The St. Joseph Public Safety Department recently mandated that all of its fire fighters undergo specialized training. Michigan Live reports that as a result of the new training initiative, all of the fire fighters employed by the agency have achieved National Fire Prevention Association certification. 

The mandate followed a recent increase in the number of fire fighters employed by the department. With an increase from 13 in late 2011 to its current 33 members, public officials felt the training initiative would ensure that all employees were up-to-date on the latest procedural and safety advances. 

One byproduct of training that is often under appreciated is the vital information about the skills, knowledge and abilities firefighters gain during training. Which pieces of equipment is a firefighter certified to operate? Who on your team is up-to-date on Hazmat issues? Which first responder has a particular language skill? This information, when captured electronically becomes essential to emergency response. Knowing exactly what your first responders have been trained on and what jobs they are authorized to perform during a crisis allows a department to make more accurate decisions during dispatch. When minutes matter and lives are at stake, information is power.

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