity to learn how Natural Gas Companies and Local Fire Fighting organizations can work together to eliminate hazards and minimize the threat to the public and property when things do go wrong. We will explore major natural gas incidents to understand what can and did go wrong. We will gain a better understanding of the Natural Gas Emergency Response processes including natural disasters, gas leaks both inside and outside of a home or building and natural gas fires. We will explore the best practices of Emergency Responders and interactions with the Natural Gas Company. (Instructor Brent Haywood, VP Operations; Okaloosa Gas District)

Post Blast Awareness (NEW) (Sunday Morning Only, Tentatively)
This 4-hour course… (Instructor John Bell, Florida State Fire Marshal EOD Unit)

Recognizing Signs of Human Trafficking (NEW)

Retired Chief Daniels is the father of a daughter that has been missing since August 2012. Most Human Trafficking presentations only address what Human Trafficking is, the ever growing number of victims, and a few victim’s stories. Chief Daniels’ presentation is unique in that he draws from and merges his fire service experiences with nationally recognized information and case studies. Through lecture, diagrams, videos, and case photos, he takes the audience “into the weeds” of Human Trafficking where they will learn “why” they need to know the two types of Human Trafficking, how people become victims, why victims cannot leave Human Trafficking, recognizing the signs of Human Trafficking, what you, the First Responder, should do and who you should call.  (Instructor Rodney Daniels, Chief (Ret.))

S-130/S-190/ L-180
(Preference given to FF I Students) (Eligible for Scholarship)
This is a 40-hour course that is designed to train firefighters in the basic fire behavior factors that will aid them in the safe and effective control of wildland fires, basic wildland firefighting training, and the human factors on the fire line. (Instructor Maria Wilson, Florida Forest Service)

State Emergency Response Plan (SERP) (NEW) 6 hours towards Instructor I, II and III, Firesafety Inspector I, and Fire
Code Administrator

This 6-hour course is designed to introduce students to Florida’s system, components, benefits, and how the system works. Students will also learn the components and processes for mutual aid and how to run a post incident analysis to assure that needed information is obtained and used to assist with future emergencies.  (Instructor TBD)

Structural Collapse Awareness
This 4-hour course meets NFPA 1670 and is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become familiar with established structural collapse procedures and planning within the State of Florida. This is one of the required courses to upgrade from FFI (160 hr.) to FFI (206 hr.). (Instructor: Okaloosa County Light Technical Rescue)

Solar Farm Safety (NEW)
This 4-hour course will cover residential solar systems and commercial large-scale solar farms.   (Instructors: Scott, Compas Solar and Hank Koppel, Duke Energy)

The Tactical Engine (NEW)

The Tactical Engine is a down and dirty look at the blue-collar fundamentals of aggressive Engine work. This class will examine effective tactics for first-alarm assignment Engine companies. It will explore efficiently performing essential fireground tasks and will delve into
tactical priorities. The class will address Truck work for engines that don’t have the luxury of properly staffed truck companies arriving in a timely manner. Subjects covered will included size up, initial actions, water supply options, search, VES, forcible entry, coordinated
ventilation, riding assignments, weapon selection, hose line management, and how to maximize limited staffing/resources in various operational arenas. This class is geared toward those looking to maximize the performance of their Engine Company.  (Instructor Nick Peppard, Captain Holley-Navarre Fire District)

UTV/ATV Safety (NEW) (Requirements – Boots, Helmet, Gloves, and long pants)

These vehicles help responders to act more quickly and save critical energy during emergencies. Not only do UTVs and ATVs assist the EMS providers and firefighters who use them, but they can also benefit the individuals being serviced.  This safety program was developed to provide training for those who use UTVs and ATVs. Important topics addressed include: safe vehicle operations and vehicle operator information, details on the need for refresher training, recommendations on protective gear, preplanning, basic safety and vehicle and skill maintenance. (Instructor TBD)

Vehicle Extrication/New Car Technology 
(NFPA Compliant Bunker/Extrication Gear Required) (Sponsored by Turtle Plastics)
This 8 hour course will teach the student the basic techniques needed to perform vehicle extrication. This course will consist of lecture on the basic techniques using hydraulic and hand tools and the hands-on application of these techniques. (Instructor Bud McMahon, TNT Rescue)

Water Tender/Rural Water Supply Operations
This 16-hour course will consist of classroom that will discuss driver safety, tender operations, proper set-up of a tender cycle using 1 and 2 drop tanks, power drafting, and proper staging of resources. The hands on training will consist of single drop tank operations and then move into 2 tank operations leading to 250 GPM for 2 hours. (Instructor: Mark Goldfeder, Five Bugles Institute)