Apr 4, 2022
Inside a MT Firefighter Training Academy


Thinking about a career as a firefighter? Do you think you have what it takes?

A recent story from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle highlighted what it’s like on the inside as a firefighter recruit in the Big Sky country.

Below is an excerpt from that story.

The new academy is a 12-week program created from a collaboration of Central Valley Fire District, Bozeman Fire Department and Big Sky Fire Department to train new firefighters from their respective departments together.

There are six recruits from CVFD, and one from the Bozeman Fire for this inaugural class.

In many ways, the Gallatin Valley Fire Academy is the next evolution of the relationships amongst the three agencies.

Mike Maltaverne, the deputy fire chief for Bozeman Fire, said that there have always been strong relationships between the neighboring fire departments.

He said that the Bozeman Fire depends on its mutual aid partners when his department might not be able muster enough firefighters. And when another mutual aid agency needs help, they reciprocate.

Maltaverne’s agency would train recruits in-house in an eight to 12-week program. The new academy provides the opportunity to create the best level of service for each agency’s communities, and standardization in practices.

“Imagine bringing those firefighters together who are taught different standards and with different equipment, it doesn’t make sense,” Maltaverne said.

Big Sky Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Seth Barker agreed with the need for standardization. His agency would train recruits in-house, too.

He said that it is critical that the three mutual aid partners are able to work together and trust each other.

Central Valley Fire District’s Interim Operations Chief Justin Monroe said that before the new academy launched, his agency would send recruits to train in Colorado for a 14-week academy.

That facility has numerous bells and whistles for recruits to train with. For example, there is a full road course to teach them how to drive and even parallel park a firetruck.

» ALSO SEE: OR Firefighters Receive Burn-to-Learn Training

There is also a three-story building that Stratman referred to as the “search house,” which has walls that pivot on poles to change the layout of the rooms.

Then there is the “dirty classroom” at the facility where recruits will spend much of their time pouring over a thick textbook.

To read the full story from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, click here.