Our department recently purchased a tractor drawn aerial (TDA) and wanted to provide the best possible training for our “train the trainers”. After an exhaustive search this Response Training Group's (RTG) training kept being mentioned as “the best” in the business. As we made contact and explained our situation and future needs, RTG took the lead and walked us through the entire training process they could provide us, needless to say we were impressed. I also need to mention that their instructors are active ladder company members with a passion for instruction.
RTG led our train the trainers through an intensive 4-day challenging course of instruction that included: Setting up and calibrating a qualification course designed specifically for our TDA, practical course driving, road driving along with a day dedicated for our newly trained instructors to “teach back”.
We feel that after having worked with RTG we have created a solid, comprehensive foundation for our TDA initial driving qualifications, re-certification and operations going forward… safely. Their instructor’s passion for ladder operations was evident from day #1, we are very pleased with the feedback we have received from our new TDA train the trainers and are excited and confident going forward with our TDA operations. Thanks!
Training Captain, Spokane Valley Fire Department
Spokane Valley Fire Department, WA
The Anchorage Fire Department’s journey with Response Training Group (RTG) began nearly 4 years ago during the research phase of purchasing our first Tractor-Drawn Aerial (TDA, tiller). We gained tremendous insight into the philosophy of a TDA, critical considerations in spec'ing a TDA, and training to drive and operate a tiller.
Through our research, we found RTGs Tractor-Drawn Aerial Instructor training program to be unmatched throughout the country. The RTG training program is structured in such a way that the lessons build upon each other logically and methodically. Our experience with RTGs training program allowed us to develop a 46-hour TDA Tractor-Driver/Tiller-Operator training program we now require our members to complete for operator certification.
Our entire experience with RTG and their expert staff has ensured our company officers, firefighters and operators are well equipped to respond professionally and safely with our new TDA. We found the RTG TDA Instructor training program a worthy investment and integral component toward the long-term success of our TDA effectiveness.
Paul J. Urbano, Sr. Captain
Anchorage (Alaska) Fire Department
On behalf of Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, I want to express our sincere gratitude for your helping us to build and develop a culture of safety and performance with our new Tractor Drawn Aerial Program. This was an entirely new adventure for us, as we have always purchased straight frame ladder trucks. Frankly, we were a bit nervous to go through the organizational change (and risk) that we thought was associated with moving into tractor drawn aerial apparatus. It was critical for us to get the highest quality training possible to make our program successful from the start, navigate organizational change and minimize risk. The training that you provided for us was exactly that; the highest quality training possible. Your instruction style of giving immediate feedback reinforces a deep understanding of the decisions and actions that are being made, by both the driver and tiller operator. It’s this understanding of teamwork and working in unison, coupled with the unwavering principles of safety and performance that were instilled in your training program, that have set the foundation for our programs success.
We really appreciate it!
Chief Kenny Frentress
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
As a training officer, for firefighters sitting in class, it is critical to be able to keep the student engaged during “seat time” and this group did a great job. Additionally, as a former tiller driver and tractor drawn aerial officer, the technical knowledge with experience the instructors show, makes this training class a must for any department that has a tractor drawn aerial because the class sets a baseline for your department and provides a blueprint for future tiller drivers. This gives consistency and focuses on driver proficiency.
Captain Ray Irizarry
Virginia Beach Fire Department, VA
Our department chose this five day train the trainer program. Without a doubt, it was absolutely the right decision. The instructors provided our four training officers with five days of intense training ranging from classroom instruction, hands on driving skills and muscle memory development, communications and situational awareness as well as advice and direction on use of different instructional techniques to engage and communicate with students. Their classroom and driving instruction provided a solid foundation rooted in common terminology that has provided our department a solid platform to build on as we move forward with our TDA training program. This program is invaluable as it has prevented the development of bad habits that can come from on the job training. We were fortunate that we were able to provide the initial training to our three shifts prior to placing the apparatus in service. I feel that all of these elements put together have created a consistency and continuity between the operators that will become part of our departmental culture.
Chief Patrick Campbell
Wilmington Fire Department, NC
When Brevard County Fire Rescue purchased its first tractor drawn aerial apparatus, we enlisted this TDA driver training program. Their expertise and reputation around the country is what made them stand out from the rest. They have a unique training curriculum that enabled our personnel to better understand the unique handling and maneuvering characteristics and capabilities of our tractor drawn device. They provided a custom tailored presentation as well as two experienced instructors to our location. I am very pleased with this tractor drawn aerial driver training.
Chief Mark Schollmeyer
Brevard County Fire Rescue, FL
I would like to thank the intructor staff for the tractor drawn aerial class that you taught to Cobb County Fire Department.
This class has set our operators on a trajectory for success. From the classroom to the cones courses and on to the street, this program has given our Department the foundation for a successful tractor drawn aerial operation. As a Department purchasing our first tractor drawn aerial, we sought every opportunity to ensure success from the start.
Your staff and program have certainly provided that for us, starting as early as the specification phase through to the rig on the street. Should you ever need assistance in the future, please give me a call.
Battalion Chief Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services
I am writing this on behalf of your training staff in relationship to your groups work ethic and professionalism. Earlier this year the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department (LPFD) received approval for the first time to purchase tractor drawn aerial apparatuses for each city. Like many organizations, the LPFD faced challenges with training and education with this approval.
Recently four of our members completed your four-day tractor drawn aerial train-the-trainer course. In my observation, your group provide a top-quality training program. During the training the instructors provided hours of instruction leading into the night. The instructors maintained a positive and professional attitude throughout the training. I am pleased to recommend your training program to any department seeking training, education, and advice for tractor drawn aerial operations. I am confident the education and training you’ll be provided will become an asset to your respective department and city. Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information regarding my exposure to this training program and their professional cadre.
Battalion Chief – Training
Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department
This was our first tractor drawn aerial for the department. The unit is our first aerial without a pump and tank. It was designed to set the tone for dedicated truck company operations within the department. With no other employees having any experience with this type of unit, the technical knowledge you provided me during our design phase was greatly appreciated and set the tone for the training you would provide. Once here, you took the program and customized the delivery to match the needs of our personnel. The program provided the knowledge and more importantly the confidence required to allow those firefighters to turn around and conduct our own internal classes. The additional knowledge you shared about truck operations was a huge bonus. The pride, dedication and buy-in they have shown to their training program has been impressive to say the least.
I can’t express enough gratitude to you and your staff for the training and teamwork that we received. Being a small organization, the culture you created with the trainers is spilling over into other aspects of the department and making the organization better all around.
Chief G. Wade Simmons
Fire Chief City of Pooler GA
The cadre of instructors provided a 7 day train the trainer program to our department. This project was two years in the making. Since our department was new to the TDA concept, we had substantial amounts of design and deployment obstacles. Not only did they have a superior training product, but they worked with us for the entire two year project to ensure that all components of the purchase were addressed. We were even invited to ride out with instructors and record, first hand, the capabilities of the well trained tiller team on Ladder 9. That single experience provided enough impact to our Chief Officers and Board of Directors, that a TDA purchase was unanimous. The training concepts that they utilizes for tiller operations are bomb proof. In 7 days, they passed over a program that has reset the bar for our organization in regards to training and culture. Our organization is thankful for the experience level a professionalism that that these instructors represents
Lieutenant Dan Mulick
Clackamas Fire District #1, OR
When searching for TDAA training programs, Steve Crothers came highly recommended. As a department that has operated TDAA for many years, several of the senior members were skeptical of what this procgram had to offer with their TDAA program. Early on during the training, it became immediately clear that this was a high quality program in which every member of the department, from rookies to seasoned veterans, could take something away from. Most importantly, the program identified several bad habits that were being perpetuated by our in-house training program and gave us the tools to remedy them. The instructors are a top-notch teacher and his staff was second-to-none. They took the time to get to know our department and our apparatus, and freely shared their in-depth knowledge of TDAA in a positive, professional, and enjoyable manner. Each member that participated in the training now feels fully confident in their knowledge, skills, and abilities when operating TDAA. Without hesitation, we would highly recommend this training program to any department looking to establish or improve upon a TDAA training program.
Lieutenant Kyle Billips
Chesapeake Fire Department, VA
The Vallejo Fire Department started using TDA’s in 1991 until present. The Vallejo Fire Department is very dependent on truck company operations and developed what we felt was a very comprehensive training program for Tiller and Tractor operators. I was one of the first Tiller operators in our department and also helped to develop our “in house” training program. The department continued to use the same program until the present time.
In August of 2014 our tiller truck 21 was involved in a catastrophic accident which resulted in serious injuries to 3 personnel and a totaled Tiller Truck. After the accident members of our department started looking at the need to upgrade our TDA training. Steve Crothers was contacted to help in the development of the program.
The training given produced a tangible, positive impact on our department and the operation of a TDA. The Instructors I were aware that the Vallejo Fire Department had been operating TDA’s for around 25 years and they showed incredible insight into our training methods and truck operations. They are solution based and helped us to identify some of the bad habits that can develop after years of TDA operations. They made a favorable impression and easily gained acceptance by our department by working harmoniously and effectively with all our personnel.
The class started with a classroom PowerPoint teaching the fundamentals of TDA driving and giving the student the cognitive learning skills to be successful operators and instructors. The classroom also helped get ready for the rodeo portion of the training. The rodeo was an excellent opportunity of enforce the fundamentals learned in the classroom. The rodeo helped to quickly identify problem areas a student might have and point out corrective actions to be taken. Students were taught to also identify themselves what their problem areas were, by stopping the rig at critical areas and having open student discussion.
I have been a Captain on a TDA for 12 years, was a Driver and firefighter on the truck. I would recommend the training program to any Department that is just moving to Tiller Trucks or wants to provide new training methods to their department.
Capt. Daniel Sarna
Vallejo Fire Department, CA