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AFR Hosts Urban Wildland Fire Course

Aurora Fire Rescue hosts Colorado’s first train-the-trainer course for fighting urban wildfires
Posted on 10/17/2023
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Firefighters and fire company officers from across the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs are participating in Colorado’s first train-the-trainer course for fighting urban wildfires this week in Aurora, Colo. The four-day course is hosted by Aurora Fire Rescue and is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Forest Service.

Developed by the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Responding to the Interface course includes classroom education and field training designed to provide comprehensive strategic and tactical training in fighting urban wildfires. Through the course, structural fire teams gain a consistent basic understanding of safety, command and control, strategies and tactics to use when fighting wildland fires. Taught by eight national instructors, the course develops trusted and trained local instructors to provide the RTI course to all local firefighters.

“As evidenced by the devastation of the Marshall Fire in late 2021 and the recent Maui fires, wildfires are not just threats for rural areas and forest lands. As development continues to expand, the line separating urban, suburban and rural communities has blurred, proportionally increasing the risk for disaster,” said Travis Pulliam, president of the IAFF Local 1290 firefighter’s union representing AFR. “This course is equipping representatives from five Colorado fire departments to become subject-matter experts to teach best practices in fighting urban wildfires to their crews.”

A total of 24 firefighters and company officers are participating in the course, including representatives from:

  • Aurora Fire Rescue
  • Colorado Springs Fire
  • Denver Fire
  • South Adams County Fire Department
  • South Metro Fire

“Aurora Fire Rescue is grateful to have the opportunity to host this important course for the Front Range in responding to wildland urban interface events,” said AFR Operations Commander Jon C. Hill, who oversees the department’s Wildlands operations. “With two stations and a fleet of apparatus that is designated for in-city and mutual aid wildland response, the mission of AFR’s wildland team is to combat wildland and urban interface fires that threaten natural resources, communities and property.”

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