TEN WEEKS – THIRTY RECRUITS – 900 DEGREES.
Join the firefighter recruits of the 2018 New Hampshire Fire Academy’s Firefighter Recruit program as they endure the challenges, both physical and mental, of becoming a firefighter. These thirty recruits, from all walks of life, must come together and work as a team if they hope to become a firefighter.
Our cameras followed the recruits daily throughout their ten week recruit program, in the classroom, on the training grounds and after hours to show you what it takes to pass this rigorous training program. In this multi-part web series, not only will you see what the recruits are doing, but you will also get to know who they are as people.
Run Time: 17:30
Release date: 4/2/2019
Thirty new recruits arrive at the Fire Academy for orientation day. While the recruits get to know the staff, we meet two of our focus recruits: Doc and Gretchen.
Run Time: 17:23
Release date: 4/9/2019
Students start the program off with their first physical test: a conditioning run. Docs injuries become an issue, a student is missing, and we meet Brittani.
Run Time: 17:12
Release date: 4/16/2019
As week 1 continues recruits are issued their PPE and get familiar with it before encountering their first firefighting related challenge.
Run Time: 17:25
Release date: 4/23/2019
The recruit program enters week 2 as the students hear rumors of a “nature walk” being moved up, and later in the week students learn about building construction during a more enjoyable walking tour of Concord.
Run Time: 18:31
Release date: 4/30/2019
The recruits get to experience fire for the first time as they enter the “can” to experience flashovers. We meet Ashton at home.
Run Time: 19:14
Release date: 5/21/2019
In this episode join the recruits as the learn how to master fire hoses. Recruits then conquer their own fears as they climb to new heights learning ladder operations. Finally, we join our recruits as they head out to the grocery store and kick back and relax in the dorms after hours.
Run Time: 19:24
Release date: 5/28/2019
Join our recruits as they head out into the woods to learn wild land firefighting. We spend some after-hours time with them in the dorm as they have dinner. Finally, the recruits head into search and rescue training and get challenged in the “Confidence maze”.
Run Time: 24:38
Release date: 6/4/2019
In this episode the recruits are worried about how they did on a major written test on Haz-Mat. Also our cameras get unprecedented access as we follow Ashton and Doc as they are both face their own challenges fighting fires on the training ground.
Run Time: 15:34
Release Date: 06/18/2019
In this episode recruits face their fear of heights, endure weather challenges, tear up cars and Gretchen shows off some musical talents.
Run Time: 18:33
Release Date: 06/25/2019
The recruits face their final challenges both on the drill yard and in the classroom. September means graduation day for some who began their journey in June.
None listed at this time. Stay tuned for frequent updates.
Brittani Rutherford, Recruit – With a goal of becoming her family’s first firefighter, Brittani Rutherford, 26, of Derry came to the academy’s summer recruit program charged and ready. Brittani grew up in New Hampshire where she was homeschooled with her brother Cody.As a youngster Brittani grew up doing many sports and activities, including karate, skiing, soccer, basketball and swimming. Brittani had a passion for dance and at age 20 she had choreographed her first solo, won top honors and made it to the finals of Miss Dance Ovations in Massachusetts.
Not only did Brittani partake in these activities, she also gave her time teaching them to others.She has also modeled since she was an infant, appearing in a television commercial at age 4. Her widest exposure came when she was featured in a photograph that appeared on the packaging for the board game Clue as a 9-year-old.
When Brittani does have free time she likes to hang out with her brother Cody, whom she remains close to, and her girlfriends. Cody, an auto aficionado who works for a company outfitting emergency vehicles, has his own shop where he and Brittani spend time tinkering on cars.
After her grade school years Brittani attended Manchester Community College. She eventually started a journey into emergency medicine at age 16 when she began working as a lifeguard and was certified in first aid and CPR. She said she “fell in love with helping people and being responsible for the safety of others.”
Brittani began training as an emergency medical technician in 2010. Struggling with her first program and finding herself failing during its midterm, she went looking for a new school with a different approach she felt would suit her approach to learning. Under the guidance of a mentor, Brittani learned that never giving up was the key to success and she was finally was able to pass the rigorous National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians written exam and became an EMT in 2013.
Energized with a can-do attitude and experience working as an EMT for a handful of local EMS providers, Brittani knew it what she wanted to do for the rest of her life- that and to become a firefighter.
Further inspired by what she said was the strong reputation of the New Hampshire Fire Academy, Brittani enrolled for the summer recruit program in February 2018. When she learned in April that she was accepted she gathered together friends and family to celebrate and started preparing for what she hoped would be the best summer of her life.
James Merron “Doc”, Recruit –Marron has a history of service to others.
Doc’s public service career began with his enlistment as a United States Marine and a 5-year tour in the United States Navy as a hospital corpsman. Doc’s infantry battalion deployed to Iraq twice between 2004 and 2006. He earned the designation enlisted Fleet Marine Forces Warfare Specialist as well as the rank of Petty Officer Third Class. Doc retired from active military duty after being wounded twice and completing the second of the two tours overseas.
He said over the next decade he struggled with what he felt the war had done to him and feelings of being lost and isolated. That changed for him with a chance encounter while working at a local outdoor retailer.
Doc had been working at the Barn Store of New England when a captain in the Franklin, New Hampshire fire department came in one day when Marron was working. Doc remembered growing up in Londonderry with his father- a call firefighter and emergency medic al technician. He said something inside him led him that moment to ask if Franklin had call firefighters at the department. The captain encouraged him to come in and fill out paperwork. For Doc, that was a pivotal moment.
Joining the town’s fire department as a call support firefighter, Doc was placed on the station’s rehabilitation unit, working 2 hours a week on the B-shift. Those 2 hours turned into many more and a love for service above self was rejuvenated.
During the next few months and with the support of his wife Danielle, Doc made the commitment to attend the New Hampshire Fire Academy’s summer recruit program. Later in 2018 Doc enrolled in a wilderness emergency medical technician program run by Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO). Three weeks later he had completed the specialty program began working on an ambulance at Penacook Civil Defense. He began pursuing his advanced EMT training in April with plans to attain paramedic-level certification.
Doc enjoys global travel, advocating for veterans benefits, firearms collecting and hunting. He hopes his experiences in the military medical field will be beneficial to those he said he has the honor to take care of.
Ashton Rome has been privileged to have a long and successful twelve year professional hockey career in both North America and Europe. He grew up on a farm in Western Canada in the village of Nesbitt. When he was 16 years old he moved away from home to play junior hockey and to pursue his hockey career. When he was 18, he was selected by the Boston Bruins in the fourth round, 108th overall in the 2004 NHL entry draft. He never signed a contract with the Bruins, but in 2006 he was selected again in the NHL Entry Draft 143rd overall by the San Jose Sharks. Shortly after that he signed HIS first professional hockey contract with the San Jose Sharks.
In 2006 he started his Professional hockey career in Worcester Massachusetts. That year he met his wife, Mackenzie. For twelve years they traveled all over North America and Germany playing for different professional hockey teams. Over those 12 seasons his family grew and he is lucky enough to have 3 beautiful children. Julien is his oldest son, Calliope is his daughter, and Easton is his youngest son.
He retired from hockey in 2018 and he is pursuing his new dream of becoming a full-time firefighter. After seeking advice from local fire officials, Ashton enrolled in the New Hampshire Fire Academy Recruit School. Ashton attended the 2018 Recruit School and Graduated in September of 2018.
Captain Christopher Rousseau FF / NRAEMT –Chris has worked full-time with the New Hampshire Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Services since 2006. As a Captain he oversees the Education Technology section and is responsible for the design and implementation of the division’s online learning platform and electronic resources. Chris also works with the Town of Deering Fire and Rescue Department as a firefighter / AEMT and is a member of the National Ski Patrol, working winters at Pats Peak Ski Area in Henniker, NH. Chris is a licensed NH EMS instructor/coordinator and has been teaching EMS certification programs for the last 23 years.
Mike Scherb Staff Instructor – Started firefighting career as a volunteer in Greenland NH in 1996. Hired by the City of Portland ME in 2002, currently a Lieutenant on Ladder Co. 6 on the cities west end. Been an instructor since 2004 and currently a Senior Staff instructor at the Academy. Married with 3 children. Evelyn 5, Grady 3, and Liam 1.
Men and women, both young and old, are attracted to the fire service for many reasons: the challenge of a physically demanding job, the rewards of performing a service to the community, and/or good pay and benefits. No matter what your motivations, you have to start somewhere. We hope this document is helpful to you, and we hope you will utilize the New Hampshire Fire Academy as a resource to you on your path to becoming a firefighter.
There are a few things you should know before pursuing fire fighting as a career or a civic service. New Hampshire firefighters are broken into three major categories: volunteer, paid-on-call, and permanent.
Volunteer departments manage their firefighters without compensation and those firefighters view their role as a civic service in their community. Call fire departments do not have regular staffed shifts, but compensate firefighters on a per call basis; or they may include a monthly stipend. About 80% of fire departments in NH operate as call or volunteer departments. State law does not require training for these departments. However, for the sake of your individual safety and the safety of those around you, training is strongly encouraged. Most departments have training requirements as part of their standard operating guidelines. Also, most of these departments require their firefighters to be a resident of the town they serve. To find out if volunteer or call opportunities are available in your community, contact your local fire department.
Permanent firefighters are those whose career is fire fighting. Only about 20% of NH fire departments are covered by permanent firefighters, which makes seeking a career in the fire service in NH a competitive process. There are State requirements to be eligible to be a permanent firefighter; they may include, but are not limited to the following:
The statewide entrance exam is offered annually through the Fire Academy. Visit the NH Fire Academy Web site for information and access to printable exam packets. All individuals who successfully complete this exam process are put on a list for the next year. This list is utilized by NH fire departments to identify qualified individuals. Some fire departments generate their own lists of qualified individuals by holding their own exams.
Though the entrance exam is a requirement for eligibility, it may not be your first step in attaining a career in the fire service. All fire departments are looking for a certain level of training before they will even grant an interview. Generally, they are looking for training in fire fighting as well as in Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Training may be obtained in a variety of ways; such as, with the ongoing training at the NH Fire Academy in Concord, as well as with field classes throughout the State, and with the Lakes Region Community College in Laconia where a Fire Science Associates Degree is available.
Certification levels in fire fighting for NH are:
Full time departments often seek out those who have attained at least a Firefighter II certification.
EMS training is available throughout the State. A course list may be obtained by contacting the NH Bureau of EMS at (603) 223-4200, or by visiting their Web site.
EMS certification levels are:
There is a high need for Paramedic level firefighters in the State. Attaining at least an EMT certification will increase your employability status for a full-time fire department in NH.