A plan to set up a fire training center at the Service Road fire station through a partnership with the city of Modesto and Salida Fire Protection District was met with nods from the Ceres City Council on Monday.
“Training is the backbone of the fire department,” said Ceres Fire Chief Kevin Wise in his introduction to the concept. “It produces a well-prepared force that, through repetition, increases the speed of an operation and enhances proper execution while reducing injuries.”
Wise said fire departments generally have 40-hour a week training officers who focus solely on the training personnel. Currently, CFD relies upon an on-duty training officer to meet training needs. Because the training officer has a 48/96 schedule along with other duties while still responding to emergency incidents, meeting training goals has been “challenging,” said the chief.
Under the joint training partnership Modesto Fire Department will provide administrative oversight of the training division, and a minimum of two 40-hour training officers, along with administrative support from a part-time secretary. Salida Fire Protection District will provide an administrative fire captain for 24 hours per week for training along with nine cargo containers as training props that may be configured in different fashions at the training facility. Modesto will also provide several training props. Ceres is offering the unstaffed station on Service Road for training since it has been used for that purpose with its extra space. Ceres Fire will also provide part-time administrative support for the Joint Training Division with a fire secretary.
The facility will help other agencies in training as well.
“We’ll have full-time training officers dedicated solely and focused solely on training personnel. We’d have consistent training on all three shifts.”
Councilman Mike Kline asked about multiple story training structures and Wise suggested that is a possibility in the future, however the regional training facility in Modesto will be used for the multiple-story structure and rescue props.
“It’s a win-win,” said Kline, “where we don’t have to travel out of our jurisdiction to get the training – it’s coming to us.”