Late February in Michigan drew a diverse crowd to Fort Custer Training Center, as a collection of 25+ students gathered to get their Firefighter Type 2 certification. Two days of classroom instruction supplemented with outdoor activities made for a robust and dynamic learning environment.
While a good amount of time was spent indoors, learning new and reviewing old material, the meat of the course occurred during the on-the-ground demonstrations. Instructors divided the class into different groups, each tasked with learning about a different aspect of firefighting.
Though there was a lot of new information to juggle, the organizers of the course did an excellent job of ensuring students were always saturated with new information and experiences, but never overwhelmed. Day 1 involved much more preliminary hands-on work (learning how to lay and work a hose, use and handling of tools), which made the more active work of day 2 much more navigable. After learning more of the practical information, students were immediately exposed to situations where they had to apply that information on the fly. From emergency communications scenarios, to constructing a full scratch line, to practicing deploying fire shelters, just about every possible facet of firefighting was covered. The instructors were extremely open to questions and overall the activities went off without a hitch, all while equipping the students with invaluable practical skills to be used when on the fire line.
The fact that there were no boring of confusing moments speaks to the quality and dedication of the instructors at this S130/S190 training. Having participated in the course myself, I can say that doing this training gave me skills and confidence I simply couldn't have gotten from the online classes. I only hope that this course continues to provide students in the area with the opportunity to acquire their Firefighter Type 2 Certification with the greatest degree of confidence in their own abilities.