Training is by far the most important support program to the Department. Each of our firefighters participates in approximately 380 hours of training annually at a minimum. Some of these training requirements are driven by state and/or federal mandates; most of the remaining hours expended on training are designed to prepare our firefighters to deal with issues and emergencies expected to be encountered in Lake Oswego, the surrounding contract fire districts, and the region in general. State and/or federally mandated annual training requirements are listed below. These figures do not include training hours in other non-emergency service areas such as fire code enforcement and inspections, as well as the all-important safety in the workplace and during emergency operations. Those are in addition to the following:
|Hazardous Materials Awareness||12 hours|
|Hazardous Materials Operations||16 hours|
|Hazardous Materials Incident Commander||32 hours|
|Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus||6 hours|
|Blood-borne Pathogens||2 hours|
|Wildland Firefighting||28 hours|
|Hazardous Communications||1 hour|
|Confined Space Awareness||12 hours|
The Insurance Services Office (I.S.O.) also requires a minimum of ten, two-hour drills on fire related subjects per month, per crew, for an annual total of 240 hours. This includes multi-company drills, night drills, hands-on evolutions and live fire fighting drills.
Mandated medical training adds to the training hours listed above, as do other specialty areas listed below. All personnel re-certify their Emergency Medical Technician certificates every two years with the following requirements:
- EMT Basic: 25 hours of training and evaluations in specific subject areas.
- EMT- Intermediate: 14 hours of training in specific areas, plus skills and proficiency demonstration.
- EMT-Paramedic: 24 hours of training in specific subject areas plus skills proficiency demonstration.
Additionally, all paramedics are required to pass a 200-question examination on a bi-annual basis in order to complete their re-certification obligations. This is unlike other healthcare workers such as physicians and registered nurses who, although they are required to attain sufficient continuing education credits through seminars, classes, etc., have no obligation to pass an examination in order to retain their licenses.
Dive/Rescue personnel need additional training not only for dive operations but also for boat operations (surface rescues). Dive/Rescue personnel perform an average of 32 hours dive/water training exercises annually
Driver/operator training and development is an on-going process throughout the year and can be a component of the I.S.O. mandated training or may be in addition to those obligations. Emphasis is placed on driving safety, pump operations, aerial ladder operations, specialty equipment driving and operations, district and city street and access familiarization and operational knowledge of fire protection systems at individual occupancies throughout the city.
Company officer training occurs monthly during officer meetings and can focus on a variety of subjects from emergency operations and tactics to computer operations to human resources management. Approximately 40 hours per year are devoted to company officer meetings.
Management training, both for emergencies and for non-emergency program and supervisory/ management, can add more than 50 hours to each administrative staff member’s annual workload.