New firefighters to begin service on area fire departments

Last Updated on April 17, 2021 by New Waverly Fire Department

ABOVE: A team of firefighter candidates prepares to enter a structure with a charged handline to extinguish a fire.

SOURCE: News release from New Waverly Fire Department

After six weeks of giving up evenings and weekends to force entry thru doors, search for simulated fire victims, drag fire hose and putting out fires started by their instructors, nine area residents have completed the training requirements to begin responding to emergency calls with area fire departments.

The training was hosted by New Waverly Fire Department and included students from New Waverly, Walton Fire Department, Clymers/Clinton Township Fire Departments in Cass County as well as Mexico and Pipe Creek Township Fire Departments in Miami County. Students completed requirements for Indiana Department of Homeland Security Certification as HAZMAT 1St Responder Awareness, Technical Rescue Awareness and Mandatory Firefighter.

Rocky Buffum, Fire Chief for New Waverly Fire Department, applauded their efforts.

“Everyone is busy these days. Everyone has full time jobs, most have family commitments, participating in this training is a lot of missed dinners, missed time with kids, and putting the fire department and the community ahead of oneself.”

Buffum further indicated the time spent is not easy.

“In addition to the physical demands, there is also an academic component. Students have quizzes and tests over each topic covered, and must pass three individual state certification exams as well as practical exams to complete the certification process.”

Buffum highlighted the team effort that made the program a success. Not only did the students blend well together thru the course, so did the instructors.

“Most of the instructor staff had dual affiliations as both career and volunteer firefighters. They brought experience from years on the job at New Waverly, Clymers, Logansport and Kokomo.”

Logansport Fire Department allowed use of their training facilities for part of the program, and the firefighters on shift that day provided additional assistance.

“Last year we did a joint Instructor Certification course with Logansport, and a lot of those guys came back to help with this course. This is just one of many ways we work together for the benefit of all of our communities.” Buffum further explained entering the Logansport training tower to extinguish the room and contents fire was the capstone of the program. This coming week the participants will take the state certification exam to officially become certified firefighters.

For many the training journey is just beginning. Many in the class will continue on to the Firefighter I and II Certification as well as medical response training. Buffum indicated it is a never ending process. The state certification system offers dozens of specializations beyond basic fire training, and to stay proficient in basic fire operations as well as those specializations continuing education is needed in each topic.

“All of these individuals have taken a huge step forward to stand on the line, committed to being their best when their community’s day is at its worst. I congratulate them on what they have already accomplished and look forward to seeing what is to come in the months and years ahead” said Chief Buffum.

Firefighters practice forcing open a locked door
Thermal Imaging Camera Image, firefighters remove two infant manikins from a dark smoke filled room.
Firefighter candidates work on cutting a vent hole in a roof