Do You Have What It Takes To Be One Of The Elite?
Several years ago the South Carolina Fire Academy offered a smoke diver course, but over the years it was phased out. A number of smoke diver related courses exist in the United States, with the most notable being hosted in Georgia.
The City of Charleston Fire Department conducted the 1st Annual South Carolina Firefighter Survival School in honor of the 5th anniversary of the Sofa Super Store Fire last year. The goal of the training is to provide scenario based training in a manner that is difficult and intense, physically and mentally. Physical training, along with various firefighter related skills, will be used to create opportunities to develop strong decision making, situational awareness, and firefighter survival. The amount of realistic and relevant training completed in one week may exceed what others accomplish in years of on the job training. The South Carolina Firefighter Survival School will take place over 5 days with the 5th day consisting of a 24 hour period ending on June 18th. Each day will include workouts with varying levels of PPE, classroom sessions, and practical skills. Candidates will participate in physical training, air consumption tests, disorientation drills, situational awareness drills, multiple bailouts, teamwork exercises, and training burns.
There are many misconceptions about these programs and some consider them a test of manhood or not relevant to firefighting. Our intent is to test candidates by putting them in situations that develop their decisiveness and performance. Also, we aim to instill discipline and attention to detail that will increase a firefighter’s quality of work in all aspects of the fire service. We do not anticipate everyone will finish the program, however, the candidates that do finish will have demonstrated the skills and abilities needed to persevere in times of mental and physical uncertainty.
Unfortunately, many firefighters believe that they will be able to rise to the occasion of physical and mental distress during an incident; however, the stress alone of a serious event will severely drain a firefighter’s physical and mental capacity to perform basic firefighting skills. Ask yourself, am I prepared for a serious event? Will I honor the lessons learned from our fallen brothers that perished in an event of this magnitude? Will I sit back and criticize others for mastering their skill set and HOPE that I can perform under pressure to ensure I, as well as my crew goes home, or, will I test my limits and learn new skills that will make me a firefighter that others are proud to serve with? True brotherhood is forged in lifelike training, not talking about what will be done in a situation. There is no room for talking in this program. This is for serious firefighters who wish to perfect their skill set in an unconventional method. If this sounds exciting to you then you are the perfect smoke diver candidate.
Class 06182007-03 will begin on Wednesday, June 13th and end on Monday, June 18th. All interested individuals must email FF Dru Wolfe by June 4th 5:00pm @ firstname.lastname@example.org and answer the following two questions as well as provide a list of current certifications:
1. Why do you feel you would make a good candidate for the program?
2. How do you feel this program will benefit your career and organization?
Notification of candidates will take place on June 5th along with further details explaining the program more, establishing expectations, fitness suggestions, etc.