Fire Dept. offers firefighter training

  • The Orange fire station on Water Street. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/10/2018 1:00:42 AM

ORANGE – The Orange Fire Department is partnering with Adapt and Overcome Training from Maryland to provide fire service training and bring a two-day leadership and tactical fire training session to Franklin County. 

“You can’t operate in fire services these days without continuously training,” said James Hopkins, Orange firefighter and training conductor. 

But due to lack of local funding and few training conferences available in New England, Hopkins said local firefighters rarely have the opportunity to participate in necessary training. 

“It is vital information that we are learning at these conferences that these guys don’t normally have the opportunity to see because nothing like this is available,” he said.

The department brought Adapt and Overcome Training to Orange for the first time in March for various hands-on training sessions. 

“There was a tremendous amount of positive feedback… the training was only open to 30 people and those 30 people were incredibly impressed,” said Hopkins.

Looking ahead, Hopkins said both the department and the company wanted to continue their partnership. After discussing the option of offering another local training session, Hopkins said they both worked together to make the conference affordable for those interested in learning. 

The conference will be held at the Ralph C. Mahar Regional High School Saturday, Feb. 2, and Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. Firefighters have the opportunity to receive a full weekend of affordable training that will be divided into four classes: residential building fires, front door decision making, silver back scene size-up and residential primary search. All classes are four hours. 

“There are not many opportunities for officer development and team building, but these guys have it and they are willing to bring it up here,” said Hopkins.

The early bird special for the event runs now until October 31 and is $100 per student, which includes the four classes and lunch both days. After the early bird deadline the price goes up to $125 per student. Those looking to attend the event for one day can pay $75 and for attending an individual class $45. 

All proceeds collected after the initial cost of the conference to Adapt and Overcome Training will be contributed back to Franklin Country Fire Departments for future training.

“Orange Fire Department is putting this together, but we just want people to realize this money that is generated is going back into Franklin County – that is the biggest thing,” said Hopkins.

The department aims to host a minimum of 100 people at the conference and if all goes well, make the event an annual one. 

So far Hopkins said the department has seen positive feedback from other local fire chiefs in the area regarding the event.

The conference is open to any firefighter in the Commonwealth.

“There is a saying that you are only as good as your weakest link. We want to provide the best and most essential training to every firefighter, not just in Franklin County, but the Commonwealth,” said Hopkins. “We all work closely together. You have to rely on mutual aid and if we are all training together on the same stuff, then when we show up on scene it is going to be flawless.”


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