This year spring might have been delayed, but Maple Grove’s apprentice firefighters are right on time with the completion of their initial fire fighting training.
Maple Grove provides training in fire response and hazardous materials emergencies through a shared services effort with our neighboring fire departments. New recruits receive training that meets nationally recognized standards and prepare new firefighters to complete testing administered by the Minnesota Fire Service Certification Board.
Many residents do not realize that most communities in Minnesota, including much of Hennepin County, are served by fire departments staffed by volunteer or part-time firefighters. The city of Maple Grove has a department staffed with a group of dedicated citizens who provide fire and emergency response.
Assistant Fire Chief Tim Bush notes, “This is a great way for people to contribute to their community. We hire new firefighters that may have no previous experience in firefighting. We provide initial firefighting and emergency medical training through in-house programs.”
Hosting an internal fire academy allows our students to work with the people, tools and fire vehicles they will see when they complete initial training.
“We bring together a talented group of instructors from our shared services group to lead training sessions,” Bush added. “This allows us to provide training with a variety of instructors that truly are subject matters for each phase of training. We are able to provide the best level of training at a significant savings to our communities, because we share the costs of providing the training.”
Recruits from Maple Grove attended training with new firefighters from nine departments in Anoka and Hennepin Counties. They attended either morning or evening classes, depending on their available time.
According to Fire Chief Scott Anderson, “The majority of our firefighters also work full-time. They have jobs and families, so we need to be able to provide training that fits into the schedules of their lives.”
Maple Grove is currently accepting applications to find the next group of new apprentice firefighters. Although the fire department has openings for both day and night available responders, the biggest challenge in Maple Grove is finding people that are available during the day time.
“We need to find the people that are home during the daytime and can respond quickly if we have an emergency in the city,” Chief Anderson said. “We’ll train you and we’ll challenge you and we’ll keep it fun.”
Applications are accepted through Friday, Aug. 2. Information can be found at www.MGFire.info.