Fire academy set to start Monday at DPHS

Staff Writer

More than 400 firefighters will train in basic and advanced wildland firefighting skills at the Eastern Washington Interagency Wildfire Training Academy (EWIFTA) in Deer Park in the coming weeks. The academy, which will headquartered at Deer Park High School from June 17-25, is part of a larger coordinated effort that will allow agencies responsible for responding to Washington’s wildfires the opportunity to train together before fighting fire together.
Patterned after last year’s academy success, the fully operational fire camp will help prepare beginning, mid-level and senior level firefighters for living conditions they can expect during an actual wildland fire operation. Courses focus on how to use firefighting equipment working in the wildland urban interface and field training exercises.
According to Spokane County Fire District No. 4 Chief Randy Johnson and one of the academy’s incident commanders, “summers are getting hotter and lasting longer. These interagency collaborations help firefighters receive important training, as well as provide agencies with the opportunity to practice working together before an incident and develop relationships critical to future emergency response operations.”
EWIFTA is an interagency operation of federal, state, tribal, and local agencies. EWIFTA instructors are all NWCG qualified with real life firefighting experience and use dynamic instruction techniques including classroom, simulations, leadership scenarios and outside field exercises on land owned by Department of Natural Resources.