Tuesday June 7th , 9 volunteer firefighters from Grays Harbor Fire District 2 and Montesano Fire Department celebrated completing the 2016 Joint District 2 / Montesano Fire Firefighter 1 Academy.
This years academy was the first joint District 2 and Montesano Fire Department Academy, with it being the 4th in this format for Fire District 2. The academy helps certify volunteers for the International Firefighters Service Accreditation Congress Fire Fighter 1 certification. The certification helps prepare volunteers for the initial stages of fighting fires in a professional manner for their departments and also can set the stage for each member to further their interest in the fire service for a career department.
This year these 9 volunteers went through over 240 hours of classroom training, hands on live fire training and hazmat courses. At the end of having to participate in classes for almost 5 months using up 2 days a week and several weekends these volunteers have all passed and completed all testing requirements to gain their professional certification.
Fire District 2 Chief Johnson says “This year’s class was the first class of the 4 that we have done that all volunteers are at the same stage and completion for their certifications where they have all completed and passed. It is a great accomplishment for not only the students, but the staff that put on the training”.
Montesano Volunteer LieutenantJeff Smith was the class Valedictorian who was also selected as the Most Inspirational (an award voted on by the recruits). Fire District 2’s volunteer Dakota Hathaway was given the most improved award.
Instructors for the joint academy were a crucial factor in putting the academy together for these 9 volunteers as they have to put in just as much time, if not more than those taking the course. All staff members that put on the training whether they were volunteers or department staff did this all in their free time, off the clock with dedication to their community and agencies.
The 9 volunteers completing this years academy are only just in their beginning stages to serving their community with more training ahead for either a first responder or emergency medical technician ems course being next on their agenda.