The following is an explanation of some of the training that we receive in the fire service. 


Firefighters learn many skills that allow them to mitigate problems such as: structure fires, vehicle accidents, hazardous materials, and technical rescue operations.  A training course of approximately 160 hours includes such skills as: health and safety in the fire service, fire behavior and science, building construction, proper use of personal protective equipment, fire extinguishers and their use, ropes and knots, rescue and extrication, forcible entry, ground ladders, ventilation, water supply, fire hoses, fire streams, fire control, fire alarm and detection systems, loss control, protecting evidence, communications, fire prevention and public education, and hazardous materials.

This certification will require you to complete a training course at an accredited training school in the state.  We are fortunate to have such a school in Willimantic.  This course is usually offered every spring and fall and falls on every other weekend (Sat. and Sun. every other week).  

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

EMTs learn many skills that allow them to treat emergency and non-emergency medical problems outside of the hospital.  A training course of approximately 160 hours includes such skills as: EMT health and safety, medical and legal issues, basic anatomy and physiology, baseline vitals and history, lifting and moving patients, airway management, patient assessment, communications and documentation, basic pharmacology, treatment of medical emergencies (respiratory, cardiovascular, neurologic, abdominal, diabetic, allergic reactions, poisoning, substance abuse, environmental [hot and cold], behavioral, and OB-GYN), treatment of traumatic injuries (trauma kinematics and patient assessment, bleeding, shock, soft-tissue injuries, eye injuries, face and neck injuries, chest injuries, abdominal injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, head and spine injuries), pediatric and geriatric emergencies, ambulance operations, and assisting paramedics.

This certification will require you to complete a training course from a certified instructor in the state.  There are many programs available at all times during the year, and they fit all schedules.  Some programs are offered twice a week during the day, twice a week during the evening, weekends, or intensive programs that run 40 hours/week for 4 weeks.     

Fire Police

Fire police are a valuable part of the fire service, allowing sworn police officers to concentrate on other tasks at large incidents.  Fire police are responsible for many of the following: traffic control, scene security and safety, apparatus security, and crowd control.  In some states, fire police have some police powers, though this is not true in Connecticut.

This activity demands a less rigorous physical condition. You must complete a 12 hour course in traffic control and state DOT regulations.  Although there is much less training involved, fire police serve an important role by redirecting traffic around vehicle accidents or other scenes that require closure of a road.

Dive Team

If you are an accredited diver and have completed the firefighter and/or EMT training you may become a member of the departments aquatic rescue unit which participates as part of the Tolland County Dive Rescue Team.

Hazardous Materials

Although firefighters are often responsible for mitigation of hazardous materials situations, you do not have to be a firefighter to be a member of a HazMat team.  Anyone with a scientific background - especially in areas as chemistry, biology, meteorology (to name a few) - can provide valuable assistance to a HazMat team in terms of research, planning, or logistics.

No formal training is usually required to be in the research or logistics divisions of a HazMat team.