McPherson Fire Department training officer and captain Wade Hall said the department aims for a minimum of two hours of training a day.
"Because there is not a major fire every week we have to continue to create and expose ourselves to life-like situations," Hall
The training activities range from classroom work to confined space training to hazmat responses.
said the training is imperative to personnel not only retaining their understanding and knowledge of how to respond to specific situations, but also to keep up on changing information and requirements.
said the department does not have a formal training facility so he
must get creative and make do with what is available.
Many days the staff are asked to visualize a situation and act accordingly or use equipment on the playground across the street from the station.
said the tube slide at Linnea Park, located on Kansas Avenue, makes for a perfect place for the staff to practice maneuvering in confined spaces.
said the exercise serves two purposes: personnel use the time to better learn the road, addresses and buildings in and around McPherson, and the trucks are inspected to ensure they operate correctly.
"We test everything," Hall
"It's amazing what breaks even when it's not being used."
Personnel are also required to learn the location and operation procedure for every vehicle and piece of equipment on the vehicle.
said physical activity is the final component of the department's training regimen and plays a major role in ensuring that the firefighters are physical able to handle the various situations they could be presented with.
"You'll see our guys in the weight room or out jogging," Hall
"Physical fitness is very important to us."
said the U.S. Fire
Administration regulates the amount of time departments must spend training.
But many of the training initiatives and activities are initiated at the local level.