Public Safety Training Facility
A Public Safety Training facility in Cape Coral would provide the best opportunity to train and educate our Firefighters. In turn, they would be able to provide the best service possible to the community, while performing the hazardous tasks associated with firefighting.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001 – Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualification is a consensus standard for Firefighters, and the Insurance Services Office (ISO) advises a minimum of the following annual training:
192 hours of Company Training
18 hours of Facility Training
6 hours of Hazardous Material
Note: There are additional requirements for the positions of Engineer/Driver and Officers.
This does not include training of EMS or specialty rescue such as marine/dive.
Hours completed for Facility Training “must be in accordance with the general criteria of NFPA 1403: Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions, and NFPA 1410: Standard on Training for Initial Emergency Scene Operation” (ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule 580.A.2).
In the past, the Cape Coral Fire Department (CCFD) has failed to meet this important standard. In 2015, the average Cape Coral Firefighter received two (2) hours of Facility Training.
There are two (2) “live fire” training facilities the Cape Coral Fire Department utilizes for Facility Training. They are located at the Bonita Springs Fire Department (27701 Bonita Grande Drive, Bonita Springs) and the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy (SWFPSA) (4312 Michigan Avenue, Fort Myers). There are a number of limitations in utilizing these locations:
- The primary purpose of the locations is to train Bonita Springs Fire Department’s personnel or for the SWFPSA to provide vocational academy training. CCFD is limited by the availability of the space to use these facilities.
- These are not Cape Coral City facilities; there are concerns for insurance liability, access/security and wear of the facility.
- The Cape Coral Fire Department operates 17 frontline response apparatus. To maintain the necessary response positions, only three (3) units can be taken out of service at one time to be used for training or meetings.
- Operations personnel are divided into three (3) shifts.
- Approximately 65 personnel per shift.
- Distance- Bonita Springs is approximately 1-1 ½ hour drive in a fire truck and the SWFPSA is approximately 45 minutes one-way in a fire truck.
- If there is a major emergency and these units were recalled from training, there is a major delay in returning these resources to the city.
- There is additional wear and fuel for the trucks, as well as lost staff time.
Currently, as part of the Lee County Fire Chief’s Training Co-Operative, we participate in an agreed-upon quarterly drill, but can only send two (2) units per day (due to space availability) over a three (3) day shift rotation. In the current system, in one year, approximately 72 of our 196 personnel will receive 2 hours of Facility Training at above referenced locations. We have created other opportunities for Facility Training hours for most of the remaining 124 personnel, but they are woefully substandard.
A Fire Training Facility would be utilized by the CCFD approximately 3-4 times per week, and the upkeep and maintenance would be in compliance with NFPA 1401: Recommended Practice for Fire Service Training Reports and Records, and 1402: Guide to Building Fire Service Training Centers.