Maple Grove Firefighters Complete Initial Fire Training
June 12, 2015 Maple Grove, Minnesota… Meeting two and sometimes three times a week over the past five months is a major commitment of time and energy. This year’s new Maple Grove firefighters recently completed their initial firefighter and hazardous materials response training.
Maple Grove provides training to new firefighters through a shared effort with several of our neighboring communities. Many of our new firefighters work daytime jobs, but are available to attend training in the evening with the West Suburban Fire Academy hosted by Maple Grove, Plymouth, Golden Valley, and the West Metro Fire Rescue District. Maple Grove also hosts a daytime fire academy to provide training to new firefighters that work afternoon or evening jobs.
New firefighters participate in classroom and hands-on activities that meet nationally recognized firefighter standards. These firefighters validate their academy learning by completing firefighter certification testing administered by the Minnesota Fire Service Certification Board. New firefighters earn certification as Minnesota Firefighter I, Firefighter II, and Hazardous Materials Operations level responders.
Most communities in Minnesota depend on dedicated citizens that live nearby to respond as volunteers or part-time firefighters. Maple Grove has a long tradition of staffing its fire department with a well-trained and professional group of people from the community. The majority of Maple Grove’s approximately 100 firefighters have full-time jobs and serve their community as part-time firefighters providing fire and emergency response when needed. Deputy Fire Chief Tim Bush states, “We seek people interested in serving as firefighters that live within Maple Grove or very close to one of our fire stations. People don’t need experience or previous training in order to join the fire department, because we provide them with the firefighter and emergency medical training they need.”
It takes people, equipment and training to provide emergency response to the community. It can be expensive, so working with neighboring fire departments helps keep down operational costs. A shared effort like the West Metro Fire Academy allows several departments to share the time and expense of training new fire recruits. It also has the added benefit of allowing students a chance to work with the people, tools, and fire vehicles they will use when they complete their initial training. Deputy Chief Bush notes, “We have very talented and high energy instructors that work with new firefighters. We are extremely lucky to have people that are true subject matter experts in the topics they teach and they share their knowledge and experience with the students. At the same time it allows us to reduce training costs for each of the departments involved with the fire academy.”
In 2015, recruits from Maple Grove attended training with new firefighters from seven other departments in Anoka and Hennepin Counties. Recruits attended either morning or evening classes, depending on their available time. The majority of Maple Grove firefighters have family commitments and full-time jobs outside of their fire department activities. According to Fire Chief Scott Anderson, “we need to be able to provide training that fits into the schedules of their lives. We especially need people who can respond during the daytime.”
Maple Grove is currently searching for the next group of new Maple Grove Firefighters. Applications are being accepted through Friday, August 7, 2015. Information can be found at www.MGFire.info
2015 Maple Grove Recruit Training Class
Front row, left to right: Mark Getty and Steven Anderson
Back row left to right: Allan Oyaas, Kris Stewart, Jesse Navin, Steven James, and Scott Kielty