The Wheeling Fire Department's Training Division is responsible for training initial firefighters to WV state standards set forth by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office. This initial training includes Firefighter I and II certification, hazmat operations level training, emergency vehicle operations, CPR, first aid training and National Incident Management Training levels 100, 200, 700 and 800.
For the first six weeks of employment as a City of Wheeling firefighter, new hires/recruits are assigned to the training division. Those six weeks are devoted to training recruits to meet or exceed the minimum requirements set forth by the West Virginia State Fire Commission.
After the indoctrination training is completed, the recruit is assigned to the suppression division and is under the supervision of their company officer. The recruits then enter the apprenticeship program, a 36-month training phase for the first three years of employment as a probationary firefighter. Monthly assignments are completed and documented with the training division. After 36 months, the recruit is eligible to sit for the West Virginia Professional Firefighters journeyman exam. This certification makes the recruit eligible for promotional exams.
This office also prepares all first responders to assure a state of readiness for answering alarm calls, ranging from fire, EMS, rescue, hazardous materials, and service calls.
The training division also performs exercises in the following areas:
Traylor Training Center
The Wheeling Fire Department’s training facility is located on Wheeling Island at 729 North Front Street. The original structure was a four-story steel and cement block building that was constructed sometime in the 1930’s. That original facility afforded WFD the opportunity to train and gain skills in the important activities of hose advancement over multiple floors, standpipe operations, ground ladder work, aerial ladder operations, and rescue operations from elevated positions. The site has a large paved lot with access to two fire hydrants allowing for pump operators training and drills for crews operating different types of hose streams.
In 2015, with assistance from West Virginia Public Service Training and the City of Wheeling, WFD made upgrades to the training facility. The addition of three 40-foot intermodal shipping containers allowed WFD to create a more residential type training area with hallways, multiple rooms, and an area where firefighters can perform live fire drills.
A vertical ventilation prop and a forcible entry prop were also added to enhance the training capabilities. The facility is a success because of the countless man hours devoted to its design and construction that were performed by both on duty and off duty personnel in a volunteer capacity. Tying in the old with new was challenging, but the Wheeling Fire Department now has one large cohesive facility.
The facility was designed on an expandable platform allowing the Department to make improvements in the coming years. Creating life-like training is a WFD Training Division goal, as well as keeping firefighters ready to respond to any type of emergency to protect the residents and visitors to the City of Wheeling.
Wheeling Fire Department Training Division
2126 Market Street
Wheeling, WV 26003