What does our training look like?
Regular training nights
The fire department holds weekly training sessions. Since our members' jobs have a range of shifts and schedules, the training schedule is designed so that everyone can keep up with training requirements by attending at least two training sessions each month.
Weeky training sessions are usually hands-on, and may involve drills aimed at developing specific skills, or scenarios where competency can be developed in a realistic setting. These evenings are also a time for equipment maintenance, to ensure that we are always in a state of readiness for emergency response.
Weekend training sessions
Firefighter development includes many specialized courses. Each of these typically take from 16 to 40 hours to complete, and so we have found that weekends are the best time to hold such courses.
- SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus), one of the first requirements for trainees
- Vehicle extrication, including a basic course for new recruits, and more advanced courses involving heavy trucks, buses, hybrid vehicles, aircraft and more.
- Surface Ice Rescue
- Vehicle Firefighting
- Live Fire Training
- Low-Angle Rescue
- Confined Space Rescue
- Firefighter Survival and Rapid Intervention
- Hazardous Materials response
- First Responder (Advanced First Aid)
We currently subscribe to Action Training Online, which provides a range of video-based lessons that supplement our in-house training. New members are provided with a program of courses to work through on their own time.
Meadow Lake Fire Department also develops training modules with "local content" for specific purposes, such as radio use, accountability systems, safe driving, and more.
Textbook and self-study courses
New recruits are presented with their own copy of the Essentials of Firefighting, the basic manual for professional firefighters. This, along with the online training and in-house sessions give trainees everything they need to develop into fully qualified, competent firefighters.
Other courses are made available, which may include a mix of self-study and in-house sessions. These include the Fire and Emergency Services Instructor course, Company Officer, Fire Inspector and Public Educator to name a few.
Whenever possible, firefighters may attend training hosted elsewhere. These include the Saskatchewan Volunteer Firefighters Association's annual Fire School weekends, Big Rig heavy truck extrication seminars, and advanced inspection and investigation courses offered through the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs and the Saskatchewan Public safety Agency.
See below for our standard training outline.
The "Wall of Fame", with some of the many certificates earned by our members