|Training is an ongoing process at Burlington Fire Department. Each new employee receives a minimum of 240 hours of rookie training before joining an Engine Company. At the end of this indoctrination period, the firefighter has completed the requirements for the North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission's Fire Fighter I Certification. Classes on Safety, Personal Protective Equipment, Hoses, Fire Streams and Hazardous Materials are just a few of the subjects the new firefighter must master to reach this level.
Once assigned to a crew, the training does not stop. At the end of six (6) months, the probationary firefighter is given a day-long test to determine the level of progress made since leaving the rookie school. The firefighter must be able to locate and use all of the equipment properly on the apparatus to which he/she is assigned. During the preparation for this examination, the firefighter's crew will spend many hours making sure he/she is ready.
The next several months, the firefighter will spend achieving Fire Fighter II status. After each module of study, the firefighter is given a series of practical hands-on tests and a written test under the guidelines of the North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission. During this period, he/she will learn the layout of the City and will pass a street test at the end of eighteen (18) months taken from a list of seventy-five streets spread throughout the city.
Driver/Operator training is a very important part of the firefighter's career development. Control of an apparatus during an emergency response requires not only a great deal of skill, but a proper attitude toward safety for the firefighters on the unit and the public using the same streets. Once on the scene of a fire, the operator of an apparatus must understand the capabilities of the equipment in order to use it in the most efficient manner. To meet this demand, Burlington Fire Department plans to devote one hundred (100) hours to the training and certification of pump operators over the next year.