On Thursday the Shawnee Fire Department finished a three-day training event through the Blue Card Incident Command Training Program.

On Thursday the Shawnee Fire Department finished a three-day training event through the Blue Card Incident Command Training Program.

Chief Dru Tischer said retired Phoenix, Arizona, Fire Department Capt. John Brunacini came to speak to each of his shifts.

“In the fire service, Incident Command is the cornerstone of everything we do,” he said. “Our crews operate in teams as part of an overall incident operation in IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life & Health) atmospheres.”

He said this requires communication and coordination at the highest level that is managed by an Incident Commander to do safely and effectively.

“The goal of the Blue Card program is to eliminate firefighter maydays by enhancing the communication and coordination capabilities of those who receive the training and become certified as Blue Card Incident Commanders,” he said.

In March, Shawnee's seven department chief officers completed 50 hours of training and were certified after successful completion of a three-day practical skills assessment at the Yukon Fire Department, Tischer said. Earlier this month, Training Chief David Underwood, Battalion Chief Jack Miller, Battalion Chief Tom Larman and Battalion Chief Tony Wittmann traveled to Phoenix — funding was provided through a 50-percent grant from the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security — and successfully completed the train-the-trainer portion of Blue Card, which certifies them to teach the course.

“This is very exciting, as we will now be able to establish a Command Training Center to train and certify our department members along with those of other communities,” he said. “Our next goal is to enroll our department captains in the program and certify them in-house with our newly-certified instructors.”

Brunacini — along with his father, Alan, and brother, Nick — is one of the authors of the Blue Card program.

“I am very excited that he was able to share the background and origin story of the program, along with his perspectives on Incident Command with our department members.”

The training began Tuesday and wrapped up Thursday at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.