Training is the heart of any Fire Department and is doubly important for the Volunteer Department. Without it, crucial skills that the firefighter may need at any time will begin to decay. WPFD has a proud heritage of training to a higher standard. The current curriculum in place positions a Volunteer Firefighter to earn the California State Fire Marshal Firefighter I certificate within approximately two years, with additional training. WPFD is the only Volunteer Department in Yolo County that has a written training schedule to meet these demands. Firefighter I is the same certificate career firefighters gain before they are put on-line in most city departments. This extra level of training is made possible through the forward-thinking senior members of the Department and the Department Training staff.
Every volunteer member is expected to attend training drill nights, three times a month. “Drill” is held on the first three Mondays of each month, and a different theme is scheduled for each night. These drills follow the basic curriculum of the CA State Fire Marshal FFI program, and are taught by the WPFD Training Officer and/or his Staff.
Training Drills begin sharply at 7PM and usually last until about 9PM. During that time, the Training Staff will review key concepts for the Drill, go over important skill highlights, then dictate the Field Program for the rest of the night. Once the classroom work is done, it’s time to gear up and go practice the skills. While classroom training is important, there is no replacement for the real thing. WPFD Members train with the actual equipment they will be using on emergency calls: Throwing ladders, pulling hose lines, Search/Rescue, live fire drills, automobile extrication, first aid and other skills are practiced again and again.
WPFD understands the day-to-day demands put on a Volunteer Firefighter. While we expect you to come to as many drills as possible, if you aren’t able to attend Drill on a given night, you may report to the Station on any given day to review the last week’s drill and practice with our on-duty staff. Since the Station is staffed seven days a week, you are able to practice skills at times other than Drill Night. While you won’t have the advantage of working with a crew and building team skills, you will still be able to complete the skills and learn the material under the tutelage of a trained firefighter.
WPFD lives by the moto “We don’t Practice on the Public” – but we do work hard in Drill!