The City of Dalton Fire Department recently held a graduation ceremony to honor four new firefighters who completed recruit class. Firefighters Sam Critides, Blade LeQuire, Cameron Cantrell and Eric Jenkins are all moving on to the next phase of their training as probationary firefighters.
The department's recruit school is a grueling 14-week training program that incorporates all aspects of basic firefighter traini ng. During recruit school, heavy emphasis is placed upon physical fitness, professionalism and attention to detail. In addition to basic firefighter training, students take courses on emergency medical care and hazardous materials response. Recruits must successfully complete National Professional Qualifications (NPQ) hazmat awareness, NPQ hazmat operations and emergency medical training during their recruit class.
Now that they have graduated from recruit school, the new firefighters have one year to complete their probationary term by completing their guidebook to be certified to the level of NPQ firefighter I. That guidebook is essentially a continuation of the recruit school training program and includes more advanced techniques than they have been taught thus far.
Completion of these tasks also provides firefighters an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of skills to the members of their newly assigned shift. The guidebook includes several continuing education requirements (e.g., National Incident Management System 100, 200 & 800; Georgia Fire Academy courses on structural fire control; handling flammable/combustible liquids incidents; and pressurized container fire control).