Alva Review-Courier -

High-scoring volunteers complete Firefighter I certification


December 21, 2018

Marione Martin

Seven volunteer firefighters wait to receive their helmets from Alva Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Miller. The men were promoted to Firefighter I status after extensive training. From left, front row, are: Chase Isenbart, Adam Grimsley, Sam Flaming, Nick Davis and Glen Cushenbery. Back row: Tyler Willyard and Gavin Willyard.

Seven volunteer firefighters were honored during the Alva City Council meeting Monday night. The men are graduates of the 2018 Firefighter I Academy held in the recently completed Alva training facility. The academy ran from mid-March through June.

Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Bryan Miller reminded the council that the facility was built without spending tax dollars. Grants and donations were used for funding. The city street department did the concrete work. Local firefighters provided the rest of the labor. Gesturing toward the firefighters, Miller said, "These guys right here put blood, sweat and tears into building these."

With the new facility, Alva firefighters can train at home "instead of having to leave their jobs and travel to Stillwater or Hutchinson," said Miller. Alva can also provide training for area firefighters. "We've been running several academies," he said. "Oklahoma State University has put us out for bid for another fire academy here in Alva."

Besides the obvious advantages of having a well-trained fire department, the higher training levels improve Alva's ISO rating which benefits residents through lower insurance rates. Miller said the Alva firefighters voted to require that all their volunteer firefighters complete the Firefighter I training within three years.

"I ask a lot of them," said Miller. He says Alva probably trains more than most departments that include both full time and volunteer firefighters. "Just ask their wives and kids."

Miller said the Firefighter I rank requires a 70 percent passing grade on the IFSAC (International Fire Service Accreditation Congress) test. "I don't think that's good enough." He raised the bar to 80 percent.

"Each one of these guys right here blew that out of the water," he said. The average of the class was 96 percent. "I gave them an A." Each had to complete the 96 hour course and eight hours of certification in addition to the test.

Miller gave special recognition to the highest grade point average in the class at 97.02 percent. He called Adam Grimsley forward for that certificate.

Then Miller called the names of each of the firefighters as they were handed their helmets and shook hands with the mayor, city manager and each of the council members.

In addition to Grimsley, those honored were Sam Flaming, Glen Cushenbery, Gavin Willyard, Tyler Willyard, Nick Davis and Chase Isenbart.

A video of the entire city council meeting may be seen at


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