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Chattanooga Fire Academy

The Chattanooga Fire Academy consists of 26 weeks of intensive training.  If you are interested in a career with the Chattanooga Fire Department, you can contact City Personnel at (423) 757-5200, or you can visit Personnel's website.

The Fire Academy consists of 26 weeks of intensive training. In the first week, cadets are certified in Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for Health Care Providers through the American Heart Association and Safety and Infection control procedures. The cadets then start an eight week National Emergency Medical Technician Intravenous (EMT-IV) course. Each cadet must at the closure of this class pass a practical exam administered by the state and a written National Registry Exam.

In Week 10, the cadets start firefighter safety and orientation, consisting of defining risk management, leading causes of death and injury in the fire service, safety triad etc.  Fire Behavior consists of chemistry and physics of fire, vapor pressure , vapor density characteristics of fire, fuel types, laws of heat transfer, thermal layering etc.  Building Construction defines the relationships between loads, imposition of loads and forces, defines structural elements, identifies the effects of fire on common building materials, general types of building construction, hazards associated with alternative building construction types, collapse hazards associated with fire suppression operations.  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consists of defining the role of PPE for firefighters, national standards and regulations, inspection of PPE, donning PPE, including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), in less than two minutes.  In Week 11, the cadets continue to train on PPE.  Portable Fire Extinguisher training consists of knowing the five classes of fire and risks for each class, rating system, limitations, types of fire extinguishers for each class of fire, operation in flash pans at our natural gas simulator located at Moccasin Bend.

Week 12 training starts on Ropes and Knots, consisting of identifying different materials that fire service rope is constructed of, differences in life safety rope and utility rope, basic terminology, basic knots used in the fire service, inspection and maintenance and storage of ropes, rigging basic methods. Fire Rescue consists of recognizing hazards associated with various rescue operations, primary and secondary searches, victim drag and carries, terminology, proper and safe operation of extrication tools and equipment.  Week 13 continues Fire Rescue and begins training on Forcible Entry, which consists of identifying forcible entry tools by name, inspection and maintenance for tools, building features and methods of forcible entry for doors, windows, gates, walls and floors, identify types of locks and describe their operation.  Week 14 introduces cades to Ground Ladders, consisting of learning all parts of ladders, the functions of all ladders, mounted ladders, care of ladders, maintenance, cleaning, and inspection of ladders, types of ladders, ladder raising techniques, skills associated with ladders, such as leg locks, raising, rope handling, mounting and dismounting, ladder carries and ladder placement.  We then start Ventilation Techniques, principles, advantages, and effects of ventilation, origins and effects of heat, smoke, and toxic gases, types of ventilation, mechanics of ventilation, effects of air movement in ventilation and hands on training. 

Water Supply in introduced in Week 15, consisting of identifying sources of water supply, water distribution systems, mobile water systems, fire hydrants inspection and use, static, residual and flow pressures of water sources.  In Week 16 cadets must learn what a fire stream is and what its purpose is.  They must identify the various types of fire streams, along with nozzles, and they will learn how to operate each nozzle and its characteristics.  They will explain reach and applications of various sizes of fire streams, nozzle pressures and friction loss, nozzle reaction, foam principles and applications.  The cadets will be introduced to Passport Accountability, the first step in fire ground safety.  Cadets are trained on the proper process of placing accountability tags in proper locations to allow the Incident Commander to track and account for each person on the fire scene.  The Fire Control module consists of learning the dangers associated with structure fires, automobile fires, flammable liquid fires, fire attack methods, plans of actions, offensive and defensive modes of fire attack and overhaul procedures.  With Incident Command, cadets are taught command and control, transfer of command, major functions of incident management system, command, operations, staging, planning, logistics, command staff positions, safety officer, liaison officer, public information director and unified command.  

Week 17 features hands-on training drills as they learn about Fire Control.  Fire alarm detection system training consists of understanding the value of protective systems in protecting life and property, the operation of various types of detection devices, recognizing the types of sprinkler heads and how they operate, sprinkler system components, piping arrangements of sprinkler systems and connections, how to connect to fire department connections and how to return a charged system back to operation.  Loss Control consists of learning how to throw covers to protect property, move water out of buildings with shuts to minimize damage and controlling water flow by various methods.  Week 18 features Fire Cause Determination, in which cadets learn the importance of evidence preservation, learn how to determine the area of origin of fire, learn how to secure a building after emergency operations are complete.  In Fire Prevention and Public Education, the cadets learn the function of the Fire Prevention Bureau, understand the purpose and value of a quality fire prevention inspection program, learn typical violations found in business occupancies and initiate the appropriate corrective actions, learn the necessity of pre-incident management for emergencies at target hazards. Instruction is also provided related to Weapons Of Mass Destruction for the first responder, training on secondary devices, chemical and biological devices, time distance and shielding, incident actions to be taken during a terrorist attack and potential target locations.  The cadets receive Hazardous Materials training to the Operations Level, which includes two weeks of product identification, container types for chemicals, transportation and storage, plugging, patching holes in containers, overpack procedures, specialized protective equipment, etc. 

In Week 21, the cadets are trained to use air monitoring devices (e.g. TMX412) to measure for Carbon Monoxide, flammable gases and oxygen levels. In Week 21 and Week 22 the cadets are introduced to Vehicle Extrication operations.  The cadets are certified by the Tennessee Association Rescue Service (TARS), and thee learn techniques for safely removing victims from vehicles using hydraulic equipment and other tools to move metal with the latest techniques.  A Domestic Violence module in Week 23 teaches cadets how to respond to incidents, how to recognize victims, how to recognize aggressors and understanding the volatility of the situation.  In a module about Mark 1 antidote kits, the cadets learn to identify signs and symptoms from exposure to nerve agents.  The cadets learn how to administer the antidote kit and the window of opportunity to reverse exposure to nerve agents.  In the module for Rapid Intervention Teams and the Bailout System, cadets learn how to escape from a building when the only way out is through a window in a multiple story building using the RIT system.   The cadets also begin skills practice for state practical Firefighter 1.

In Week 24, the cadets are introduced to Firefighter Safety and Survival.  Here the cadets learn to change out SCBA bottles in a hot, smoky environment, and learn escape techniques from entanglement.  The will also receive instruction on rescue carries, search techniques, wall breaches, etc. 

Week 24 and Week 25 features a Skills module, including preparing a structure for a live burn training exercise, conducted in accordance to NFPA 1403 and air pollution standards.  In the live burn training, the cadets practice all skills covered in the academy, from search and rescue to fire control, cadets burn the structure and practice offensive and defensive modes of attack.

Wrapping up the academy in Week 26, the cadets learn the department procedures for outlook computer training, and in the time they have left, practice for their graduation ceremony.

Other important information:

The Cadets have physical training five days a week, and they have dress-out drills Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.

Course Summary:

Week 1 - CPR certification; safety and infection control; CISM training; EMT-IV Training

Weeks 2-7 - EMT-IV

Week 8-9 - Clinical

Week 10 - Firefighter Safety and Orientation; fire behavior; building construction; personal protective equipment

Week 11 - Personal Protective Equipment; portable fire extinguishers

Week 12 - Ropes and knots; fire service rescue

Week 13 - Fire service rescue; forcible entry

Week 14 - Ground ladders; ventilation

Week 15 - Water Supply; fire hose

Week 16 - Fire Streams; passport accountability; fire control; Incident command

Week 17 - Fire control; fire alarms; fire suppression; loss control

Week 18 - Fire control; fire cause and determination; fire prevention and public education; Haz-mat

Week 19-20 - Haz-Mat

Week 21 - Haz-Mat; TMX412 training; Vehicle Extrication Training

Week 22 - Vehicle extrication

Week 23 - Domestic Violence; Mark 1 Kits; RIT bailout system; Skills practice for state practical Firefighter 1

Week 24 - Firefighter Safety and survival; Skills house prep and burn

Week 25 - Skills house prep and burn

Week 26 - Outlook training; graduation preparation; pension sign up; Graduation

For information on how you can become a Chattanooga firefighter, contact the city's Personnel Department at (423) 757-5200, or you can contact them by e-mail at personnel@mail.chattanooga.gov.

2006 Statistical Data

Due to increased medical calls, the training division has elevated itself to the status of a Tennessee State sanctioned Emergency Medical Technician training division. This allows our medical instructors to train personnel inside the parameters of the Chattanooga Fire Department.  It also assures that the latest and very best training will be afforded our personnel as well as the community at large.

Under this program, all new recruits must pass the EMT National Registry exam in order to maintain their employment with the fire department. This equates to a higher than average medical response ability, which greatly increases patient survivability in life threatening medical events.

The division is an authorized American Heart Association (AHA) training facility. As an AHA training site, all disciplines of the AHA curriculum can be taught including the AHA pediatric curriculum.

More information can be found at http://health.state.tn.us/ems/.

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Fire Administration
910 Wisdom Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37406
(423) 643-5600
(423) 643-5610 (fax)

Fire Prevention Bureau
910 Wisdom Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37406
(423) 643-5618
(423) 643-5611 (fax)

Fire Department Feature Video

TheSoundOfSilence 

Fire Department Calendar

2018 CFD Shift Calendar

Photo by Mike Williams