EDFD Participates in Northern Illinois Capstone Project to Improve Training Program

Late this past summer your East Dubuque Fire Department applied to participate in a Capstone Project sponsored by Northern Illinois University. After a couple of meetings we were notified that our department was selected as one of the projects. The Capstone Group project was to assist us in looking at ways we could improve our training program and make recommendations to do so. The fire department received the final project a couple of weeks ago and we are excited about the information that was provided to us from the group. What we found out from interviews that were conducted by group was for the most part we are doing things well, but there is always room for improvement. Due to the make up of our department which is not much different than the majority of volunteer departments across the country, we have many newer members and many older members, just not too many in the middle area. What this means is we struggle sometimes ensuring all of our training is meeting each groups needs within the department.

The recommendations made from the group are:

  1. Work on a mentoring program
  2. Work on a train the trainer type program, where newer members can teach the older ones and vice versa
  3. Utilize different media platforms a little better
  4. Have a more formalized recognition program in place.

We are going to be forming a committee of all different members within the department to formalize a plan & set benchmarks to make these improvements. We know this will be a slow process, but one well worth our time and effort to make the department better!