A REPORT TO THE FIRE SERVICE ON DEVELOPMENTS IN OUTREACH
Dr. Henry W. Munroe, Chairman
NH Fire Standards & Training Commission
Back at the start of this decade when I asked many of you to journey to Concord to support our inclusion in the Department of Safety and by extension the building of a fire academy, I promised you that field programs (satellites) would not be neglected. I am pleased to report on advances in that area.
The central facility is much like the university. It has the core facilities to develop the resources utilized at the extension centers. We have pretty well completed the work on the revision of the curriculum with attendant physical facilities, and now is the time to address the needs of those in the field. To that end, we have re-organized the district system wherein coordinators are responsible for supervising and administrating programs which are mandated by the Commission and developed at the Academy.
The new curriculum is a prime example; we not only have adopted the total IFSTA training system, we have made complete packages (at great expense) available to each district. Successful training also necessitates specialized equipment. Let me inform you that we now have on hand a 100-foot ladder, a new pumper, and a rescue which will be available for use at field sites. We have taken delivery of a Draeger mask trailer which includes infrared capabilities, and have ordered and will soon take delivery of a burn trailer wherein a number of rooms will be such that they can be ignited on site. This is of course necessitated by the stringent changes by the NFPA. We looked very closely at purchasing a field flashover unit. But the Director, after talking to people in other states, found that such a unit does not bear up well under travel. Therefore, a new flashover unit will be built at the Academy site.
These are exciting times, and the transfer to the Department of Safety wherein the Commissioner of Safety promised us adequate funding is coming to fruition. It seems difficult to imagine that at the start of the 90’s we had a budget of less than $200,000 of which probably only $25,000 could be used in the field. Today our budget exceeds $1 million; at last we have been able to offer courses at low cost; and we are still paying the bonds on the Academy.
The future is bright primarily because the fire service made their wishes known to the politicians in Concord in a professional, forceful manner.