The Field Training Branch develops and delivers essential fire service training to all operational field personnel within the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. The Field Training Branch is organized into 3 functional units:
Operational Training Unit: provides training to all frontline operational field units on various topics and subjects related to emergency response.
Operations Academy Rotation (OARs): Training includes basic fire suppression skills, live fire scenarios and/or instruction on new techniques or equipment. Each unit rotates through the Academy for live fire training at least twice annually.
Driver Training and Certification Program delivers initial certification in Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC) and continuing education training to qualify members of the department to operate fire department apparatus.
In-Station Drill Program covers a wide variety of subject matter. The purpose of the in-station drill package is to review basic suppression materials that aid personnel with maintaining knowledge of specific topics.
Training Bulletins are issued by the field training branch to stations within the department. They are a quick way to train units operating in the field when a change in firefighting technique occurs.
Live Fire and Acquired Structures Program provides recruit, career, and volunteer firefighters with a realistic training atmosphere of an actual working residential fire environment while remaining a "real time" controlled training exercises delivered through the use of live fire training props, burn buildings, and loaned structures that are slated for demolition. Acquired structures are utilized after they have met certain criteria and have been inspected for structural stability. Acquired structures include single family, multi-family, and commercial occupancies. All live fire training is conducted in compliance with the current standard of NFPA 1403.
Specialty Training and Schools such as the Probationary Firefighter training program, Rescue Company and Truck Company Operations Schools. Each special school offering is designed to further develop and refine our firefighter’s knowledge, skills, and abilities to respond to fires and other emergencies.
Officer Development Training Unit: is responsible for developing and facilitating training programs and training resources to support initial Fire and Rescue Department Fire Officer certification, ongoing officer continuing education, and leadership and professional development programs. Additional duties and responsibilities for the Officer Development Training Unit include:
Officer Certification provides courses for initial certification in NFPA 1041 Instructor and NFPA 1021 Officer programs.
Officer Development School provides continued development of newly promoted officers through collaborative and focused training specific to their rank.
Incident Simulation Center provides continued development of newly promoted and experienced officers through realistic computer based incident simulations. The command competency program allows the shift deputy fire chief the ability to train and observe performance of their staff utilizing the center.
Riding the Seat is a seminar based training opportunity to provide department members with tactical discussion and learning in a seminar environment.
Evaluation and Testing Unit: responsible for evaluating training program candidates, delivering testing to candidates seeking certification, maintaining secure testing documents and records, and serves as the evaluative measures to support the testing of new ideas and equipment for the fire and rescue department to support Fire and Rescue Department operations:
Testing Unit as part of our delegated authority agreement with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, our testing unit conducts and administers testing and certification exams for Driver Training, Fire Instructor, and Fire Officer certification programs
New and Innovative equipment requires close coordination and cooperation with other sections of the department such as Operations, Resource Management, Logistics and the Air Shop. Recent major projects include the testing and evaluating of thermal imaging cameras, self-contained breathing apparatus, and leather helmets.
For more information related to these programs, please contact the Field Training Branch director: Battalion Chief Gregory Hunter.