City Manager's Updates

Monthly updates from El Cerrito City Manager Karen Pinkos.

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Feb 24

Fire Department Training 2015

Posted on February 24, 2016 at 9:20 AM by Suzanne Iarla

In 2015, the Fire Training Division enjoyed another vigorous year of training programs delivered to ECFD personnel in the areas of performance evolution, standards in personal safety, engine company operations, truck company operations, rescue operations, technical rescue operations and wildland operations.  In addition, there were several classes conducted for firefighter safety, hazard awareness, fire prevention/target hazards, emergency operations and emergency medical training for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and advanced medical training and certification for Paramedics.  The Department also enjoyed a very cooperative year in several program areas that included continued efforts in compliance training, expanding the Department’s partnership with the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFFJAC) and a continued cooperative training agreement with all fire agencies in West Contra Costa County including  the Richmond and Pinole Fire Departments, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, Chevron Fire Department and Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District. 

In 2015, the Department completed its tenth year of working with online training company TargetSolutions to complete compliance training with 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 2015, Department personnel completed 1,075 hours of online training in 962 trainings 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 2015, Fire Department personnel completed over 8,000 online training courses/activities. 

In 2015, the Department also continued its agreement with the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFFJAC) – a joint labor and management training program at the state-level.  Currently, nine line personnel are enrolled in the CFFJAC Program and will complete between 2,000 – 4,000 hours of training in order to earn journey level status in their perspective rank in accordance with program guidelines. These training hours generate State apprenticeship funds which are 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 2015, 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, comprised of labor and management personnel, met in December to review current standards, review and approve 2015 data and recommended new training in wildland, truck operations, rapid intervention, search & rescue, technical rescue and firefighter safety in 2016 and beyond. In 2015 training was also conducted in the following areas:

  • Operational Training  (Performance Evolutions & Quarterly Truck Training)
  • Multi-Company Training with Richmond, County, Chevron, Pinole & Rodeo-Hercules
  • Wildland Training for Annual Refresher, Standards and Trail Familiarization
  • Quarterly Training for Basic and Advanced EMS
  • Advanced Life Support Mandated Certification Training in Cardiac and Pediatrics
  • Quarterly Driver Safety and Operator Training
  • Quarterly Rescue Systems I (RS I) Training
  • Technical Rescue Training for High Point Anchoring, Trench Rescue & Shoring
  • Quarterly Safety Training, Facility Tours and Pre-Planning
  • NFPA 1404 Air Management Training
  • BART Training for Trains, Stations and Response
  • Joint Training with Berkeley Fire for New Auto-Aid Agreement 
  • PG & E Gas and Electrical Training
  • New Hire and Probationary Firefighter Training for Two New Firefighters


In addition to the 1,075 hours of online training, El Cerrito Firefighters recorded 13,652 hours of training in an array of training categories that included 948 hours of emergency medical training and 1,404 hours of physical fitness training which once again demonstrates their dedication and commitment to serving the community. As the Department heads into 2016, it 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:

  • Continued Certification Training for Paramedics and EMT’s
  • Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC) Training
  • Large Area Search (LAS) Training
  • Joint Operations Training with Albany Fire Department and Berkeley Fire Department
  • Accountability Training to Increase Firefighter Safety
  • Continued Communications Training for East Bay Regional Communications System
  • Technical Rescue Training for Trench Rescue, Structural Collapse and High/Low Rope
  • Vehicle Type Training, Extrication and Stabilization Training 
  • Continued Truck Training for New Aerial (Grant Awarded)

The Department  will also continue to look for opportunities to expand training partnerships with surrounding agencies in West Contra Costa County, including Albany Fire, Berkeley Fire and the East Bay Regional Parks District, particularly classroom training, field training and advanced training which will include new hire training in Texas funded by Chevron. Lastly, the Department will develop a written one year training plan, technical rescue plan and a fire master calendar which will allow it to better plan and facilitate training in the future.