westchestergov.com

Training Policies

Training Policies

The Westchester County Department of Emergency Services offers a full range of courses for all emergency services personnel including but not limited to; NYS OFPC courses, SEMO courses, NYS DOS Codes courses, EMS Courses, as well as County developed courses. 

Conformance to the following rules and regulations is essential to the efficient operation of the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services Training Facility and the safety of the students. All students/visitors/instructors will familiarize themselves with their content and be held responsible for compliance. 

Class Registration
Firefighters must register through their chiefs or training officers. Chiefs and training officers can register through our on-line registration process. Each fire department in Westchester has been given a User ID and Password necessary to utilize this program.   

All other emergency personnel and out-of-county firefighters can register through e-mail, fax, or mail-in registration. A registration form can be found on our website under the Fire Services page in the “Forms and Listing” section.

All students must be registered prior to the start of the class. WALK-INS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.  

Prerequisites
Prerequisites are indicated in the course bulletin for each course. Please make sure your personnel have successfully completed all necessary prerequisites before registering for class. Students without proper prerequisites will not be registered for class. 

Confirmations
Course registration confirmations are sent via e-mail to the person submitting the request. 

Cancellation Policy
If a student has to cancel for some reason, they must do so prior to the start date of the first class. Cancellations must be made through the fire training division office by calling (914) 231-1699 or sending an e-mail to firetraining@westchestergov.com. Normal business hours are, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

Substitutions
If you discover that a person who has registered cannot attend a course, you may send a substitute from the same organization, if he or she has met the prerequisites for that course. Please notify the fire training division of the substitution by calling (914) 231-1699 or sending an e-mail to firetraining@westchestergov.com. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

Attendance
Students are responsible for arriving for class on time.  Class times are posted on the individual class bulletins. 

Attendance at ALL sessions is mandatory in order to successfully complete any fire course. If a session is missed, the student must notify his or her instructor, and then a make up session will be scheduled by the Instructor and the Fire Training Technician. All make-up sessions must be authorized by the Fire Training Technician and no “walk-ins” will be allowed. 

Permission Slips/Training Authorization Letters
Students participating in fire training courses involving the use of respiratory protection equipment shall submit a completed NYS Training Authorization letter and a Westchester County Permission Slip. These forms must be signed BY THE CHIEF and by the student acknowledging compliance with 29 CFR 1910.134 and must be submitted on the first day of class. These forms can be found on our website under the Fire Services page in the “Forms and Listing” section.  

Parking
All students are to park in the lot adjacent to the WCDES Support Services Building located at 35 Walker Road. There is a stairway linking the parking lot directly with the training facility. No student/visitor is to park in the front parking lot of WCDES located at 4 Dana Road at any time. 

Dress Code
It is the student’s responsibility to use good judgment in selecting attire that projects a professional image and that is appropriate for both climate differences and classroom activities. A student whose attire is determined to be inappropriate by the Instructor will be required to change into more appropriate clothing before being allowed to return to class. If the student does not correct the situation they will not be allowed to participate in class for the day, and the instructor will direct the student to leave the facility. The student will have to make up the class at another time. 

  • Acceptable attire for Classroom Settings:
    The students in the classroom are recommended to wear long pants. Shorts and/or skirts must cover the student’s entire buttocks area and must extend to the knee. Students shall wear a shirt that covers their entire midriff and shoulders.  No open-toed footwear is allowed. 
  • Acceptable attire for the Training Grounds:
    Comfortable clothing is suggested for all outdoor programs. Clothing may become soiled by outdoor activities, so dress appropriately. Trousers and long sleeve shirts are suggested. No open-toed footwear is allowed. 
  • Dress that is not acceptable:
    Any shirts with profanity or any type of discriminatory wording or phrases printed on them.
    Shirts/blouses that have spaghetti straps and/or show midriff.
    Muscle shirts, tank tops
    Shorts, which exposes the buttocks in any manner.
    Pants, which have large holes in them and have the potential of exposing student’s buttocks or genital areas.
    Sandals of any kind.
    For any live burn evolutions, no jewelry may be worn. This includes body piercings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings.  Medic alert bracelets and necklaces are exempt. 

Personal Protective Equipment
All PPE must meet the current specifications as stated by NFPA 1971. Proper PPE must be worn during training evolutions (unless otherwise instructed).   

Proper PPE shall include the following:

  • Full turnout gear including coat, bunker pants, and boots
  • Nomex hoods
  • Gloves
  • SCBA  

SCBA/ Medical Clearance
All students participating in training utilizing an Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) must have obtained medical clearance for the use of the SCBA, in accordance with 29 C.F.R. Part 1910.134 and have completed a proper mask fit test.  The NYS Training Authorization Letter attesting to the medical clearance must be signed by the Chief of Department and submitted to the instructor on the first day of class WITHOUT EXCEPTION. This form can be found on our website under the Fire Services page in the “Forms and Listing” section. 

Students with facial hair that interferes with the face piece seal for respiratory protection shall not participate in any training function requiring respiratory protection. This is in accordance with OSHA 29 C.F.R. Part 1910.134 and NFPA 1500.

Turnout Gear
At no time is turnout gear to be worn into the classroom/office building. All turnout gear is to be removed outside of the glass entrance, gray doors, or garage doors. Turnout gear is to be kept outside or on the apparatus floor.   

Injuries
Any injury during a training evolution must be reported immediately to an Instructor. The proper injury report forms must be completed. Students that are transported to the hospital via ambulance may not return to class without written clearance form the attending physician. 

Training Grounds
Instruction being conducted on the outside training grounds can be difficult at times, simply due to the aspect of being outdoors as well as the inherent dangers that are always present in the learning environment. Therefore, it is imperative that the students give their full attention to the instructor. Failure to do so takes away from the training and may be grounds for removal from the class. 

Students shall not be given credit for any unit of instruction in which they did not actively participate. Students who do not actively participate in any portion of the class will not be given a certificate for the class and will not be eligible to return for other courses for which the incomplete class is a prerequisite. 

Training Equipment 
All training equipment will be treated with the utmost respect and care. Treat this equipment as if is was your own. All equipment is to be cleaned and stored as it was found.  Abuse and failure to clean or properly store equipment will not be tolerated. Any equipment that is damaged during training evolutions must be reported to an Instructor immediately. 

Smoking
Smoking is prohibited in the training center building.  Anyone wishing to smoke must do so outdoors. There are receptacles for cigarette butts on the outside of each exterior door of the building. These are to be used for cigarette butts only. Chewing tobacco is also prohibited in the classrooms and on the training grounds. 

General
Students are not to sit with their feet against the walls, on desks, or chairs, or mark, alter or damage any DES property. 

Students are expected to clean up after themselves both in the classroom and on the training grounds. Soda bottles, coffee cups, newspapers, etc. are to be placed in the proper receptacles provided for regular trash and recyclables.

Students should not, in any way, interfere with any classes that might be in session. When on breaks from class be mindful of other classes in session, meetings, or administrative offices and keep your voices to a reasonable level. Proper decorum should be exercised at all times.  

Pagers, beepers and cellular phones should be turned off or switched to silent mode while classes are in session.

The use, possession or introduction of any intoxicants, or reporting to class under the influence of intoxicants is strictly prohibited. 

Reserving the Training Center Props
A diverse array of training props, equipment and buildings for hands-on skills training is available for use by fire departments. Firefighters get first-hand firefighting and rescue experience in every aspect of fire/rescue operations in a safe and supervised setting.
 
All evolutions on the training center grounds must be reserved and are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. When reserving the props, a minimum of one week notice is required.  When reserving any of the class “A” burn modules, a minimum of three weeks notice is required. Contact the fire training division at (914) 231-1699 or e-mail  to reserve the training props.

Live Burn Guidelines
These guidelines are promulgated based on NFPA 1403 and NYS-OFPC live fire guidelines. These guidelines shall be adhered to by all students when conducting “Class A” burn evolutions at the training center. All evolutions must follow the guidelines of NFPA 1403, NFPA 1500 and NFPA 1001. 

The safety of instructors, students and visitors shall be the primary concern during any activities conducted at the DES facility. A designated ‘live burn” checklist shall be completed by the lead instructor prior to starting any training evolution involving live fire.  

The Chief or Fire Officer leading the training evolution for the Fire Department must comply with the following guidelines set forth by DES.
Participating fire department must have a minimum of 14 firefighters involved with the live fire training evolution and shall be responsible to verify that all department participants in live burn evolutions are physically qualified; have current mask fit testing; and have achieved a minimum certification of Firefighter I training. 

14 firefighters:

  • 1 firefighter acting as an Incident Commander
  • 1 Certified NY State EMT 2
  • 2 firefighters for initial search team
  • 2 firefighters for initial attack line
  • 2 firefighters for back up hose line
  • 2 firefighters on the safety line
  • 4 firefighters serving as FAST  

All personnel entering any area of the burn building during active fire situations shall be donned in full PPE (including SCBA). 

For any live burn evolutions, no jewelry may be worn. This includes body piercings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings.  Medic alert bracelets and necklaces are exempt. 

NOTE

  • Westchester County DES policy states that evolutions within the Propane Burn Building shall be considered as a live burn and follow the same Live Fire Guidelines as the Class “A” burn evolutions.
  • Participating fire departments are required to provide a certified NYS Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) assigned to each live burn evolution.  BLS emergency medical equipment shall be provided by the DES, and shall be readily available for the EMT’s use.  Equipment shall include a trauma bag, AED, 02 tank with regulator and appropriate masks/airway management equipment; burn sheet and burn treatment supplies.
  • Must have a dedicated Firefighter Assist and Safety Team.  There shall be a minimum of 4 firefighters, trained as interior firefighters with Firefighter Safety and Survival and FAST team training available and dedicated to the FAST team. FAST team members cannot be involved in the training exercise. 

For further information please refer to the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services Live Burn Guidelines.