Troup County Fire launches first firefighter recruit program

Published 10:04 am Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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The Troup County Fire Department recently launched a basic firefighter recruit program for the first time in history. 

The program is eight weeks long and consists of essential classroom and physical training with an emphasis in hands-on training at the Troup County Fire Administration Building

“This is something we’ve needed for a while,” Captain/Training Officer Garon “Rusty” Brown said. “We just hadn’t had all the right personal in place. This year we had quite a bit of people retire, so we had a lot of spots to fill.” 

Brown, who is leading the recruit class, said they recently hired 11 new firefighters that were not certified. 

“Instead of sending them elsewhere to get trained we can now train them in house and our way,” Brown said. “This is a huge step for our fire department, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this advancement. This will enable our recruits to remain close to their homes and families while in training, work directly with our staff to learn knowledge-based skills related to Troup County, and come out more advanced and ready to go to work in our department.”

The class was also opened up to a West Point firefighter as well. The class will certify students in Firefighter 1 and 2, which are the basic firefighter courses.

 Recruits will also take a Hazardous Materials Operations (HAZMAT Ops) course that provides responders with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to analyze, plan and implement performance-defensive response actions for hazardous material (HAZMAT) incidents.

Brown said they will also go through physical fitness training. 

“It’s very exciting for us to be able to do this and do our first one,” Brown said. “I like to keep everything in house so we can train our own guys, our way.” 

The fire department will host a graduation ceremony along with a pinning of the badge of new firefighters at the end of the class.

“This is very exciting because we are training our own recruits,” Fire Chief John Ekaitis said. “We can see their talents from the very beginning. They’re being trained by highly dedicated and qualified instructors. It’s a great moment for the Troup County Fire Department to build for the future.”