Monday, August 21, 2017

It is the mission of the Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One Training Division to provide the highest quality training, instruction and evaluation to our members. This is intended to prepare our department to serve our community in the most efficient and effective means possible, and to ensure personal safety as we deliver this service.

This shall be accomplished by:

* Providing individual and company training two hours per shift, rain or shine.

* Keeping abreast of all training requirements.

* Maintaining for reference, the Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One Training Library.

* Maintaining complete & comprehensive training records.

* Delivering the most meaningful and realistic training possible while ensuring personal safety.

The Training Division is responsible for the on-going training of all in-service companies. With the numerous requirements placed upon the fire service today by the many regulatory agencies, (NFPA, WSRB, WISHA, ANSI, IFSAC, Regional EMS), the Training Division coordinates the training needed to comply with established regulations. This division is staffed with one Training Division Chief, one Training Lieutenant, and an administrative assistant.


  • Do firefighters have to do any extra training?
  • What other responsibilities do firefighters have other than fight fires?
  • How much does a firefighter's gear weigh?
  • Do EMTs and Paramedics have the same job responsibilities?
  • What is the difference between a fire engine and a fire truck?
  • Why do firefighters break all the windows during a fire?
  • What type of training does it take to become a firefighter?
  • What type of schedule do firefighters work?

Do firefighters have to do any extra training?

As the world changes, firefighters have to change and train along with it. The members of GHF&MO continually train to remain current with medical standards, fire suppression tactics, and even new vehicle technologies (we respond to numerous car accidents). Additionally, many firefighters earn college degrees in various fields from fire science to city management. Since Gig Harbor has its own training center, we instruct classes for our personnel such as officer and driver training. Our department also has two special teams: Technical Rescue (TRT), and Hazardous Materials (HIT). These personnel train in their respective discipline monthly.

What other responsibilities do firefighters have other than fight fires?

Of the more than 5000 calls per year the Gig Harbor Fire receives, about 75 to 80 percent are medical emergencies. The rest are varied in nature. We respond to house fires, car fires, garage fires, natural gas leaks, water leaks, carbon monoxide alarms, residential and business fire alarms, car accidents, rollovers, chemical leaks, boating accidents, industrial accidents, building collapses, natural disasters, explosions and much more. We are in the business of handling those one-in-a-million emergencies.

How much does a firefighter's gear weigh?

Different manufactures make their gear out of slightly different materials that can determine the weight. However, the gear Gig Harbor Fire uses weigh approximately 50 pounds. The Gig Harbor Fire uniform consists of a fiberglass helmet, nomex hood, bunker coat & pants, gloves, spanner belt, ax and boots that collectively weigh roughly 25 pounds. Firefighters also wear a SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) with a full 45-minute bottle, adding another 25 pounds. However, keep in mind that when the gear gets wet, it absorbs water and adds another 10 or so pounds of weight.

Do EMTs and Paramedics have the same job responsibilities?

There are several levels of EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) which includes Basic (EMTB) and Paramedic (EMTP). The difference lies in the training. EMT basic is a semester course and includes basic assessment skills, shock and wound care, and patient packaging. Paramedics have to first complete all EMT basic coursework, and then attend an additional year of school. They are able to treat the most serious of medical conditions like heart attacks, asthma, sudden death and severe trauma. Additionally, they can start IV’s and insert breathing tubes.

What is the difference between a fire engine and a fire truck?

There is a lot of slang and specific jargon in the fire service. A fire engine (Engine or Pumper) is equipped with a 500 gallon water tank, a pump and fire hose. There are 9 Engine Companies in Gig Harbor that aid us in getting to any emergency in approximately 3 minutes. A Fire Truck (Truck, Aerial or Ladder) doesn’t carry water or a hose. Trucks carry a steel ladder that stretches to 105 feet, with a nozzle at the tip to spray water onto a fire from above and have to be connected to an Engine. Trucks additionally have several ladders stored in back ranging from 8 to 35 feet. The remaining space in Trucks are used for storage and contains items such as lights, generators, saws, axes, rams, and some carry the famed “Jaws of Life.” Currently, Gig Harbor is supported by Truck companies from Tacoma, West Pierce, and South Kitsap.

Why do firefighters break all the windows during a fire?

Breaking out the windows during a fire is something you should NOT do! It can make the fire much worse and decrease the chances of survival for trapped occupants.

When the Gig Harbor firefighters break out windows during a fire, there is a science to it that we are trained in. Windows are broken in coordination with firefighters on the inside so when they place water on the fire, open windows allow the steam to escape. Without the windows being broken, the steam would cook firefighters in their suits. The openings also help to release smoke and increase visibility inside a building.

What type of training does it take to become a firefighter?

Gig Harbor Firefighters are trained to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Firefighter II standards. Many career firefighters start with prior volunteer service. Once hired, probationary firefighters attend a 15-week Academy to receive their Firefighter II certification. After completing this academy, firefighters then begin a 4 week Operations Academy. Once the Operations Academy is completed, firefighters continue their training throughout the rest of their career, almost everyday they are at work.

What type of schedule do firefighters work?

Different fire departments have different work schedules. Gig Harbor firefighters work a shift known as the “Modified Detroit.” These are broken into nine-24 hour shifts every month. During a 24-hour shift, firefighters live at a fire station and have duties such as maintaining the apparatus and engine house, as well as training.


Click here to download the Registration Form

If you would like to register for Crunch Time, please fill out the above registration form and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax it to 253-851-9606


Crunch Time


100% Hands-On Vehicle Extrication Course


September 9-10, 2017



Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One

Headquarters & Training Facility


Our priority is to provide a safe and challenging learning environment with plenty of tool time.  Class size will be limited to ensure quality instruction. This class is appropriate for the First Responder who has basic extrication skills and is motivated to expand their knowledge.





Effective Saturday, July 15
8:00 AM until further notice.
More Info About this Ban
General Burn Ban Information

Committee Information

Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One is considering the proposal of a General Fire Levy Lid-lift measure for the  November 7, 2017 General Election.  As such, we are seeking members for the “For” and “Against” Committees as required by RCW 29A.32.280. Interested parties should contact Executive Assistant Danette Weyn by July 28th at 5:00 PM.


Danette Weyn
10222 Bujacich Rd. NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98332
(253) 851-3111

 Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One | 10222 Bujacich Rd. NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332 | Phone: (253) 851-3111 Fax: (253) 851-9606 facebook twitter