Three Cherokee County firefighters were recognized this week at Fire Headquarters for their completion of the Georgia Flames and Georgia Smoke Divers courses that were recently held.
Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, presented the firefighters with a “Letter of Commendation” for completing the course. Justin Dobson and Jacob Gunter were recognized for completing the Flames course and Nathan Pelletier was recognized for being a new Smoke Diver.
Counting the firefighters who were recognized this week, Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services now has 25 who have completed the Flames training and 43 firefighters have completed the Smoke Divers course. “We have certain qualifications that our firefighters have to meet in order for them to go through these courses,” said Chief Prather. “Once they have met the requirements, we assign them a mentor to help prepare them for the course. Because of this, we have seen this to be a plus in helping our firefighters complete the Flames and Smoke Divers courses,” he added.
The Flames course is three days of training that will test an individual firefighter's personal limitations when working in high stress situations with limited recuperation periods. It is also designed to test the individual’s ability to function as part of a team. Teambuilding is a focal point of the course. The successful fire company must function as a team.
The Georgia Smoke Diver course is a six-day, 60 hour program designed for the experienced firefighter who desires realistic training in self-survival, firefighter rescue, advanced search & rescue, thermal imaging, emergency procedures, teamwork, discipline, team leadership, situational awareness and decision making as well as how to function within the elements of the Incident Command System.
The program condenses and replicates the extreme demands that may be placed on firefighters at any incident. Emphasis is placed on the day-to-day challenges firefighters face at structure fires, multiple-alarm fires and multiple fires within a single shift. These same principles can be applied to the performance of duties at natural disasters, catastrophic events and acts of terrorism. The course is a physically demanding and mentally challenging program. Its design allows each candidate to understand and manage their physical and mental limitations under safe but stressful realistic conditions. Coupled with constant situational awareness drills and forced decision making, the candidate gains condensed experience and therefore is able to operate more efficiently and safely at incidents. The program has a long history of improving the lives and careers of Georgia firefighters, as well as firefighters throughout the nation, through the emersion of servant leadership principles. The course is continually updated to stay on the leading edge of firefighting technology and firefighter safety while the core mission remains the same as developed in 1978.
Chief Prather presented the firefighters with a Letter of Commendation and congratulated all the firefighters for a job “well done.”