Burlington Fire Department

Training and Safety

BFD believes that training never ends for emergency personnel. Our strategic training program incorporates aspects of any incident to which we could be called to respond. Through shift- and company-level drills, lectures, and joint trainings with BPD and neighboring departments, we ensure that all of our members are more than prepared to provide the highest level of emergency care and service. 


All new recruits complete an 8-week academy with a progressive training style, covering topics including fireground operations, EMS, technical rescue, and apparatus driving. Recruits will be instructed on knowledge that they will build on in future classes. For example, in one session they will learn about knots, anchors, and equipment selection and later about how systems come together for rappelling to, packaging, and raising a patient.

Typically, each day begins with physical fitness training. Recruits will then have classroom instruction and hands-on training to learn and apply techniques learned in the classroom environment. Observational time is scheduled on both suppression and EMS units to give recruits a chance to get more comfortable with the trucks, equipment, and personnel they’ll soon be working with.


Upon graduation from the academy, recruits will be sworn in as probationary members of the department and will receive an assignment on an engine. A Senior Firefighter will work with each probationary firefighter to guide them through a year of more focused academic work and hands-on training. In addition to emergency incident skills and knowledge, the curriculum includes department SOPs, Vermont EMS protocols, and district familiarization. Probationary firefighters will spend some of their shift time on ambulances in order to advance their EMS skills. Prior to the completion of their first year, they will also become driver/operators on all units other than the tower. Upon passing the final skill and knowledge tests, probationary firefighters will be sworn in as firefighters and may submit a request for their desired assignment.


Shift training occurs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The BFD training program focuses on both particular skills and larger-scale scenarios to ensure the highlest level of application of these skills. Ambulance coverage is scheduled periodically to allow ambulance crews to progress in their fire skills and to foster teamwork with the suppression units they respond with.


Training Officer: 

Troy Ruggles

Battalion Chief

132 North Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401
Ph: 802-658-1491