Walker County Emergency Services
Firefighter Training and Physical Fitness Requirements
The State of Georgia requires 24 hours of continuing education training annually for certified firefighters. However, WCES requires our firefighters, to complete a minimum of 264 hours of continuing education and physical training requirements each year. Each firefighter is required to exercise a minimum of one hour per shift. Our training is basic and advanced firefighting skills as well as specialized training. Some of the specialized training includes low and high angle rope rescue, firefighter survival/RIT, fire apparatus operator, advanced search and rescue, and advanced fire attack. In addition, WCES requires career firefighters to obtain a minimum of First Responder. All volunteer firefighters are required to obtain basic first aid and CPR/AED training. Every Monday night is dedicated to multi-company drills where several stations meet and train together on hose lay, fire attack, and other drills to help instill teamwork and cohesiveness between the stations.
Firefighters wishing to advance Apparatus Operator are required to participate in two 3-day training courses. During this training, new driver operators are taught pump theory, hydraulics, apparatus inspection and maintenance, aerial operations, fire hose nozzles and flow rates, and water shuttle operations. New driver operators are also required to log a minimum of 100 miles before completing their practical evaluations.
All firefighters seeking to advance to middle management positions of lieutenants and captains are required to attend an officer candidate school. At the officer school, the students are taught management principles, business communications, how to handle personnel issues, proper employee discipline based on company SOG’s (Standard Operating Guidelines), real case scenarios, basic fire ground tactics, and practical fire scenarios.
WCES training is ever evolving to meet the constantly changing demands of our society. Administration continuously re-evaluates the training to stay updated on current trends including homeland security, incident management systems, hazardous materials, mass casualty, and weapons of mass destruction.
WCES training facility is located at 107 Alex Drive in Chickamauga, GA. Our training facility boasts a new 4 story training tower which provides a burn room, ventilation props, confined space simulator, forcible entry prop, and movable wall panels to make mazes. In addition to the tower, we have a split frame wood structure to teach search and rescue and rapid intervention. Our facility is complete with a gym and classrooms equipped with smart board technology. With this training facility we are able to offer in house Firefighter certification and testing.