Ohio firefighters get state-of-the-art training

The Blue Card Command Certification Program teaches Incident Commanders and fire officers how to standardize incident operations

By Dan Wells

CINCINNATI — At times a fire scene can seem like controlled chaos, from putting the fire out to directing dozens of emergency responders.

Now there's a new tool to keep firefighters even more focused.

The Blue Card Command Certification Program teaches Incident Commanders and other fire officers how to standardize incident operations across their department, providing:

  • Safer, more effective hazard zone procedures
  • System-wide accountability among all personnel and response agencies
  • A reduction in the number of firefighter injuries and deaths
  • Simulation-based training to complement on-the-job learning.

It's the first interactive fire training facility in the region.

"We spent years and years in the fire service, training fire fighters how to fight fires, we haven't spent a whole lot of time training fire officers how to manage the hazard zone," said Fire Chief Otto J. Huber, from the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department.

"In mind my mind this is the future for how hazard zone management and getting people to make decisions," said Josh Blum, from the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department.

The command training center is divided into several sections to replicate an incident as realistically as possible, from dispatch to the fire fight.

"With a lot of the firefighters getting hurt we need to ensure that we have set up a good management team on the exterior of the fire to ensure that they are safe," said Chief Huber.

This training provides interactive simulations of small to large-scale incidents through computer programs and three-dimensional models.

"We're using the program to build a systematic way to how we do size up and how we do risk management," said Blum.

The exercises take firefighters and command officers through simulated incidents to teach them to make better decisions on the fire ground — decisions that could potentially save your life.

"The whole management portion of the whole program...leads to the direction of how the fire whole fire ground is going to go the person that is making those decisions outside is making decisions about other people's lives," said Blum.

"We can't get all of those fire fighters on the same sheet of music without taking them through that training," said Chief Huber.

Again, six communities and eleven fire stations are doing this and the training has been recognized as a model for fire services across the nation.

Republished with permission from FOX19.

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