We have found that the best way to ensure that we are meeting our customer’s expectations is through preparation (training). Alexander Graham Bell once said: “before anything else, preparation is the key to success”.
As in any professional sport the Division of Fire believes you “play as you practice”, therefore “practice” (or training) is essential to the success of the Mission. The Division of Fire’s, Fire Training & Special Operations Group is charged with developing and delivering nearly 500 hours of training each year. Employees are exposed to three (3) hours (on average) of some type of fire, EMS, or Special Operations training every week.
Special Operations are the tactics used to solve specific or technical rescues or hazards. The Special Operations Group (SOG) is responsible for developing the Division of Fire’s rescue cache and for training our personnel in these specialized techniques.
The Division of Fire considers itself to be an all hazards “first response” organization. Therefore we plan and prepare to respond to a wide variety of “special” hazard/rescue situations ranging from water/ice rescue, to high/low angle rope rescues, to confine space or collapse rescues, to lost person search, and/or hazardous materials problems.
The SOG plans for at least three hours of special operations training for each firefighter each month.
DUANE STITZEL, CAPTAIN
Captain Stitzel was hired on July 9, 2007, as the full time Fire Marshal/Captain for the Vandalia Fire Division. Captain Stitzel was formerly a firefighter/paramedic with the City of Springfield where he was a technical rescue/hazmat technician and a fire safety inspector. In 2010 Captain Stitzel’s was reassigned to fire/EMS operations as the Shift Commander on second platoon and in 2014 Captain Stitzel was assigned the fire and special operations responsibilities. Captain Stitzel is responsible for fire suppression and special rescue readiness. Captain Stitzel ensures that everyone is properly trained and equipped to handle fire suppression and special rescue situations. Captain Stitzel is also a Fire Instructor at Sinclair Community college, and he is currently enrolled in the University of Cincinnati’s Fire Science Program.
MIKE PINSON, CAPTAIN
Captain Pinson has lived in Vandalia since 1991. He was hired July 18, 1991, as a paid on call firefighter. Captain Pinson became the Division of Fire’s pump/driving instructor on April 6, 1999, was promoted to paid on call Lieutenant March 1, 2002, and then promoted to paid on call Captain on October 1, 2007. Captain Pinson heads the Division of Fire’s Fire Operation’s group. The “Fire Op’s” group is responsible for conducting driver’s training, maintaining the fleet and associated equipment, which includes providing routine maintenance and annual testing of specific equipment (i.e. pumps, ladders, hose, and hydrants). The group is also responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the Division of Fire’s three fire stations.
Each year the Vandalia Fire Division has been fortunate to be provided with buildings that are no longer habitable such as the one shown below to be used for fire training purposes. The different scenarios that can be provided during these trainings is invaluable for when the real fire presents itself. Additionally, firefighters are offered 24 trainings with the division on specified training topics annually.
Each year the Vandalia Fire Division has been fortunate to be provided with buildings that are no longer habitable to be used for fire training purposes. The different scenarios that can be provided during these trainings is invaluable for when the real fire presents itself. Additionally, firefighters are offered 24 trainings with the division on specified training topics annually.