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Clayton fire officials share training methods

Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services officials shared their unique training methods with thousands of their peers during an international forum held in Atlanta.

The global leadership forum was hosted by Fire Rescue International at the World Congress Center. Thousands of fire chiefs and other leaders attended to find ways to enhance their own departments.

Clayton fire Chief Jeff Hood, Assistant Chief Landry Merkison and Deputy Chief Jerry Russell addressed the group on the Clayton Fire Network.

Battalion Chief Jacque Feilke said the in-house training system allows fire and emergency personnel to get instructions and tests online through the department’s intranet. Employees can sign on at their fire station or even from their home computer, she said. They read through the material provided and are tested on what they have learned.

The intranet also lets personnel keep up with their training hours and which tests they need to complete.

“This saves us from having to send out folks for training, although there is still training they have to get on the outside, and from having to bring in an instructor to go over the same material to class after class,” said Feilke. “Having this system saves us time and money.”

Hood assured the other firefighters at the forum they all had something to learn from the presentation.

"Regardless of the size of your fire department, how many fire stations or firefighters you have, our presentation will benefit you," he said.

"This is a dynamic, cost-efficient communication system that provides an engaging way to communicate with employees," said Merkison. "The benefits include reduced fuel cost because it takes training to the station. There are no gaps in response time because training is done in-house."

Russell, who works in the department's training division, said the system has improved overall quality.

"This training delivery system has not only increased our quality and consistency related to the delivery of instruction and information, but it has dramatically increased the quantity of material delivered to each individual member of our department," he said.