The training section of the Peoria Fire Department (PFD) is charged with several responsibilities to ensure all personnel meet state, federal, local, and department training requirements. Listed below is some of what the PFD training section does continuously to maintain the high standards of professionalism our citizens have come to expect.
Firefighter Recruit Training
Firefighters begin their careers as recruits at the regional training facility located in either Phoenix or Glendale. Since the Phoenix Metro Valley has a mutual aide agreement among 23 cities, in which the PFD is a member, training must be consistent and the same. This is because the closest appropriate fire department unit is dispatched to the incident regardless of jurisdiction or boundaries. This provides seamless service to the citizens of the area, regardless of who is providing it. The academy is a five day a week, 12-week curriculum, in which all aspects of a firefighter's job is taught.
There are federal and state mandates that the training section must ensure all members are given, including confined space, blood borne pathogens, and other specialty training requirements.
The PFD has a technical rescue team (TRT) consisting of firefighters who are cross-trained in technical rescue. These are the firefighters that you see dangling from helicopters or mountain sides, going into trenches, collapsed buildings, and into confined spaces to rescue people. Members of the team train regularly with other TRT groups in the valley to keep proficient in these highly specialized skills.
The Peoria Fire Department deploys two Technical Rescue Teams (TRT). These teams respond to incidents requiring rope rescue, swift water rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, structural collapse, and helicopter rescue. One team staffs a fire engine, the other staffs the ladder or ladder tender. These units are equipped with specialty rescue equipment ranging from swift water rescue tools, to new extrication tools such as power rams, power spreaders and power cutters.
All skills that firefighters are taught are continuously reviewed and evaluated. The PFD firefighters are required to have 120 hours of continued education per year. The training is diverse and encompasses such skills as driver training, live fire training, extrication, forcible entry, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), hose lays, and computer skills.
Part of the training section's responsibilities is developing and administering promotional exams for the various positions on the fire department. An annual list is created of eligible candidates for Fire Engineer and Fire Captain. Tests for TRT, Recruit Training Officer (RTO), and Battalion Chiefs are done on an as-needed basis.