NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) Fox Cities fire departments have added a new town to its unique way to train its recruits and created better-trained firefighters.
Kevin KloehNeenah-Menasha Fire Chief says, “The fire chiefs in the Fox Valley, we came up with this plan to see what it would be like to try and do more things together because we do respond together in mutual aid calls.”
Now, Grand Chute joins firefighter recruits from Neenah, Menasha and Oshkosh in its recruit academy.
Chad Korth, a firefighter recruit says, “It’s nice to have different groups kind of sharing different teaching abilities to get new skills.”
So combining recruit academies provides consistent training and life-saving muscle memory drills.
Chief Kloehn says, “Each department would do their own recruit class. Sometimes it was a week long. Sometimes it was three weeks long and then they’d get online and they couldn’t remember how to, you know, for instance, load the hose correctly back on the truck.”
Korth says, “We’re doing different things that we’re gonna do on the job every single day. We’re doing victim rescue, fire suppression, EMS training every week.”
All recruits undergo rigorous training for real-life situations.
Korth says, “Our mornings, we actually do an hour workout from seven to eight and then we do a half-hour of our air consumption drills where it’s really how long can you work while you’re under stress while you’re breathing on your bottle with your mask on so it’s definitely pushing us.”
Kloehn says, “Every day they’re out here, they’re becoming more confident in the skills that they’re going to have to do when they arrive on their first day at the fire station.”
Officials say they hope to add Appleton’s fire recruits to is joint training next year.