Six individuals begin an accelerated recruit academy with the City of Madison Fire Department on Monday, July 6. The abbreviated academy covers the essentials required to function on a daily basis. Following the four-week program, recruits will be assigned to a crew at one of our thirteen fire stations where they will continue with an “on the job” training curriculum.
As soon as they leave the academy, a remaining group of twelve individuals will begin their training. This group will have fourteen weeks of fire-related training, five weeks of emergency medical training, and two weeks of Hazardous Materials training.
All recruits from both academy programs will unite to celebrate their accomplishment during a graduation ceremony in November. At that time, the MFD will have eighteen new firefighters.
The accelerated academy concept is not new to the City of Madison-- the city provided recruit training in a similar fashion in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Driven by an aging workforce and retirement incentives from the state pension system, the department turned over about 50 firefighters in about an 18-month period.
Although we do not have the same retirement incentives in place today, we do have budget issues that will be offset by accelerating individuals who currently possess required certifications.
While it’s not a new concept, it is newer to the current generation of firefighters in our organization. We’ll evaluate the effectiveness of providing this type of training. I suspect we will see success and turn it into a more permanent training model.
Finding innovative solutions to old problems is really what the Madison Fire Department excels at.
Steven A. Davis, Fire Chief