Training & Professional Development Chief
The Training and Professional Development Chief is responsible for providing a 480 hour course of instruction for new firefighters. Each new firefighter is expected to obtain National Professional Certification (NPQ) as a Firefighter I and II, and NPQ certification to the Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Operations level. The Training Officer also coordinates ongoing in-service training of about 250 hours annually for each of the 100 certified firefighters in the Department. This training is conducted to a national standard established by the National Fire Protection Association and other agencies. Gainesville Firefighters are frequently tested by the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council, and other outside agencies to confirm mastery of skills to the national level.
The Gainesville Fire Department offers numerous Georgia Fire Academy courses ranging from basic fundamentals to advanced fire service management courses taught at Gainesville Fire Department facilities. In addition, a number of Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) technical rescue courses are conducted at Gainesville Fire Department facilities. Many Gainesville Firefighters have NPQ certification in High Angle Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Collapsed Structure Rescue, Trench Rescue, and Wilderness Search and Rescue.
All personnel who drive GFD apparatus are required to first obtain NPQ certification as an apparatus operator. This course includes extensive safe driving instruction.
These courses allow Gainesville Firefighters to attend advanced training courses and receive training certification from these State agencies without having to travel to the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. Firefighters from many departments in North Georgia and even from other States take advantage of training conducted by the Department.
Most recruit and advanced training conducted by the Department is taught at the Gainesville/Hall County Joint Training Academy located on Allen Creek Road .
This facility has classrooms, a live burn training building, a driving pad, numerous props for training, and is shared with Hall County Fire Services.