Fire Chief Note:
A message regarding the training of our firefighters:
Recently, Pittsburgh television station WTAE Channel 4 aired a series of reports regarding the fire service in and around Allegheny County. As part of the story, it was reported that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not require firefighters to have any formal training before being allowed to perform their duties as volunteer firefighters as many other states require. While the report is accurate in stating PA firefighters are not required to have any training, we at the North Fayette Twp Volunteer Fire Department (NFTVFD)would like set the record straight about the level of training our firefighters receive.
The basic level of fire training in PA as set up by the state fire academy is the Entry Level Firefighter Program and that course is broken into 4 parts called modules. As it is currently constructed, a student completing all 4 modules will have devoted over 180 hours to the entry level training. This series of modules, once completed, provide new firefighters the foundation needed to operate at emergency scenes in a safe manner. At the North Fayette Twp VFD, the rule is and has been for many years that all new recruits will attend the Entry Level Training Program in approximately one year after they join the department. Until the firefighter completes all four modules of training, their role at emergency scenes is restricted to support functions usually under the supervision of an officer or senior firefighter. Once the training is complete and the recruit shows that he/she is proficient in the needed skills, they are permitted to function fully with other trained personnel at emergency incidents.
New firefighters who come to us from other departments within PA must show proof that they have already secured the required training. New recruits from outside of the state must show proof they have attended entry level training and that training is then checked to confirm that it meets or exceeds the current level of training in PA.
As a member of the North Fayette Community, you should be aware that the North Fayette TWP VFD does not and will not send untrained firefighters into emergency situations and ask them to perform operations they have not been prepared for or trained to do. Any questions regarding firefighter training or any other subject should be directed to the NFTVFD by phone or e-mail.
-Gary Hamilton, Fire Chief