Our firefighters are divided into 6 companies, or "teams" for station training and station duty purposes.
Each company includes a Lieutenant, who is responsible for the training, equipping, and activity of all firefighters in his/her company.
Each company also includes a Driver Operator, who is a firefighter trained on driving and operating all apparatus in the station.This person is typically also the one who will "step up" and take command of the company in the Lieutenant's absence. As well as a Lieutenant and a Driver Operator each company is assigned a mix of firefighters, ranging from probationary to senior.
Our companies typically range from 5 to 8 personnel (including the Lieutenant and Driver Operator). The only considerations that go into a company assignment is that we traditionally try to keep the probationary firefighters on a company that has a State of Wisconsin Fire Instructor as a Lieutenant (we presently have 5 State of Wisconsin Fire Instructors serving as officers), and when the firefighter is available for training, as we train both in the evenings and in the mornings.
The companies rotate truck assignments every two months so that in the course of a year each company will have been assigned to, and trained on nearly all apparatus in the station.
Each firefighter that comes to the Amherst Fire District must complete the State of Wisconsin "Entry Level Firefighter" Program. During the program (and for the first year) the firefighter is considered a "probationary firefighter". Once the Entry Firefighter program has been completed a firefighter is then encouraged to continue their education.
We, as a department, are very proud of our level of training that we have acquired and maintain.
We presently have 5 State of Wisconsin Fire Instructors, _ firefighters that have completed the "Entry Fire Officer" program (including all officers), 8 firefighters that have completed the State of Wisconsin "Certified Driver Operator" program, _ firefighters that have completed the "Certified Firefighter II" Program, and _ "Certified Firefighter I". The remainder of the department is at least trained to the "Entry Firefighter" level, and being encouraged to upgrade their training whenever possible.
All firefighter members are also trained in the Incident Command System, Vehicle Extrication, Ice/Cold Water Rescue, and CPR as a minimum level of EMS training. We also have firefighters trained to various levels in the areas of Fire Investigation, Fire Inspection, Fire Prevention, Hazardous Materials Response, Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, and Heavy Vehicle Rescue.
EMS Our EMS Department (formerly known as "Amherst Area First Responders", now known as "Amherst EMS"), like our fire division, is also very active in training.
As one of two EMT/First Responder services practicing to the EMT level of care in Portage County (that began as First Responder Services) we have set down for our selves stringent training and refreshing requirements. As well as state required training our EMTs and First Responders train in house and thru Internet based training systems.
At this time we have 3 CPR/Defib Instructors on staff that do the in house EMS training for the entire department. When an individual first joins the EMS department they must first complete either the State of Wisconsin "First Responder" or "Emergency Medical Technician" course.
Once the person has completed one of the two classes they are allowed to run with the service as a "third", or trainee, with two other experienced EMTs. When the individual has completed enough runs and the experienced EMTs are satisfied with their performance in the field and in training the person becomes a "second", an actual "street qualified" EMS responder. Note: If the person only trained to the "First Responder" level, they can only ever be a "second", running with an EMT as "lead". Once the person upgrades by completing a State of Wisconsin EMT course and have met our requirements for in house training and experience, they can become a "lead".
The Amherst Fire and EMS District remains very committed to training. As well as our normal "Station Training" and state required training members are encouraged to attend outside training whenever possible.
We routinely send firefighters, EMS personnel, and officers to places like Madison, WI, Tomahawk, WI, Fort Atkinson, WI, Indianapolis, IN, and Emmitsburg, MD for training.
If you are interested in joining or "watching us train", our training schedule is:
1st Monday of the Month 6:30pm
1st Wednesday of the Month 6:30pm
Additional Fire Training
2nd Monday of the Month 7:00 pm
2nd Tuesday of the Month 9:00 am
3rd Wednesday of the Month 6:30pm
Additional Fire Training
4th Monday of the Month 7:00 pm
4th Tuesday of the Month 9:00 am
Fire Training "Floating"-EMS "Make-up" or Additional Training Various Saturdays
Additional Fire Training
At present our "additional fire training" has been on Ropes, Rigging, and Rope Rescue.
In the past it has included driver operator pumping, state certification test preparation, and subjects based on firefighters requests.