When we see that someone is making an improvement to themselves or their organization we often use the phrase "raising the bar". There is another cliché the says that "nothing ever gets done until someone gets excited about it. "Nowhere in the state of California is do these two comments apply better to the fire service than in Siskiyou County California.
The Siskiyou County Fire Chiefs, working in cooperation with several entities, has established an aggressive program to improve on firefighter training for their volunteers. According to Jason Vella, Chairman of the Siskiyou County Fire Chiefs Association, "The training and education committee has seen significant improvements in training over the last couple of years and we intend to continue that into the future."
Modeled after work that has been done by another regional volunteer fire service organization; the Plumas Eureka Fire Chiefs Association, the program is in its second year of activity. Vella reports that they graduated 32 students from their second Academy. A previous Academy graduated 41. They are using the IFSTA Firefighter One manual.
While Siskiyou County is a low population area and is considered essentially rural, the Siskiyou County Fire Chiefs are maintaining a very high profile in creating training and educational opportunities for their volunteers. According to President Janet Jones (SCFCA), this effort to improve fire services is an ongoing goal of the Fire Chiefs to provide for a solid foundation of information for the firefighters in this area to perform their jobs both effectively and safely.
The group also has been reaching out to other organizations and incorporating their ideas into the Siskiyou model for additional information on the specifics of the program please contact Jasen Vella at 530-340-1114 or 530-459-5343.