The Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind.
A new certification for the Terre Haute Fire Department is expanding the training capabilities for city firefighters.
The state’s Emergency Medical Services Commission recently certified the city fire department as a Basic Training Institution through July 1, 2023.
“Over the years I have seen tons of milestones within this department, and I believe this is another one. This is a great achievement for the department,” Chief Bill Berry said Monday during a news conference at the training center on Brown Avenue.
It can cost $700 to $1,000 for a firefighter to receive emergency medical technician training, whether it is through Ivy Tech Community College or another training facility. The fire department pays that cost.
Chief Berry said with 13 firefighters in the next EMT training class, that saves the city about $13,000.
All firefighters must be certified as EMTs, and must become paramedics within five years. They also must be recertified every two years, so there is a long of training going on throughout the year at the Brown Avenue site.
THFD’s assistant chief of EMS Diana Luther said one of her goals since she became assistant chief has been for the department to receive the certification to conduct training in-house.
“We have plenty of primary instructors which allows us to teach our own classes,” Luther said.
The department maintains all trainings once a firefighter has been trained as an EMT or a paramedic. A future goal is to become certified as a paramedic training site.
The certification will also be a funding generator for the city, explained Chief Berry, as THFD will be able to charge outside agencies who send firefighters to be trained at the THFD facility. The process and paperwork for that training is being established.
“This is a start and it’s going to beneficial to the fire department and to the city,” Berry said of the new certification.
The department has nine primary instructors who will be able to handle the training.
A new recruit class of firefighters is currently in training, and it will take them a little over three weeks to become certified as EMTs.
Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.
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