BARNSTABLE, MA - The Barnstable County Fire & Rescue Training Academy recently hosted a 6-day Fire Officer I program. The Fire Officer I course provides students with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage emergency scene operations, supervise personnel, and communicate with the public. Fire Officer I and the ensuing certification process is a requirement for career advancement in the fire services. Offering this program at the Fire Training Academy provided over 20 local firefighters with the opportunity to take the Fire Officer I class and certification exam here on Cape Cod, eliminating the need to travel several hours off-Cape each day. Thus far, all of the attendees who have taken the certification exam have passed and therefore attained the professional qualifications of Fire Officer I, as outlined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1021 Standard.
In addition to covering course material required to meet state and national certification and standards, students of the Fire Officer I program were extremely fortunate to attend a program led by Lionel Crowther of the Winnipeg, Manitoba Fire Department. The Barnstable County Fire Training Academy hosted Mr. Crowther for a half-day program at the Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Fire Department on March 7th. Over 60 Cape Cod firefighters attended the program. Mr. Crowther gave a gripping first-hand account of a flashover that trapped six crew members on the 2nd floor of a residential home on February 4, 2007. He was part of a search and rescue team operating on the second floor of the house when fire conditions rapidly deteriorated trapping him and other members of the crew. Two Captains were killed in the line of duty, two firefighters suffered minor injuries, and Lionel Crowther sustained 3rd-degree burns to 30% of his body, while another crew member sustained 3rd-degree burns to 60%. The presentation covered an operational breakdown of the incident, its aftermath and Lionel’s recovery and return to work process. Mr. Crowther focused on firefighting training (getting “back to basics”), firefighter survivor training methods, effects of a firefighter's burn injury on his family and the need for a balanced mind to return to the firehouse. Lionel spoke about the many triumphs and obstacles he and his family encountered along the way.
“Offering the Fire Officer I program – which will be followed by a Fire Officer II course later this spring – is a great example of the Fire Training Academy’s ongoing efforts to deliver timely, relevant, standards-based training opportunities to the fire departments and fire personnel of Cape Cod,” said Barnstable County Fire Training Academy Director Phil Burt. “This class is another instance of Barnstable County Government providing regional, cost-effective services that directly benefit the residents and towns of Cape Cod.”
ABOUT THE BARNSTABLE COUNTY FIRE TRAINING ACADEMY: The Barnstable County Fire Training Academy is a regional fire training center operated by Barnstable County, the Regional Government of Cape Cod. The Academy annually hosts multiple basic and advanced level firefighting programs, reaching upwards of 900 Cape Cod firefighters each year.