New fire lieutenants graduate LFD Company Officer Academy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — On Friday, eleven central Kentucky firefighters graduated from the Lexington Fire Department’s Company Officer Academy. The program was developed by the fire department to better prepare new lieutenants.

Training officer and firefighter Captain Scott Whitt says one of the biggest differences in being a lieutenant is you’re no longer being told what to do at an emergency. “Now, you’re the one telling people what to do,” says Whitt. “It’s being responsible for the members of your company and making sure they go home.”

Whitt was one of the officers responsible for training the eleven over the past four weeks.

He says the academy tries to prepare the new or soon-to-be lieutenants for technical and tactile proficiency. To a person outside of the department that means the graduates can effectively lead a crew into a fire or dangerous situation. “Candidly, you start passing along information and giving orders to your guys about what the next step is, to find a solution to the problem,” says Whitt.

One of the eleven graduates is Lieutenant Travis Myers, who has actually held that rank since last year. “To me, it’s going to ease a lot of the questions I had from making that transition,” says Myers.

The department says that’s the purpose of the Company Officer Academy. Whitt says the COA was started by former Chief Keith Jackson. He says the idea for the program was born about five years ago, when he and other newly promoted officers would get together and discuss different scenarios. “For us, that was the advent of this Company Officer Academy. It’s about passing along the knowledge and lessons learned from those who went before ya,” says Whitt.

Whitt says local programs like Lexington’s are rare. So rare in fact, it is difficult to find data on them. He says LFD’s is specifically tailored to Lexington. Whitt says serving your local community is the most important lesson the academy teaches. “Maintaining the trust the community has in us as professionals. We’ve established a good reputation. It’s something we are proud of. We want these guys to understand how important that reputation is,” says Whitt.

Out of the eleven graduates, two are from Somerset and nine are from Lexington.

Categories: Local News, News

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