Page 28 - PFFW December 2018
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 Wisconsin Technical College System Training Update
Fire Service Education Director
Diversity and Cultural Acceptance Were the Focus of Important Forum
In late October, I had the privilege of
attending my first National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Responder Forum. The forum’s goal was for fire service leaders, up-and-coming first responders and subject matter experts to explore emerging trends
and develop critical resources that make first responders and communities more resilient. This year, we tackled the challenging topics
of diversity and cultural acceptance, which incorporated sessions on inclusion, hazing, bullying, and LGBTQ awareness, recruiting, retention, hiring, social media and community engagement. Speakers exposed compelling life stories and set the table for difficult discussions at all levels of the fire service. As members
of the fire service, have you participated
in training about cultural awareness? Inclusion? Unconscious Bias? Equity? Stereotypes? Bullying? I encourage you to foster an atmosphere in your organization
that is inclusive and diverse, and that recruits, retains and operates to be agile, resilient and innovative.
Said Jona Olsson, the founder and director
of Cultural Bridges to Justice, which offers cultural diversity programs for non-profits organizations, and the recently retired Fire/ EMS Chief of Latir Volunteer Fire Department in New Mexico, “Building a service that
28 December 2018 -
fiercely promotes and protects genuine inclusion of people from all segments of the U.S. population (i.e., people of all racial and ethnic groups, spiritualities, gender and gender identities, sexual orientations, economic
and educational backgrounds, generations, veterans, and others) is ethical, moral, rooted in U.S. American values, and simply the right thing to do.” (Fire Chief Magazine September, 2013).
In the most recently published edition of NFPA 1002, the requirement for Pumper students
to have previously met the requirements of Fire Fighter I, was dropped. What does that mean in Wisconsin? Effective January 1, 2019, students will no longer have to have met Fire Fighter I requirements to take and certify as a Driver/Operator Pumper. The Driver/Operator Pumper course will include basic fire ground communications and operations information to bring new Driver/Operator Pumper candidates up to speed. NFPA 1002, however, did not remove that requirement for Aerial students. Aerial prerequisites remain unchanged.
Are you looking for a quick training opportunity over the winter? Be sure to visit our website to see the NFA class
schedule (which provides locations and
contact information). Upcoming courses include Leadership in Supervision: Creating Environments for Professional Growth (at WCTC in Pewaukee), Health and Safety Officer (during the WSESI conference in
Eau Claire), Leadership in Supervision: Perspectives in Thinking (in Oshkosh) and Training Operations in Small Departments and Shaping the Future (during the firefighter’s convention in La Crosse). Looking for a different class to benefit your department? Check in with your local Technical College Fire Coordinator to learn what else is available! Visit:
I encourage you to visit our website to learn about all of the opportunities available through the WTCS Fire Service Education Office. I also urge you to research the programming provided through your local technical college. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me about fire training thoughts, concerns or ideas. f 608-266-7289 @WIfiretraining

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