The firefighter's safety and preparation for calls of service is our upmost priority. The Tifton Fire Department conducts training year-round. Each member of the department must meet a minimum requirement of 240 hours of training annually. Training is a necessity for fire service in order to maintain the knowledge to remain safe and protect the community as best as possible.
Training that is completed annually vary, including but not limited to, live fire suppression, hazardous materials, technical rope rescue, confined space, firefighter survival, civilian victim rescue, emergency tactical casualty care, search and rescue, vehicle extrication and apparatus fundamentals. The individuals of the department participate and attend training not only at our own facility, but also at the Georgia Fire Academy. Education is a person's greatest asset and tool for operations and safety for themselves, their brothers and sisters and the community they serve.
The Tifton Fire Department training facility is equipped with useful buildings and props. The training facility is located at 419 Old Omega Rd, just off of I-75 exit 61. The facility is equipped with a three-story drill tower, a two-story burn building, along with a pressurized container simulation prop, vehicle fire prop, forcible entry door prop and a dumpster fire prop. The drill tower is equipped with several rooms, some of which are staged with donated furniture to resemble residential layouts. The drill tower is also equipped with a railed staircase that exits to the third-story roof, as well as standpipe and sprinkler system connections for high-rise training.
The forcible entry door prop is used frequently, not only by the fire department, but also by the local law enforcement departments and SWAT teams. They are allowed to reserve times or days at the training facility in order to assist with their training that vary from using the forcible entry door prop to using the drill tower.
Station 2 on U.S. Highway 125 North has an interior search and rescue maze that also includes a rapid intervention crew (RIC) section that involves simulations of entanglement, disorientation, ceiling/debris collapse and floor collapse.
Public safety in the City of Tifton and Tift County strive to provide the best and optimal services to the community. The fire department and police department as well as EMS have been able to work hand-in-hand to train on emergency tactical casualty care. Furthermore, there are plans for all the departments to continue to work together to train on various scenarios, such as active shooter or mass casualty.
Emergency Medical Training
Fire related emergencies are not the only incidents that the Tifton Fire Department responds to. In certain situations the fire department responds to medical emergencies to provide any assistance necessary to EMS personnel. These medical emergencies may vary from unresponsive patients to cardiac arrest patients. All members of the department must carry valid and current CPR BLS certification. The fire department also responds to lift assistance with EMS in a non-emergency manner.
Although the certification of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is not required, more than half of the department holds the certification and a current Georgia license. This certification and licensure require those personnel to obtain an additional 40 hours of training focused on medical training. This additional training is not included in the 240 hours they are normally required each year. This medical training is not only useful to assist EMS, when necessary, it is also very beneficial when responding to vehicle accidents and other incidents.
Physical Fitness Training
The Tifton Fire Department takes their physical fitness training seriously. Physical fitness is performed each shift either individually or together as a shift. The physical fitness performed varies from team-based sports, circuits, or weightlifting. Each year, every member of the department is tasked with performing a physical agility assessment that consists of movements and tasks that could be performed on a fire scene. In addition to the annual agility assessment, the department provides each member of the department with an annual health assessment. This health assessment is performed by a physician or nurse practitioner, and includes an assessment of blood levels, ECG, respiratory, vision, hearing and general physical assessment. Performing this assessment has been extremely beneficial and has even assisted in preventing medical incidents for some of our firefighters.