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10-2-19 Grant to help with vital firefighter training

The Chattanooga Fire Department (CFD) applied to purchase and implement the International Association of Fire Fighter’s (IAFF) Fire Ground Survival Program. While there will be knowledge gained that can be used broadly, this program is specifically designed to save firefighters through the prevention of and operation in “mayday” situations, in which a firefighter may become lost, disoriented, injured, low on air, or trapped.

The program applies lessons learned through firefighter fatality investigations conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and has been developed by a committee of subject matter experts from the IAFF, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and NIOSH.

Locally, this grant allows the fire department to purchase training props for the extensive training, as well as provide specific fire ground survival training for fire department instructors. By teaching several firefighters to become instructors, it will eventually allow all firefighters to be trained in firefighter fire ground survival.

The plan is to purchase the trailer and training props as soon as possible, and to perform an internal selection process for the group of personnel in and outside the department to be trained as instructors.

Though most of the instructors will be from the Chattanooga Fire Department, there will also be firefighters from other departments within the Tri-State Mutual Aid region to undergo the training as well. In this way, there is a consistency of operation throughout the region in the event a firefighter is in a mayday situation.

The cost of the training program, including props and facilitator instruction, is $77,000. The AFG pays for 90% of the program with the fire department providing a 10% match.

"With the funding opportunity we've been given through the AFG, it allows the firefighters to receive training from people from all over the country to put their real-life experience into an impactful means of instruction to hopefully save a firefighter's life if they get into a position where they have to rescue themselves," said CFD Special Operations Chief Daniel Hague.

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) also commented on the grant, stating: "Chattanooga firefighters are American's finest; risking their lives by running towards danger and putting their community first and themselves second. By receiving funding from FEMA's 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant, the men and women of the Chattanooga Fire Department will have enhanced training and be better prepared to respond to disastrous situations while also accounting for their personal safety. This funding is much deserved for our incredible first responders."

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)

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Photo by Mike Williams