MFSI Newsletter

Dear Fire Instructors,                                                                                                                                         February 2, 2017

Well, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, for me anyway. We have all had a bit of a break through the holiday season and now it’s back at it. We have a lot to accomplish this year to continue our climb to the peak of the fire training dominion. We will be faced with many new and unique challenges over the year, but we shall work hard and rise up and meet those challenges head on. Again, I will reiterate the fact that we will be very busy; our demand is high for field delivery programs so we need you folks to answer the bell. This spring we will be providing a few Live Fire Training Trailer programs and will need the folks that are qualified on the trailer to step up and pull to make sure these deliveries are top notch. As Director, I feel we have made some great improvements and things seem to be falling into place, which is nice to see to be honest. I strongly feel this is due to your individual contributions to our fellow fire fighters here in Maine and our organization. I want to personally thank you for that commitment, we always have a more to get done. Every day we will work to make the organization better and strive to make our programs more efficient and effective as we move into the future.

Stay strong and stay safe,

Director, Jimmy Graves


Outlined below is an update on everything we have going as of this date.

  • 2018 Maine State Fire Officer Academy Update: The Maine State Fire Officer Academy has kicked off with 18 candidates, currently they are working on their 19 papers. A great group of professionals from all over the state.  We look forward to seeing them all in March.  TPM Morris reports that the group is on task and all 18 should be reporting to the academy on March 9th 2018 in Belfast.
  • 2018 Maine State Fire Academy Update: The academy is underway, the second in-service weekend was held in January and they will be reporting again on March 23rd for another weekend. We currently have 20 candidates working hard and looking forward to June.
  • New England Fire Training Directors Meeting: Deputy Roy and Director Graves attended the New England Fire Training Directors Meeting on January 30th in Vermont. The meeting is designed to establish new working and collaborating relationships and the sharing of materials.  The meeting went well and we will be hosting the NEFTD Meeting in late July.   We found we are doing well in regards to many aspects of our operation in parallel with other New England States.
  • Basic Pumps/Advanced Pumps Programs Update: The committee met on January 12th 2018 and worked on framing up the Advanced Pumps program and we should be running a few pilot programs this spring and summer. Train the Trainers will follow.
  • National Fire Academy at MFSI: March 10th & 11th 2018 We had to cancel the Wildland Urban Interface Program due to low enrollment. But we are happy to say we will be running the Training Operations in Small Departments and have over 17 people signed up.
  • MFSI Web-Site – Things are progressing well and our web-site should have a fresh new look and feel by mid-summer. Some of the advancements are as follows:
    • Updated look and operations
    • New equipment menu with descriptions and photos of props
    • Mobile device applications friendly
    • A more efficient calendar
    • Resource information and agency collaboration
  • AFG Grant 2017 Fire Equipment – We are about to put in for our fifth AFG Grant, this year we are seeking two one-ton hauling trucks, that are a bit larger than the current leased trucks, to help haul our equipment around the state. The trucks we have been getting do not have the power to haul some of the larger trailers like the SCBA Air Management trailer and the MAST trailer.  We also plan on applying for a real fire extinguisher trainer for firefighting with props like trash cans and stove tops.  Also, a simulations hardware and software package for our fire officer academy and basic fire officer programs.
  • New Laws that affect MFSI Contract Instructors: 2013 – Campus Save Act Amended the Clery Act to mandate extensive “primary prevention and awareness programs” regarding sexual misconduct and related offences. What does this mean to you the instructor? Well, you have to take four on-line programs on the following.  Campus SaVE Act, Dating Violence, Sexual Harassment and Workplace Violence.  The College needs to be at 100% training compliance.  It will take you approximately 2 hours to complete all four programs.  The programs are as follows:
    • Campus SaVE Act for Employees – Sexual Violence Awareness
    • Workplace Violence
    • Dating Violence
    • Sexual Harassment

There will be an official communication on this issue very soon.  Look for it in your email. 

  • County Outreach Programs – We will be planning a couple county outreach programs after the fire officer academy is in the books in late March. We are looking at Franklin County for the spring to hold a program.
  • MFSI Hiring Process – We will be posting our intent to begin the process of instructor recruitment as soon as we get the letters of intent out and organized. We will be looking to bring on a few new instructors that will assist us with our mission for the future.
  • Partnerships with other State Agencies – We will be formalizing an official partnership with the Maine Bureau of Labor very soon, this is very positive news that our agencies can work together for the greater good. We will keep you posted on our progress.
  • REAL ID AGAIN – Update: This just in from the National Fire Academy: As Director this is great news but hard to keep up with.  REAL ID Enforcement: Maine


Maine has an extension for REAL ID enforcement, allowing Federal agencies to accept driver’s licenses and identification cards from Maine at Federal facilities, nuclear power plants and federally regulated commercial aircraft until October 10, 2018. DHS is currently reviewing extension requests from states with extensions that expired on October 10th, 2017.  DHS will update this page as these reviews are completed and new extensions are granted.  In the meantime, there will be no change in enforcement status for these states.  States will have a grace period until January 22, 2018, meaning that Federal agencies (including TSA) will continue to accept driver’s license and identification cards issued by these states in accordance with each agency’s policies.  SO, we can get on campus with our Maine State Driver Licenses.  This is really good news for Maine State Weekend.

Please push these programs throughout the State.

  • Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant 2016Auto Extrication: Work continues on the grant, the bids have been awarded and the majority of the equipment has been purchased. The committee is currently working on the trailer specifications for a goose-neck style trailer that will hold all the equipment. The committee has met with vendors and are currently reviewing layouts and will work on a layout that will optimize space and functionality. We plan to have the trailer RFPs finalized and sent out to the prospective bidders before the end of February and our goal is to have the trailer ordered in March. The committee’s goal remains to be having the new trailer and tools ready to roll for May 2018, but it is looking like we will have the tools but the trailer might be closer to the end of June. We have put together a curriculum committee and have had several meetings and it looks like we are very close to finalizing the extrication curriculum and are in hopes that it can be piloted by May. We have decided that we would start with a basic extrication class that would meet the standards set forth by Jones and Bartlett and NFPA 1006. Depending on how this course goes, and the demand for it, we are considering an advanced extrication class that we would work on next winter for a Spring 2018 release. We are excited about this program and will be considering a TtT immediately following our pilots.
  • Live Fire Training, NFPA 1403 Program – Recently in collaboration with Maine Bureau of Labor Standards in Augusta we held a NFPA 1403 Live Fire Training Program. The program was well attended and was well received by all that attended.  We will be holding a National Fire Academy Health and Safety Officer Program on February 26th & 27th at the Bureau of Labor.  Here is the link to sign up.
  • Instructor Workshop: In light of many variables we will not be planning a workshop this March. We have a lot of work to get squared away on hiring, promoting, equipment train the trainers etc.  These items have to take the priority and will need to be held in a different format.  We will keep you posted as we get things worked out.  Depending on the financial outlook it may be a year off, we will need to place our funds in programs and delivery.
  • Fire Instructor I & II Programs: We had to cancel the Fire Instructor I & II program in Washington County, we only had four candidates apply. We are hosting one in Cumberland County hosted by the Falmouth Fire Department.  Also, we are offering one Oxford County hosted by the Paris Fire Department deadline February 17th 2018 with a start date of February 24th  Course is posted on our web-site.
  • Fire Fighters Safety: Folks, you are all aware that we continue to face new and complex deadly threats in emergency response. People continuously do things that well, are not very intelligent.  The fallout can be deadly for both citizens and fire fighters alike.  We here at MFSI care deeply for your safety and wanted to bring the latest issue to your attention.  Yesterday while attending the Legislative breakfast in Augusta a very good friend shared photos (see below) of what could be a catastrophic incident for first responders and civilians alike.  This is what is called a HONEY OIL.

This was discovered in a City in Maine, in an apartment building.  The amount of flammable gas could potentially level the building.  See below link for more info. 

Please see refer to the link for more information.  Folks, please stay safe out there we never know what we may encounter on dispatch of an alarm.


Personal Message from Deputy Director Jim Roy

Dear Fire Instructors,

Another winter season is upon us and I have tried to use this time to reflect on my first year at MFSI. It has been a whirlwind of a year with all the programs that we continue to provide to the fire departments across the state along with grant work and equipment procurement. I want to thank all of the fire instructors, committee members, MFSI office personnel, and our TPMs for all their efforts on another great training season.

Speaking of instructors, the staff at MFSI has had many discussions regarding our instructor cadre and I made mention of sending out Letters of Intent (LOI) to all of you instructors in my last message. I’m sure that you have noticed that you hadn’t received them yet. The reason for this delay is that after these many discussions I have decided that I would like to make contact with instructors that have not been active for quite some time. This decision was made to not bother to go through the process of sending useless information to an instructor that has no intentions of continuing to teach for us. Once the contact has been made with these instructors, the remaining instructors will receive an LOI. This LOI will be similar to the ones that have been sent in years past with a different twist. A list will be kept of the LOI’s that have been returned to this office and if your LOI is not returned within thirty days of them being sent, you will receive a phone call from either Director Graves, your respective Training Program Manager or myself asking your intentions as an instructor for MFSI. This phone call will determine your status as an MFSI instructor and if it is decided that you no longer wish to be a part of this organization, you will be asked to return all MFSI gear and equipment that have been assigned to you. Also, as Director Graves has already mentioned, it is part of your duties as an employee to complete the online training programs required by SMCC. The directions for this training will be in your LOI. Please review the LOIs carefully.

MFSI is working diligently to provide the best possible training to the firefighters in the State of Maine and we can’t do it without you instructors. The safety of Maine’s firefighters depends on all of us!

Be Safe,

Jim Roy, Deputy Director

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.”    Henry Ward Beecher
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