Countryside’s Training Division is responsible for ensuring all personnel are adequately trained to serve the District’s customers. This training includes things like regular on-duty training drils with shift personnel, monthly continuing education offered in conjunction with the Advocate Condell Medical Center EMS System, weekly training with part-time personnel, short “Morning Drills” at the start of each shift. An annual training needs assessment survey of all personnel helps to determine what training will be conducted for the upcoming year as well as requirements specified by regulatory and standards agencies like the Office of the State Fire Marshall, National Fire Protection Association, Insurance Services Organization, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the EMS System.
The Division also works cooperatively with area departments on combined training drills. Since 2008, the departments of Quad 4 (essentially the southeast corner of Lake County) have rotated hosting monthly drills for all of the Quad 4 departments. These drills have included scenarios involving rural water supply, large commercial area search, and firefighting strategy and tactics. Additionally, the District’s special teams personnel participate in regular training sessions with the Lake & McHenry Counties Special Response Team.
The Training Division periodically conducts in-house Firefighter 2 Academies for new paid-on-premise recruits with several of the full-time shift personnel serving as Academy instructors. The Division also coordinates Firefighter 3 training for the District’s personnel wishing to achieve that higher certification.
In addition to required certification classes, Countryside values higher education and encourages all of its members to pursue degree opportunities through its Education Assistance Program which the Training Division administers.