As partners in the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium, it is our pleasure to share the attached annual report, which recognizes the second anniversary of the Consortium. The progress that this model for shared services has made and continues to make is substantial, and it has helped fill a void in training and safety that arose during a time of economic hardship.
As Consortium partners, it is our strong belief that our success thus far is a function of our shared vision to provide the highest caliber of training possible for our firefighters while simultaneously cultivating cohesive inter-department operability. With these fundamental values, we have together built a regional training and safety division that is enhancing both efficiency and operational safety, while concurrently elevating the level of service that is delivered to our communities.
It is our hope that you find this review of the Consortium’s activities informational and encouraging of other possibilities for shared ventures in the years to come. As the leadership of the partner agencies, we are proud to support the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium, and hope you will join with us in celebrating its success.
Signed: Nathan Trauernicht, Fire Chief City of Davis and UC Davis; Rick Martinez, Fire Chief, West Sacramento, Dan Bellini, Public Safety Chief, City of Woodland, and Dana Carey, OES Coordinator, Yolo County.
Now entering its third year of operation, the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium (WVRFTC) continues to grow in the creation of opportunities for local first responders as well as establishing itself as a destination for firefighters from around the state to receive the very best training and education the fire service has to offer.
At the core of the Consortium is our partnership with our allied agencies. UC Davis, West Sacramento, Woodland, City of Davis Fire Departments, and Yolo County OES continue, through the success of the WVRFTC, to strengthen their relationships between agencies and ensure that responders in our greater automatic aid community are ready for any situation they may face when the call for help comes in.
As the new chief officer responsible for the strategic direction and daily operations of the Consortium, I am thrilled with the many great things we have collectively accomplished over the last year. My vision is to see this model of regional partnership continue to develop and flourish with two primary goals: 1) Improve the level of service and performance to our communities 2) Keep firefighters safe.
I have deep gratitude to all of those personnel who work selflessly to make the WVRFTC the success that it has become and to the Chiefs of the allied departments whose unwavering support of this venture has allowed us to do things that once were unimaginable in this region.
I hope you enjoy our second annual report and look forward to where tomorrow takes us!
Mike Taylor, Deputy Chief: Training & Safety City of Davis & UC Davis Fire Departments West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium
About the Consortium
The WVRFTC was founded in October 2012 as a means to supplement regional training divisions in difficult financial times, and to ensure that agencies could continue to receive high-quality training based on the principle of common standards.
In addition to developing, delivering, and coordinating training activities for all of the partner departments, the Consortium plans, and through collaboration with local battalion chiefs, executes move and cover assignments that keep communities protected while fire companies participate in critical training.
The Consortium Committee, made up of personnel from the allied agencies, accomplished all the goals that were established and shared as part of the ‘12-’13 annual report. Through the committee style of consortium oversight, the WVRFTC is able to represent and address the needs of our diverse stakeholder group and bring to the forefront the broad knowledge, background, and professional networks that belong to its members and keep the Consortium’s training as relevant/current as possible.
MONTHLY TRAINING CURRICULUM
The WVRFTC pushes out modules of training in six-week blocks. Time management can be difficult with the dynamic nature of the fire service and the six week block gives Captains and Battalion Chiefs flexibility for scheduling training. Prior to implementing this concept, it was common to hear that training requirements were not attainable. The Consortium is providing and completing more training at an attainable rate using blocks designed to cover:
- Standard Engine and Truck Evolutions
- Standard Fire Simulations/Tactics and Strategies
- Mandated Training
- Professional Development
In addition to fundamental monthly training, the Consortium plans, coordinates, and delivers a wide variety of multi-company/multi-agency drills. These drills have showcased the operations and specialties of each auto aid department. A better understanding of responses and the development of more cohesive operations due to these drills has been very rewarding to see.
In the past a lack of coverage in some jurisdictions would be generated while units were participating in a county drill. However, the Operations Chiefs of Yolo County have agreed upon the Consortium’s model for coverage while attending out of the area drills. This model moves host agency apparatus out of their home area to backfill agencies that are attending the drill. No overtime is generated, and enhanced coverage is provided. An added benefit is that area familiarization has increased regionally due to this model.
The following is a list of topics covered in the last year:
- Firefighter Safety and Survival
- Confined Space Rescue
- Wildland Live Fire
- Structural Live Fire
- Truck Academy
- Modern Fire Behavior
- NIST/UL Research Presentation
LEADERSHIP & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Various leaders in the industry presented Consortium members with innovative and comprehensive views of where the fire service has been and where it is headed. They provided a national perspective of critical issues facing our industry and solutions being implemented. To further support the development of local firefighters, the WVRFTC hosted Fire Instructor-1C and Fire Command-1C through the State Fire Marshal’s Office at a significantly reduced cost to Consortium members.
TARGET SOLUTIONS, ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR TRAINING DELIVERY AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT
The Consortium has a close working relationship with Target Solutions, a vendor chosen to provide an online learning management and record keeping system, which centralizes the tracking and assigning of training activities, county-wide. The relationship has continued to evolve into the tracking and accounting of training completed for each member with routine updates automatically sent out to each Shift Supervisor charting their subordinates progress or deficiencies.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH HIGHER ED RESULT IN REVENUE FOR TRAINING
The WVRFTC is now generating revenue through a partnership with the South Bay Regional Public Training Consortium using an agreement that recognizes training delivered locally as part of a more global delivery model for fire service higher education in the California Community College system. In addition to generating new funds, this allows the WVRFTC to relieve each partner agency of their current Target Solutions annual cost and put funds towards regional training priorities.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Starting in August 2014 the WVRFTC will be providing high level monthly reports to member agencies detailing training progress and completions. It will also provide comparisons similar to those shown on this page to allow for benchmarking with like agencies in the county.
For the purpose of creating a simple overview, we have broadly categorized training activities into those depicted in the legends.
The charts depicted are for work logged into Target Solutions, which is the Consortium’s mandated training record management system adopted by all of the member agencies.
IN SUPPORT OF YOLO COUNTY OES
The West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium has been a critical resource to the organization and development of Emergency Management training for the Yolo County Joint Emergency Management Services (JEMS) agreement. The agreement (enacted in 2012) joins all Yolo County cities, the Yocha Dehe Witun Nation, Yolo County Housing, and the County together for the standardization and opportunity for sharing Emergency Management Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery phases.
In 2013-2014 the Consortium developed a training tracking database designed to centralize the record keeping of all Emergency Management training for JEMS. This project was the beginning step towards having a single database to locate Emergency Management responders, with the appropriate credentials, to respond to any one of the member agencies during times of disaster. This is part of a larger project within JEMS to build Emergency Operations Center (EOC) overhead teams and expand the ability of our jurisdictions to respond to prolonged activations of local EOCs.
Over the past year the Consortium has also assisted in the development of training for JEMS members by creating online video-based courses designed as refresher materials for Emergency Management personnel in the setup of their local Emergency Operations Centers. The courses were filmed and edited by Consortium staff in partnership with each jurisdiction so that the video would contain critical information from the agency specifically for any staff who may come to work at their EOC.
Moving forward, the Consortium is planning a training audit for all JEMS agencies to identify gaps in Emergency Management coursework so that courses may be brought in to fill those gaps. Consortium staff will assist with several locally designed courses such as: Introduction to the Emergency Operations Center, Introduction to Disaster Service Worker, and Electrical and Gas Safety.
The future of the Consortium is bright! Successful completion of goals and regional recognition has shown the value of the Consortium beyond its inaugural year’s intention of succeeding under budgetary constraints. As a supplement to agency-specific training, the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium continues to provide a well-rounded training program which also focuses on professional development of its members.
The Consortium plans on continuing to enhance its records management system and standardized departmental training opportunities, including the following:
- Rotating department-hosted lectures with webinar access for the member agencies
- Creating a decentralized training concept
- Training site development throughout the county
- Regional auto extrication training
- Engine operation academy
- Web-based company officer task book
- High-rise training
- County functional Haz-Mat drills
- County-wide Fire Explorer Program for area youth
- 4-6 California State Fire Marshal courses determined through a member survey
We look forward to utilizing the opportunities that the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium can offer to all departments involved.