Firefighter training gets funding bump

The Kaua‘i Fire Department has been awarded $162,000 in grant money that it will use to incorporate video streaming in its training program.

The money was awarded after KFD officials applied to be part of the Rural Job Training Initiative Grant from the Department of Labor, which has allocated $5 million for such uses.

Other recipients include theBig Island, Kaua‘i, Maui and O‘ahu community colleges and fire departments throughout the state.

“I’d like to acknowledge Sen. Daniel Inouye for being instrumental in obtaining the grant money for the state,” Kaua‘i Fire Chief Robert Westerman said in a prepared statement.

“Because of his efforts, we’re tapping into the latest technology to train our personnel.”

KFD tried out its new video streaming in a training session last week, said county spokeswoman Mary Daubert.

Personnel at all seven Kaua‘i fire stations were able to view a live on-line training session on extrication techniques, which was being taped at the Emergency Operating Center.

In the past, only two out of the three KFD battalions attended a scheduled training session, while the one that was on-duty had to wait to watch the video at a later time.

The upgrade should help cut overtime expenses for training, officials said, and each training session will be videotaped and uploaded into the fire department’s on-line library.

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