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Ste. Genevieve Fire Department hosts certification course

STE. GENEVIEVE —  The Ste. Genevieve Fire Department will be hosting a Missouri State, Firefighter I & II Certification course at its fire station and training facility located at 550 Pine Drive, in Ste. Genevieve. The classes will begin July 14 and will be completed Dec. 5. Classes will meet every Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Two Saturdays per month attendance from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. is required. The cost is approximately $600 per student plus $68 for manuals.

“The state firefighter certification program is basic training or ‘Boot Camp,’ you might say, for beginning firefighters”, said Fire Chief Mick Schwent. “This training will bring our new recruits up to speed with the rest of the department when it comes to fire training. We currently have four firefighters that need their state certification, so we decided to host a program at our facility in Ste. Genevieve.

The Ste. Genevieve Fire Department has sent out invitations to participate in the program to all fire departments in Ste. Genevieve and surrounding counties. The department has received enough interest from Ste. Genevieve, Perry and St. Francois County fire departments to proceed with the course. “The course is very aggressive and takes a big commitment from the firefighter to complete,” Schwent explained.

The course will start July 14th and will be completed sometime in December or January. The classes will be held every Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will require two Saturdays each month for practical evolutions. Hazardous materials awareness and operations will be taught as part of the certification program.

The lead course instructor will be Wm. “Bill” VanDeVen, assisted by Dean Lynn. Both are state certified instructors from the Cape Girardeau area and will be assisted by certified firefighters from the Ste. Genevieve and other county departments. Participants will learn everything from firefighter safety, fire behavior, ladders, fire streams and ventilation to water supply, fire control, rescue, self contained breathing apparatus and fire prevention education in addition to “live fire training evolutions.” The course will cost each participant $600, plus the cost of books and manuals. Most of the fees will be picked up by the fire department whose firefighters will be attending the course.

“We feel our facility will be an excellent venue to host this course due to the planning that went into the fire house during its construction in 2006,” Schwent said. Instructor VanDeVen said he is very pleased to get the opportunity to train firefighters in this area. We expect this to be a very challenging, but rewarding opportunity for firefighters in this area.

Schwent said they are not trying to compete with the FF I & II programs at Mineral Area Collage or Jefferson County College. Firefighters will not get collage credit for the course. “Our intent is to provide ‘State Certified’ training at a lower cost to firefighters wanting the training, but do not need the collage credit,” Schwent said.

If you are interested in taking this course, contact Chief Schwent at or any Ste. Genevieve City Firefighter for an application and schedule of the course.

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