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As we move forward in the new century and begin to recognize the challenges that face each of the emergency responders, we realize our department must accept, prepare, train and respond to an even greater responsibility. Like many other fire departments across the nation, Gulfport Fire Department is committed to preparing itself to respond to the needs of our community.
Last year, our department recognized Weapons of Mass Destruction as our number one concern. The training division began sending firefighters and officers to Fort McClellan located in Anniston, Alabama for specialized training. The training ranged from operational preparedness, to hazardous material response, in which the students were introduced into live agents. As of this year, the training division enrolled over 40 students with over 900 classroom hours accounted for. We are continuing to enroll students into this training as our needs grow.
Another major concern for our department is the need for additional supervisory and leadership training for our fire officers. This past year, the fire department had over 15 management level students attend various courses, which accounted for over 450 man-hours. As the fire department grows and each fire officer is challenged with today’s situations, the training division will continue its commitment by enrolling students in such classes.
As in the past, the training division has continued to maintain a level of training above the minimum requirements. Shift training this past year has accounted for over 27,0000 man-hours. The Gulfport Fire Department, continues to be one of a few certified sites in the state to teach the National Fire Protections Firefighter I & II course. Last year the training division conducted two courses in which 30 new Recruit Firefighter became state certified.
In the upcoming year, our training division will move toward new and innovative ways of instruction. We will continue to teach certification courses in-house, while utilizing new technologies to enhance their deliveries. These courses will range from entry-level fire fighting, to fire officers alone with special operations. The mission of the training division is to take the skills required of the emergency responded and present them with the most challenging task possible.
The Gulfport Fire Department recognizes the need for advanced quality training due to the demands of our community. It is the commitment of the training division to provide our fire fighters with the tools needed to deliver the best customer service to our citizen and visitor of this great city.
TRAINING DIVISION GOAL AND MISSION STATEMENT
We must prepare for the unexpected and train for the inevitable.
To support the mission by providing a realistic training environment from entry level to the most advanced levels of emergency response.