Field training develops and delivers essential training to all personnel within the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. There are several forums in which this training is delivered, including Operations Academy Rotation (OARs), In-Station Drills, Training Bulletins, the Acquired Structure Program, the Probationary Firefighter School, and Specialty Schools. Field training is involved with testing and evaluating new and innovative equipment and ideas.
Operations Academy Rotation, or OARs, provides training to field units on various subjects. Training includes basic fire suppression or EMS skills and recertification such as hazmat and CPR or instruction on new techniques or equipment. Each unit rotates through the Academy for training 3 times a year.
In-Station Drill Program covers a wide variety of subject matter. The purpose of the in-station drill package is to review basic suppression and EMS materials that aid personnel with maintaining knowledge of specific topics.
Training Bulletins are issued within the department. They are a quick way to train units operating in the field when a change in firefighting technique occurs.
The 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 exercise. Loaned structures that are slated for demolition are acquired after they have met certain criteria and have been inspected for structural stability. Acquired structures include single family, multi-family, and commercial occupancies. The NFPA 1403 standard is always followed during any live burn training.
Probationary Firefighter School is held at the completion of the probationary firefighter's first year in the station and builds on the training received during recruit school as well as the structured in-station training program received in the field. The 5-day school, emphasizes apparatus, pumps, hydraulics and practical applications as pump operators. At the conclusion of this training, the probationary firefighter shield is replaced with a black firefighter shield.
Specialty Schools include primarily Rescue Company and Truck Company Operations Schools. Officer Development School and Incident Command School also are coordinated and facilitated by field training. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Regional Fire Officer Seminar is held annually in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.
Testing and Evaluating 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, please contact Captain Dave Barlow .