Northwest Florida Volunteer Firefighter Weekend


Course Descriptions

Tactics & Decisions for the 1st Arriving Officer

A comprehensive 16 -hour class on making decisions from the time you arrive on the scene, until you call “control”.  Review; “How to Read the Scene” to determine “Extreme Fire Behavior”, Understanding “Modern fire Attack” methods for “Scene Safety”, and analyze NIOSH case studies involving firefighter fatalities.  A very Frank & Honest presentation into the “Real World” of Structural Fire Fighting.  (Instructor Stan Merritt, Training Officer, Union Volunteer Fire and Rescue (AL))

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)

Building Contruction (NEW) (45 hours)

The curriculum in this portion of the Fire Prevention Inspection Certification Program deals with building construction. Topics include identifying hazards from assault by fire and gravity, how building construction can influence fire spread, fire confinement or structural collapse, and many other life safety issues. This is not a building course per se, but rather a course to identify construction features and their hazards under fire conditions. 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.  (Instructor TBD)

Fire Chaplaincy (4-hrs)

What are fire chaplains? What value do they bring to a department? What roles do they play? These and many other questions will be explored during this course. From theory to practice, participants will leave challenged and prepared to bring this valuable position to their departments. This course is open to current chaplains, as well as those considering involvement as a chaplain in the future.  This would also be the perfect opportunity for a department exploring the chaplaincy to find out what it is all about.  Instructor Joe LaCognata, Chaplain Marion County Fire Rescue)

Developing an Effective Behavioral Health Program (NEW)

This 4 hour class will allow personnel to evaluate their own departments' current behovioral health and emotional wellness culture and determine what steps need to be taken to start or develop a successful program.  Course objectives include indentifying signs of stress and associated issues, preparing themselves and their employees for traumatic events, and equip them and their personnel with the tools to prevent post traumatic stress.  (Instructor: Dustin Hawkins - Florida Firefighter Safety and Health Collaborative/Engineer, Indian River County Fire Rescue. Dustin's Bio)

Firefighter Suicide Awareness (4 hours)

This course will provide awareness of the problem, some of the reasons for Suicide of a responder.  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)

Firefighter Tactics and Strategy II (NEW)

Curriculum covers multiple company operations, logistics, strategy, use of mutual aid forces and conflagration control. The course is intended for officers who may be in command of fires and other emergencies involving close coordination and maximum use of large amounts of staffing and equipment. Typical tactical situations and case histories are given. The development of critical thinking skills is stressed. 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. IS700 completion is required as a prerequisite. Part of Fire Officer I. (Instructor TBD)

Electrical Safety (NEW)

This 4-hour course...

EMR/First Responder Refresher (NEW)

This 2-day course is designed to refresh the experienced responder in his or her basic first aid skills through lecture and practical skills.  Topics that will be covered include Preparatory, Airway, Patient Assessment, Circulation, Illness and Injury, Childbirth and Children, and EMS Operations.  This also includes the new use of tourniquets and gunshot wound treatment during an MCI. Curriculum is based upon the National Standard Curriculum.  (Instructor Tim Busby, Holt VFD/Ret. Paramedic, Okaloosa County EMS)

Emergency Incident Rehabilitation (Rehab) (4 hours CEUs for Instructor) (Prerequisite: First Aid & ability to take patient vital signs)

This is a 4-hour hands-on training course that will review NFPA 1500 and NFPA 1584.  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) 

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: Captain Thomas Bosco, Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations)

Farmedic (NEW)

The Farmedic course teaches the appropriate responses in chemical, mechanical, and structural accidents as well as the logistical, rescue, and EMS problems that can occur in the agribusiness and related environments. NOTE: The Farmedic program is also approved for 12 continuing education hours for Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic certificates. (Instructor TBD)

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 Delivery (NEW) (Additional Fees - Textbook Rental $10 or Purchase $)

The curriculum draws from many recognized authorities in exploring the methods and mechanics of imparting information and adult learning principles. The course emphasizes techniques which have wide application in teaching situations, as well as devices for specific areas. Also stressed are measuring teaching effectiveness, the use of media and visual aids. 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, Fire Instructor I, Fire Instructor II and Fire Instructor III. (Instructor TBD)

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 completionFirefighter I students who need their 2nd skills sign off, may attend the Practical Skills Task Book “sign off” on September 18 & 19, 2015. (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)

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)

Human Side of the Fire Service (4-hrs)

You have the skills. You have the training. You have the experience. But is there something lacking in your preparation to do the job of a firefighter? Everything you do is done in the context of others. How well are you equipped to deal with the people you interact with day in and day out? This course will give you the opportunity to explore how to best care for the various people that you serve including victims, peers, your family and yourself.  (Instructor Joe LaCognata, Chaplain Marion County Fire Rescue)

ISO - Public Protection Classification (NEW) (4 hrs CEU for Instructor, FCA, and Inspector)

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 9/20 at 6p CST)  (For FF I Students Only.  Students are required to attend Friday night, Saturday and Sunday class to recieve credit.)

The students will participate in live fire evolutions.  The evolutions will consist of an exterior Class ‘A’ fire, vehicle fire, grade “room & content” fire and below grade “room & content” fire.  Upon completion of the four live burns, the Firefighter I candidate will have completed four of the six live burns required for Firefighter I certification.  (NFPA compliant Bunker Gear and SCBA are required) (Instructor Joel Richardson, Escambia Fire Rescue)

Lost Person Behavior (Sunday only) (8 hrs CEUs for Instructor)

A successful search for a lost person is usually due to knowing how and where to look. This class primarily teaches the “WHERE to look” part.   This class reviews decision making processes and behaviors of those who are lost, historical data, as well as classification of the lost person by age, mental status and activity to help develop a higher probability areas to search. Relying heavily on the work of SAR expert and author Robert Koester, along with historical information from Florida searches, this course will look at several aspects of lost person behavior and practical examples. Attendees will participate in table top exercises to use this information to plot potential search areas focusing on high probability areas.   While some search management strategy (“how to look”) is included in this class, the “how” part is included in Lost Person Search Management offered on Saturday.  Pervious search knowledge or experience is helpful but not required, and you do not need to bring any equipment to this class. A text will be provided for in class use and available for purchase from the NWFVFF should you desire to keep a copy.  There is also an application available which we will discuss in class. (Instructor Bart Walker, Marion County Fire Rescue)

 Lost Person Search Management (Saturday Only) (NEW)

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)

Low-Angle Terrain Rescue  Students must bring boots for rough terrain,  helmet, and gloves appropriate for rope work.

You respond to the scene of a vehicle accident where the vehicle is over an embankment or short hill.  Or, you have a hiker that took a tumble and is in the woods.  Carrying a backboard up a slope is dangerous for both the rescuers and the patient.  What do you do?  The solution, a simple rope system.  In this day long course, students will learn how to set up a simple rope system to help bring a  packaging device up a slope.  Rope systems that assist in victim packaging and removal and providing assistance over rough terrain will be demonstrated and practiced.  (Instructors: Okaloosa County Light Technical Rescue)

Meth Lab/Grow Houses (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)

Natural Gas Emergency Response (NEW)

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)

Prehospital Trauma Life Support (Additional Fees - Textbook Rental $10 or Purchase $56, and Card $15)

The PHTLS Provider course is designed to be an intensive 16 hour course for emergency medical responders, EMTs, Paramedics, nurses, physician assistants and physicians.  The course provides the prehospital care provider with specific knowledge and skills related to assessment and care, increasing the probability of a victim surviving a traumatic event.  The course is scenario based, with lectures and interactive skills stations design to impart knowledge and proficiency.  (Instructor: TBD)

S-215, Fire Operations in the Wildland Urban Interface (NEW)

This 2-day instructor-led course will cover firefighter safety in the interface, managing human factors in the interface, pre-incident planning, size-up and initial strategy, structure triage, structure protection overview, tactics in the interface, tactical operations and resource use in the interface, action assessment, plan update, and after action review.  The main course objective is to operate safely and effectively in a wildland urban interface incident by using situation awareness, performing structure triage, using pre-planning tools, having a basic understanding of fire behavior, and using strategy and tactics unique to the wildland urban interface environment. (Instructor Florida Forest Service)

S-330, Task Force/ Strike Team Leader (NEW)

This 3-day course is designed to meet the training requirements of Task Force Leader and Strike Team Leader.  Course objectives include: Demonstrate the ability to apply the Risk Management Process found in the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG) to various incidents; Identify and describe the responsibilities of a Task Force/Strike Team Leader; and Demonstrate the ability to apply appropriate tactics with assigned resources organized into strike teams or task forces. (Instructor Florida Forest Service)

VCOS Beyond Hoses and Helmets (Eligible for SAFER funded Scholarship) (16 hrs CEUs for Instructor)

This 2 day workshop was developed to include material from US Fire Administration, International Association of Fire Chiefs, and National Volunteer Fire Council.  The program will discuss the following topics: problem-solving, marketing, recruitment, rentention, leadership, team building, training development, confilict resolution, principles of negotiations, and verbal communications. (Intructors TBD)

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 fireline. (Instructor Gary Holley, Florida Forest Service)

Solar Farm Safety (NEW)

This 4-hour course... (Instructor TBD)

Street Smart RIT

This RIT course will define the proper techniques for different possible RIT operations on the fire ground.   Rapid Intervention Teams on the fire ground are essential for safety and must be unitized on every Fire Response.  Course will also focus on the safety of RIT teams themselves and knowing their limits.  At the end of this RIT course students will have an advanced knowledge of RIT techniques, as well as multiple untraditional techniques for unusual RIT operations possibilities.  (Instructor Devin Rogers, Lt. Northbay Fire Dept)

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 collapes 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)

Vehicle Extrication/New Car Technology  (NFPA Compliant Bunker/Extrication Gear Required) (Sponsored byTurtle 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)

Vent, Enter, Isolate, Search (VEIS)

This 4-hour course will define the proper techniques for different possible VEIS operations on the fire ground.   Vent, Enter, Isolate, and Search Teams on the fire ground should be considered another tool or tactic for Fire Responses. The course will also focus on the safety of VEIS teams themselves and knowing their limits.  At the end of this VEIS course students will have an advanced knowledge of VEIS techniques. (Instructor Jos Vargason, Captain Crestview Fire Dept.

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: Richard Darby (Retired))

When the Unexpected Happens  (4 hours)

Responders know what to expect when they are dispatched on a shooting or domestic call.  However, what should be done if you find a weapon while doing a survey of a patient, or  an unconscious patient wakes up and is violent.  What a first responder does when confronted with an unusual situation can determine the outcome.  A review of different situations will be conducted in terms of what actions the first responder can take using the equipment they have with them or in their surroundings.  (Instructors Harold Pool and Susan Schell)



   The Northwest Florida Volunteer Firefighter Weekend Council, Inc. admits students of any, race, color, and national or ethnic origin.