About the Process
Training is an essential component to providing effective firefighting services. The Training Division directs all training for Battle Creek's 83 fire personnel. LifeCare assists with the continuing education for our Medical First Responders.  Battle Creek's Training Division is led by Battalion Chief Martin Erskine as division chief and Firefighter Jeff Slayton as Training Officer.

Firefighters are required to become certified Firefighter I and II by the State of Michigan, plus receive 24 hours of Hazardous Materials training. Once all this is complete, all newly hired firefighters go through a 12-month probationary training period where they learn our procedures, techniques, equipment, apparatus, streets, and many more skills.  Battle Creek firefighters average approximately 20 hours of training per month, which equates to over 18,000 hours of training every year for the department.

Skills & Training Topics
Training includes all skills a firefighter may need to perform in their line of duty.  Topics include:
  • Apparatus
  • Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF)
  • Basic Skills
  • Equipment
  • Fire Prevention and Education
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Medical
  • Officer Training
  • Safety
  • Technical Rescue
Training Division
The Training Division coordinates site surveys, a walk-through familiarization tour of our area businesses and industries. The Training Division also coordinates training for our specialized Hazardous Materials Team, Technical Rescue Team, and Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Division. We have 26 members on the Hazardous Materials Team that are training to the Technician Level. They are also the 5th district (Southwest Michigan) RRTN response team. We have 28 members on the Technical Rescue Team, which includes the following: Confined Space, Trench Rescue, Collapse Rescue, Machine Rescue, High Angle rescue, and Rope Rescue. 6 members are on the 5th district Technical Rescue Team.

There is a lot of training obtained by attending special courses as well. We either send personnel to classes or bring in an outside instructor. There is a fellow training coordinator who quotes Archilochus, Greek soldier, "We do not rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training," so we constantly train to meet the demands and emergencies of our citizens we have sworn to serve and protect.