City Manager's Updates

Monthly updates from El Cerrito City Manager Karen Pinkos.

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Feb 11

Fire Dept. CERT 2013 Update

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM by Suzanne Iarla

In 2013, the Fire Department's Training Division enjoyed another productive and cooperative year in several program areas that included, continued efforts in compliance training, expanding the partnership with California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFFJAC) and the completion of performance evolution standards in personal safety, engine company operations, truck company operations and wildland operations. In addition, there were several classes conducted for firefighter safety, hazard awareness, emergency operations and emergency medical training for both Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and advanced medical training and certification for Paramedics.

Additionally, the Department continued the cooperative training agreement with all fire agencies in West Contra Costa County under the West Contra Costa County Training Consortium. El Cerrito personnel train at minimum on a quarterly basis with personnel from the Richmond Fire Department, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, Pinole Fire Department, Chevron Fire Department and Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District. In 2013, West Contra Costa County training was expanded to include Advanced Life Support training for ECFD paramedics.

We completed our eighth year working with the online training company, TargetSolutions, which assists in compliance training with the Injury, Illness & Prevention Program (IIPP), City of El Cerrito policy review, Contra Costa County Operational Area policy review and didactic training prior to field training. In 2013, members of the El Cerrito Fire Department completed a record 1,043 hours of online training that included annual hazardous materials refresher training, wildland refresher training, basic & advanced medical training, driver safety training, firefighter safety training and operational training.
At the conclusion of 2013, El Cerrito Fire Department personnel had completed almost 6,000 online training courses/activities. In 2013, they began to track department member’s credentials such as paramedic, emergency medical technician, CPR instructor & provider, advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), pediatric advanced life support (PALS) and assessment & treatment of trauma (ATT) certifications.

In 2013, the Department continued its agreement with the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFFJAC) which is a joint labor and management training program at the state level. Currently, we have six of our line personnel enrolled in the CFFJAC Program who will complete between 2,000 and 4,000 hours of training in order to earn journey level status in their perspective rank, in accordance with program guidelines. Based on program guidelines these training hours generate State apprenticeship funds which are then held and then used to pay for online training through TargetSolutions, annual maintenance of the Fireblast Fire Training Simulator, advanced life support training and other training materials.

In 2013, 150 performance evolutions were completed for personal safety, engine company operations, truck company operations and wildland operations. Training evolutions were conducted throughout the year. The Standards Committee which is comprised of labor and management personnel met in January 2013 to review current standards, approve the program for the year and recommend new training in wildland, truck operations, rapid intervention, search & rescue, technical rescue and firefighter safety as for 2014 and beyond.

Training was also conducted in the following areas this year:
  • Operational Training (Performance Evolutions & Quarterly Truck Training)
  • Multi-Company Training with Richmond, County, Chevron, Pinole & Rodeo-Hercules
  • Annual West County Multi-Causality Incident Training
  • Wildland Training for Annual Refresher, Standards and Trail Familiarization
  • Quarterly EMS Training for Basic and Advanced
  • Advanced Life Support Mandated Certification Training in cardiac and pediatrics
  • Quarterly Driver Safety and Operator Training
  • Quarterly Rescue Systems I (RS I) Training
  • Auto Extrication & Technical Rescue Training
  • Quarterly Safety Training, Facility Tours and Pre-Planning
  • NFPA 1404 Air Management Training
  • New hire and probationary firefighter training for three new firefighters

In addition to the 1,043 hours of online training, El Cerrito Firefighters recorded 12,510 hours of training in an array of training categories that included 690 hours of emergency medical training and 1,004 hours of physical fitness training which once again demonstrates their dedication and commitment to serving our communities.

As we look ahead to 2014, we will continue to build on previous years’ training in order to plan for another year of well-rounded, dynamic training that will include the following additions to increase firefighter safety and operational aptitude:
• Trauma certification training for paramedics
• Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC) training
• Large Area Search (LAS) training
• Gas and electrical safety training with P.G. & E.
• Joint operations training with Albany Fire Department
• Accountability training to increase firefighter safety
• Communications training for East Bay Regional Communications System (EBRCS)
• Train/BART familiarization and response training
• Advanced training with Chevron Fire Department
• Automatic Cardiac Compression Device (ACCD) training (grant awarded)
• Extensive truck training for new aerial (grant awarded)

Moreover, we look to expand our training partnerships with West Contra Costa County agencies including Chevron and East Bay Regional Parks District with classroom training, field training and advanced training which will include new hire training in Texas funded by Chevron. In 2014 we will open a new regional training facility in West Contra Costa County that will allow ECFD personnel to receive an array of training with a multitude of agencies. Lastly, one very big goal for 2014 will be for the Training Division to complete a written one year training plan which will allow us to better plan and facilitate training in 2014 and beyond.

Read more about the Fire Dept. accomplishments in 2013 at: