13th Annual Walker Sisk Memorial Truck School – March 24-26, 2017
Walker Andrew Sisk
Walker Sisk joined the Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department in May of 2001. He looked pretty scruffy then, not the ordinary type of recruit we see. What we know now is Walker came to us to start his dream of being a firefighter. Walker immersed himself into the department and had a thirst for learning the tools of the trade. He really loved to learn how to do things and drill on them to become more proficient.
Walker was very active in the department. In 2002 he ran over 500 calls for the year, 5th most of any member. Most of all he loved being at the station with the people, his brothers, helping others in the community when they needed it most.
Traditions in the fire service were important to Walker. One tradition Walker loved was the firefighter helmet. The New Yorker style helmet is steeped in tradition in the fire service. Walker helped lead a movement within our department to change over to that style of helmet. We weren’t able to purchase everyone a new helmet in the first year. But that didn’t matter to Walker. We were buying a polycarbonate helmet in the “New Yorker Style”. Walker had to have the real thing, a leather one. So he purchased a used one with his own money. His parents told me they found Walker downstairs one evening working on the helmet. He’d taken the time to shape it just how he wanted, then sanded the helmet and re-painted it to make it look new.
Another tradition in the fire service is that of the brotherhood of the firefighters. It’s at times like this that we truly come to know the meaning of it. I believe this tradition meant the most to Walker.
Walker fit right in at the firehouse. Kidding & joking around with each other is just part of the landscape, and Walker was good at it, both giving and taking. I can just see him lumbering into the station, boots untied, in his favorite “Carhart” jeans, that huge belt buckle and some old beat up looking John Deere hat on top of his head. He liked to call it “that good old Free Union boy look”. When he walked in the room it would light up. That wry smile and mischievous twinkle in his eye made you smile. And who could forget that stutter laugh of his. Walker loved to make people smile. His untimely passing has taught us more about that brotherhood and one of his legacies at Seminole is that tradition of the brotherhood.
On November 8, 2003 Walker was stabbed multiple times and killed in the area of the Corner in Charlottesville, VA by a man armed with a large Buck knife.
“Walker Andrew Sisk was a son, a friend, a brother, and a hero for us all. Though he is no longer here on Earth, he will be with us all in our own journeys through life helping us along the way and smiling every step. We will all keep a special place for Walker. Every time the doors open and the sirens wind up Walker will be with us. His spirit is what will let us go forth, and we will never forget what a companionate and loving son, friend, and brother Walker was to us all. We miss you so very, very much Walker, and we love you.”
Over ten years ago, company officers and senior level personnel in the area noticed a strong need for basic truck company skills. These people decided that in order to provide adequate training in this area, we would hold a training program that would highlight the important topics of what a Truck Company does. We are very excited to be able to conduct such a training program.
We have designed a curriculum around the essential of firefighting and basic Truck Company techniques. Hopefully by the end of this program you will receive most of the necessary training to participate in some capacity on a Truck Company. This weekend will serve as an introduction level course and also allow some “hands on” type training as well.
Although this weekend is packed with excitement, please keep in mind that safety is an important factor in the success of our mission. If anyone sees an unsafe activity, you have the right to stop it immediately by stating “STOP, STOP, STOP”! When this phrase is heard, all actions are to cease immediately! This phrase should be repeated by everyone until all actions have stopped. An instructor will investigate and advise when training may resume. Please notify an instructor of any hazardous actions. Any student behaving in an unsafe manner will be reprimanded and possibly removed from training.
Should anyone feel ill, sick, or become injured, notify an instructor immediately. Care will be provided on scene, or by the rescue squad, depending on the severity of the illness and/or injury.
Finally, the most important thing to keep in mind this weekend……HAVE FUN!!! Enjoy yourselves. We are going to provide you a wonderful opportunity to learn, gain experience and have fun. Take it and run with it!
Scope & Objectives
The scope of this training is to orient personnel to what functions a Truck Company performs at various incidents. We will accomplish this by completing the following objectives:
• Classroom discussion of basic Truck Company topics;
• Review basic practical techniques of Truck Company tasks;
• Evaluation of practical “Truck” skills;
• Participation in reality based scenarios;
• Conducting a critique and evaluation of the training program.
Instructional Staff – Present & Past
The WSM Truck School instructors come from a varied background and each have many years of practical experience. They are assigned to a station which they improve from year to year so the school is constantly getting better. No instructor or staff member receives any compensation for their time and hard effort. They do what they do purely for the love of the job.
– is Training Captain with the Charlottesville Fire Department and a Life Member of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad. John is also an adjunct instructor in Driver-Aerial Operations and Heavy & Technical Rescue for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. John is currently assigned to CFD Tower 10 and has over 35 years of fire service experience. He has a BS in Fire Science from the University of Maryland and is completing the requirements for a MS degree in Occupational Safety and Heath from Columbia Southern University. John serves as the WSM School Safety Officer.
– is the Captain/Shift Commander assigned to Station-1 for the City of Staunton Fire & Rescue Department. Brian started his career in 1992 as a volunteer and was hired by the City of Staunton in 1999. Brian was assigned to Truck-1 for the city until 2012 when he was promoted to Captain and transferred to Engine-1. Brian serves on the state Division-2 Urban Search and Rescue Team and the Augusta County Haz-Mat Team. Brian is a graduate of Columbia Southern University holding an associate’s degree of Applied Science in Fire Science. Captain Butler teaches the WSM School Search & Rescue station.
– is a Lieutenant with the Henrico County Division of Fire and an active Life Member of the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department. Dana is assigned to Station 1 which houses the Technical Rescue Team and is assigned to Truck 1. Dana is an fire instructor for VDFP and has over 20 years of fire service experience. This will be Dana’s 7th year teaching the WSM School Vent-Enter-Search station.
– is the Chief of the Lake Monticello Fire Department and Captain with the Charlottesville Fire Department where he is currently assigned as company officer for CFD Engine 7. Scott is also an adjunct instructor for fire fighter and driver-aerial operations for the Virginia Department of Fire programs. Chief Carpenter has over 26 years of fire service experience. Scott teaches the WSM School VES station.
– is a Firefighter with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue currently assigned to Tower Ladder 24 in Woodlawn/Mt. Vernon. He began his career with Fairfax in 2006 and also serves as an adjunct instructor for FCFR Field Training. Rich teaches the WSM School Commercial Forcible Entry station.
– is currently a firefighter specialist with the Chesterfield Fire & EMS Department in addition to 13 prior years as a Captain of the Dinwiddie Co. 1 Volunteer Fire Department. Terry has been a member of the Central Virginia Technical Rescue Team for the past 7 years. Terry is also a member of the CFEMS SCUBA Rescue Team for the past 5 years and Public Safety Dive Instructor. Terry is currently assigned to CFEMS Truck 14 and has over 25 years of fire service experience. He teaches the WSM School Ground Ladder station.
– is a 3rd generation fire fighter and is currently a Firefighter/Medic III with the Hanover County Fire & EMS Department. Brad is also an adjunct instructor in firefighting, Mayday and NFPA 1403 for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. He has 10 years of experience and was previously assigned to Truck 7. Brad is currently assigned to Engine 10 / Rescue 10. He teaches the WSM School Commercial Forcible Entry station.
– is a firefighter for the City of Manassas Fire Department and he currently serves as the Assistant Fire Chief for Stanardsville VFD. Dustin is a state instructor and has been in the fire service for over 12 years. Dusty teaches the WSM School Vent-Enter-Search station.
– is a Master Firefighter with City of Staunton Fire Department, a member of Virginia Division 2 Technical Rescue Team, and a life member of the Weyers Cave Volunteer Fire Department. Kevin is currently assigned to SFD Truck 1. Kevin has 28 years in the fire service and has been an instructor for four years at Walker Sisk Truck School. He teaches the WSM School Forcible Entry-Residential station.
– is a Master Fighter with the Lynchburg Fire Department and volunteers with the Altavista Volunteer Fire Department where he has 12 years of experience service. For the last 15 years, he was been assigned to LFD Truck 1 and currently is assigned to Engine 1. Earl is a charter member of the Lynchburg Virginia Region 3 Technical Rescue Team and is an Adjunct Instructor in Firefighting for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Earl teaches the WSM School Metal Cutting station.
– is a Truck Company Officer for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and is assigned to Tower 424. He is also a Life Member of the Pennsville (PA) Volunteer Fire Company and currently a volunteer with The Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company. Keith teaches the WSM School Forcible Entry-Commercial station.
Reiner (R.J.) De Los Santos
– studied Fire Science at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, C.A. R.J. has experience testing fire alarms, sprinklers, and standpipes throughout Los Angeles. R.J. started with the City of Alhambra Fire Department before moving to Virginia and is now a Firefighter for the City of Richmond Fire Department. R.J. has 9 1/2 years of fire service experience and teaches Vertical Ventilation at the Sisk School. R.J. has also taught at the Richmond Regional School’s Forcible Entry Class. He is currently assigned to Engine 1 ‘A’ in Church Hill. RJ teaches the WMS School Peaked-Roof Ventilation station.
– has over 20 years of fire service experience. He is currently a Lieutenant for Spotsylvania County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management and a Life Member of Frog Level Volunteer Fire Department where he currently holds the rank of Captain. Shawn is a VDFP Instructor and a Certified Fire Marshal through VDFP Fire Marshals Academy. He currently serves as a part time Fire Inspector/Investigator for both Spotsylvania and Caroline Counties. His current full-time assignment is to Engine 10 (A- Shift) in Spotsylvania. Shawn teaches the WSM School Flat-Roof Ventilation station.
– is currently Fire Chief with the City of Staunton Fire & Rescue Department. Scott is also an adjunct instructor in FF 1& 2, ICS 300 & 400, Heavy & Technical Rescue, MayDay Operations, and Fire Officer 3 & 4 for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Scott has over 23 years of fire service experience and was the Governor’s 2014 Virginia Fire Service Award winner for Excellence in Virginia’s Fire Service Management. Scott serves as the residential forcible entry instructor for the WAS Truck School.
– is a firefighter with the City of Richmond Fire Department where is assigned to Ladder Company 10. Sherard has 4 years of firefighting experience and teaches the WSM School Peaked-Roof Ventilation station.
– is a Lieutenant with The Chesterfield Fire and EMS Department and is a deputy Chief with the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad. Landon is a VDFP adjunct instructor and is also assigned to the logistics group for the Central Virginia Technical Rescue Team. Landon has over 25 years of fire-rescue experience. He teaches the WSM School Metal Cutting station.
– is a career firefighter with Bedford County Fire and Rescue and Wintergreen Fire and Rescue. Robert also volunteers with Forest VFD Bedford County, Tower 5. He has over 18 years of fire experience and is a firefighter Instructor with the Virginia Department of Fire programs as well as a Basic and Bus Extrication Instructor with the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads. Robert teaches the WSM School Wall Breach station.
– is an acting engine company officer for the Chesterfield County Fire & EMS Department. He has 15 years of firefighting experience (11 of those assigned to truck companies) and is a member of the Central Virginia regional technical Rescue Team. Chip is also a member of the Powhatan Volunteer Fire Company at Station 4. Chip teaches the WSM School Metal Cutting Station.
– is a Captain with the Charlottesville Fire Department and over a 20 year member of the Gordonsville Volunteer Fire Company in the neighboring county of Orange. Allen also works as a part time Firefighter/EMT for the County of Louisa where he also assists with training. He has held the rank of Lieutenant, Captain and Training Officer with the Gordonsville Fire Company. He is an adjunct instructor in firefighting for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Allen is currently assigned to CFD Engine 10 / Hazmat 1 at Station 10, and has over 20 years of fire service experience.
– is a career Lieutenant and Acting Battalion Chief with Hanover Fire and EMS and a third generation firefighter and Life Member of the Frog Level Vol. Fire Dept. in Caroline County. Travis is currently assigned to Firehouse 7 in the Mechanicsville area of Hanover staffing primarily an engine and medic but often staffing a truck and heavy rescue with volunteer help (a very good combination firehouse). Travis has 23 years of fire service experience and will serve as one of the flat roof ventilation instructors for the Sisk Truck School.
– is a Station Captain with Fairfax County Fire & Rescue and a Life Member of the Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department. Tom is currently assigned to E-426 at the Edsall Road, Station 26, and has 35 years of fire service experience. Tom serves as lecturer of Fire Behavior and Commercial Forcible Entry instructor at the Walker Sisk Truck School.
– is a Captain with the Alexandria Fire Department. Dan is also a past member of the Occoquan-Woodbridge Lorton Volunteer (OWL) Fire Department, and previously worked for the FDNY. He is also a con-founder of Andy Frederick’s Training Days, an annual event held in Alexandria that features nationally known speakers lecturing on fundamental fireground operations. Dan is also an adjunct instructor for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and teaches heavy and technical rescue courses. Dan teaches the classroom portion and search and rescue stations of the WSM School.
– is an engine company officer with the Chesterfield Fire and EMS Department. He has over 21 years of fire experience and is a retired Assistant Chief with Ladysmith Fire Department. Tommy is also a member of the Central Virginia Regional Technical Rescue Team and has spent most of his career in career truck companies.
– is a Master Firefighter/Paramedic for Albemarle County Fire & Rescue assigned to Hollymead – Station 12. He is also a Life Member of the Nokesville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department in Prince William County. Gilbert has 26 years of fire & rescue experience. Gilbert is the WSM School Incident Commander.
– is a Senior Firefighter with the Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Company. Sean has 10 years of firefighting experience and also teaches for the CARS VEHEXT Basic Vehicle Extrication School. Sean teaches the WSM School Stokes Litter station.
– is a Lieutenant/Paramedic with Chesterfield Fire & EMS. Jack started as a volunteer in South Hill, VA in 1996 at the age of 16 and served as a firefighter in the US Navy before becoming a career firefighter with Chesterfield County. Jack teaches regularly at the department’s career academy as well as department training and out of county classes. Jack is currently assigned as a technical rescue Lieutenant at Truck 3 /Heavy Rescue 3. Jack serves as the rescue component leader for the Virginia Div 1 USAR team. Jack has over 10 years assigned to a truck company in his department and 20 years fire service experience. Jack teaches the WSM School Ground Ladder station.
– is a Firefighter with the Charlottesville Fire Department and is assigned to Tower 10 B-Shift. Prior to working in Charlottesville, Jess worked for Staunton Fire & Rescue assigned to Truck 1. An advocate for training and passing it on, Jess teaches Truck Company Operations throughout the United States. Jess teaches the search/rescue/survival portion of the Walker Sisk Truck School.
– is Deputy Chief with the Charlottesville Fire Department. In addition to general suppression related training, he oversees both the hazmat and technical rescue programs in the department. He is in his 15th year with Charlottesville Fire. Mike will be teaching the WSM School Through-the-Lock Forcible Entry and Utility Control station.
– was the Chief and Life Member of the Orange County Rescue Squad. He is also an EMS Education Coordinator, Rope Rescue Coordinator, and Basic Vehicle, Bus and Heavy Truck Instructor for the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads. Kelly is a life member of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad.
– is a Firefighter Specialist with Chesterfield Fire and EMS. Matt is currently assigned to Truck 3 on C-shift and has 5 years of career experience with the county.
Administration & Support Personnel
Brian Kester – STVFD Fire Chief
Doug Smythers – STVFD Fire Chief (retired)
Dennis Hahn – STVFD Assistant Chief
Rob Knight – STVFD Battalion Chief & Training Officer
Greg McFadyen – STVFD Captain
Corporations and Agencies that Provide Much Needed Support
Albemarle County Fire Rescue Department
Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad
City of Staunton Fire Department
City of Charlottesville Fire Department
Atlantic Emergency Solutions
Double Tree Hotel
Practical Skill Stations (13)
Forcible Entry–Commercial Building: Students will be instructed on techniques for forcing entry on commercial metal doors and door jambs. Included are techniques to overcome panic hardware, etc.
Forcible Entry–Residential: Students will be taught techniques to force inward- or outward-opening doors using existing forcible entry fundamentals.
Forcible Entry–Through-the-Lock & Utility Control: Students will be taught how use non-destructive techniques to go through the lock on a mortise lock using a K tool and key tool. Also taught will be fundamentals of utility control utilizing realistic props.
Residential Search & Rescue: Students will learn search & rescue techniques and practical skills in a zero visibility environment.
Self-Rescue: Students will be in poor visibility and under high stress, they will need to navigate safely out of a simulated floor collapse.
Firefighter Rescue: Students will locate, assess, a remove a firefighter from a building. This may include tight spaces, up and down stairs, and out windows.
Can Confidence: Students will utilize the 2.5-gallon water extinguisher to extinguish a fire.
Tool Readiness: Students will practice how to preform minor maintenance to chain saws and K-12 saws. This will include daily checks, changing of blades, and refueling.
Vent-Enter-Isolate-Search (VEIS): Students will learn basic techniques of VEIS, including vent for life, fire, and safety and will practice those skills.
Ground Ladders: Students will learn proper donning of a SCBA and then ways to mount, carry and deploy ground ladders by themselves.
Roof Ventilation – Flat Roof: Students will receive instruction on ventilation of flat a flat roof and practice those skills.
Roof Ventilation – Peaked Roof: Students will receive instruction on ventilation of a peaked roof and practice those skills.
Wall Breach: Students will practice techniques for breaching interior walls in structures.