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  • Training budget cuts

    From the Tulsa World, 6/19/03...

    Fire official: Training cuts will raise risks
    By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- Budget cuts to the OSU Fire Service Training program could drive up state insurance rates, state Fire Marshal Robert Doke said Wednesday.

    "It is going to affect training for the fire service, some law enforcement, some emergency medical services and management agencies," he said.

    Doke and Ralph Brown, director of Fire Service Training, said if local departments aren't properly trained, insurance companies will see greater risk in Oklahoma and raise rates accordingly.

    The Oklahoma State University program was cut to $502,273 from slightly more than $1.1 million, said Ben Hardcastle, a spokesman for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

    "We had to make cuts to virtually every program we funded," Hardcastle said, adding that funding for some programs was suspended entirely.

    Brown said the program might have to curtail the number of classes it offers in the field and charge for courses.

    About 90 percent of the training is offered in the field, he said.

    Much of the training is for rural areas, which have volunteer fire departments, Brown said.

    "The majority of firefighters in Oklahoma are volunteers," he said. "They work for departments that have minimal resources. Also, because they are volunteers, they hold jobs and they have family obligations.

    "It is difficult for them to travel and get the training. By us coming to them, they can train in the evenings and on the weekends."

    Currently, the courses are offered at no cost or at a low cost, Brown said.

    The program trains 16,000 to 17,000 people a year, he said.

    As many as 1,100 classes are presented, he said.

    The program canceled 21 classes that had been planned for June, Brown said.

    The Oklahoma Fire Council will discuss the cuts Thursday during an emergency meeting in Oklahoma City.


    Barbara Hoberock (405) 528-2465
    [email protected]

    Asst. Chief Bill

    International Order of the Fraternal Brotherhood of the Club

    Somewhere in or near north central Creek County, Oklahoma

  • #2
    This SUCKS!

    Times are really bad when you start cutting training courses. The First Responder Instructor we had out here told us that all classes have been suspended through August. We are wanting to send several out to Silver City in October for the Vehicle Extrication class, but we need to get some into an Intro to Tech Rescue class first. I hope those two classes have not been cut because we really need them.
    Brian Cook
    Asst. Chief


    • #3
      Yeah, you could suck-start a Harley with this one.

      Here's what I'm gonna do.:

      1. If they cancel the Tech Rescue class at Jennings in September, I'm gonna enroll my people in our October Extrication class anyway. They all may not get the paper for it, but so frigging what?

      2. If they cancel the Extrication class at Silver City, we're gonna do it anyway, if I have to teach it myself. I've taken the old class and the new class, I know where they're going with it, and I have a copy of the new student manual. May have to hit up a mutual friend for a loan of some equipment for the class, though.

      3. As of yesterday, I am preparing slides (computer presentation) so that I can run about six of our people through a home-grown Wildland Firefighting I class. We were trying to schedule it for November, but they haven't called me back, and I have low confidence. My people will be actually doing it with or without the training, so I'm gonna do it myself, and tailor much of it to our local situation.

      This REALLY ****es me off. A budget cut of that size is inconceivable (it's WAY out of line with the actual shortfall), especially when it -

      A) deals with public safety, and

      B) 90% of the funds are used to train VOLUNTEERS. Can you think of a better utilization of the funds?

      I can do in-house training on this scale if I have to, but I'd really rather not. I'm doing plenty already, and if my people are going to put in the time, they should at least get the state certification for it.

      I wrote a letter to Todd Heitt, for whatever good that will do. Screw em. We're gonna do the best we can do with what we've got in spite of this.

      Maybe Silver City and Keystone can cooperate on some of this if you conclude that your department should starting doing the same thing. No use overlapping effort.
      Asst. Chief Bill

      International Order of the Fraternal Brotherhood of the Club

      Somewhere in or near north central Creek County, Oklahoma


      • #4
        I agree 100%!

        Training can NOT be canceled because we do not have enough money. Training is mandatory and we will have to find other ways of doing it. I think some people don't try to make things work. We have people that just like to cut and until we stand up and say that is not acceptable then it will continue.

        As for the vehicle extrication class I have been through the class three or four times and Chris has been to the train-the-trainer class so we would be glad to help you in any way.

        I wonder if there are any other states having this problem? I know there is money problems everywhere but is it affecting training? If training is being hit, what are others doing to continue training? maybe this should be started in a different forum.
        Brian Cook
        Asst. Chief


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