Well folks its me once again! And I'm so happy its unbelievable! I can finally see that I am making a difference in the department. When I was elected Chief, I made a promise to all of our members that I would increase our class work. To that end, by the first Thursday in May, my department will have 8 new DOT Certified First Responders. Currently, its just myself and a Captain who are certified. We were part of the first class ever held in the county. Thirteen graduated in that class from 4 different departments.
The part that makes me happy the most? Its the fact that its mostly my younger members. I couldn't be prouder of them as I am right now. Of course, the instructor is a big factor. Our instructor, Al Hutchinson, is a Gulf War Veteran, has worked in the healthcare field for 25 years as a Paramedic. He has worked in tough areas (Atlanta, New Orleans, and off shore) and makes his lessons come alive with examples from real life.
We have gotten our AFG grant in, and in it I included funds for FF1 training. If you cant tell by now, I want the most certified firefighters of any department in the county. I may not make it, but I'll damn well try! Only through knowlege can we become more effective as a department. I admit it- I want the lower ISO rating. The best in our Mutual aid group is a 5/5. I dont want to match it (although going from a 9 to a 5 would be far out!) I want to beat it!
And you know what? With my current crew, I think I can. Maybe not today or tommorrow, but its on its way!
Have a safe Memorial Day! Tell a Veteran and a First Responder "Thank You". It'll enrich your life beyond measure!