CFO Alex Sink's Consumer eViews Newsletter

                Volume 5  Number 39  September 26, 2008


State Fire Marshal


The Florida State Fire College, a division of the State Fire Marshal's office, sponsored and participated in the third annual Northwest Florida Volunteer Firefighter Weekend on September 19-14, 2008. The event was held for the first time at the Northwest Florida State College (formerly Okaloosa-Walton College). Nearly 200 students from Pensacola to the Keys took part in the educational experience.

Les Hallman, left, division director of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, spoke about safety and the importance of training.  “This is what it is all about, good training in a safe atmosphere. The State Fire Marshal and the Florida State Fire College are proud and pleased to be part of this annual event.”

Classes began on  Wednesday before the weekend with a first-time 40-hour class teaching Fire Service Course Delivery.  The participants will be able to teach other firefighters. On Friday evening, displays and demonstrations of the newest equipment used in the field of extrication permitted participants to try out the tools and equipment. 

On Saturday, participants learned firefighting techniques through practical and classroom training programs. The Search and Rescue program is shown using the confined space prop from the Florida State Fire College. From the Midway Fire Department in Gadsden County, Colene Frederick, below in the red t-shirt, is a new volunteer and student at Florida State University. As part of an Emergency Medical Technician program she got to do ride time with local fire departments. She said, “I fell in love with the fire service and now want to pursue it as a career. This weekend is helping me to become acclimated with fire service and it is reinforcing my career decision.”

The new burn building at the Northwest Florida State College saw smoke, fire and heat for the first time. The Farmmedic class, also taught by FSFC personnel was a big hit, teaching how to safely work with farm equipment and how to remove trapped victims in agricultural accidents. There were 27 classes and 187 students for almost 3,000 hours of training.

As the classes wound down on Sunday afternoon Valparaiso Volunteer Fire Department Chief Charlie Frank, who serves as president of the weekend committee, was already thinking ahead to next September. “I think next year, we should be able to draw over 300. In fact,” he said to the staff, “let’s make that our goal.”