Training is one of the single most important functions of the modern Fire Department. Over the years the Fire Service has become more mentally challenging and the demand for knowledge by firefighters has steadily increased. The Fire Service was once an organization that responded to only structure fires and through the years has now evolved into a public service which includes Emergency Medicine, Hazardous Materials Incidents, Technical Rescues and numerous fire situations that may involve structures, Wildland Urban Interface, flammable liquids or liquid petroleum gas.
Members of the Silver City Fire Department are all IFSAC (International Fire Service Accreditation Congress) Fire Fighter 1 certified within the first year of hire and it is the goal of the Department to have all members IFSAC Fire Fighter 2 certified. Currently about 75% of the Department is Firefighter 2 certified. On the Firefighter side of the job, each person is required to log 350 hours of training annually in both classroom time and field training. Classroom training occurs either at the stations, or at the Town of Silver City Annex Building. Hands on training occur mainly at the training facility located at Station 2. Two of the main props used are the multi-story tower as well as the live burn building. Here firefighters can practice the most basic skills such as ?catching? a hydrant to the most technical training such as rope rescue and training in the burn building using live fire evolutions. Silver City Fire Department also utilizes the New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy in Socorro, NM as much as possible. There firefighters spend anywhere from 1-2 weeks at a time training more intensely in a specific area such as Liquid Petroleum Gas, Flammable Liquid Fire, Rope Rescue, Vehicle Extrication, Fire Origin and Cause and Officer Development.
All members are also licensed Emergency Medical Technicians at the Basic (or higher) level when hired and obtain the Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate License during the first year as well. These licenses are recognized by the State of New Mexico. To maintain their Emergency Medical Technician licenses, personnel must participate in anywhere from 24-30 hours of Continuing Education which are all offered in house and attend an appropriate refresher course on a Bi-Annual Basis. The Silver City Fire Department has a partnership with Gila Regional Medical Center in order to provide the best available training for both organizations.
The Town of Silver City is surrounded on all sides by Volunteer Fire Departments of Grant County. Because of this, the Silver City Fire Department works hand in hand with numerous Volunteer Firefighters on many EMS alarms as well as Wildland fires and structural fires as needed. In order to work as safely and efficiently as possible there are training opportunities that arise in which members from both the Silver City Fire Department and the Volunteer Fire Departments can train together.
The Silver City Fire Department enters each year with new goals for training and strives to provide the best training possible for our personnel. Training is done in order to put firefighters in true to life situations and put their firefighting skills to the test in a controlled setting where safety is of utmost importance. It is also done to maintain vital skills of the tools we carry as well as learning how to use new tools and concepts as they become available. The more training that we can participate in will in turn increase the efficiency and effectiveness of how our firefighters operate on an emergency scene.