The Action Training Systems Emergency Responder Blog

Action Training Systems congratulates one of their own on degree in Fire Science Administration.

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Mon, June 16, 2014 @ 02:10PM

Nicole Avila, daughter of George Avila (President/CEO Action Training Systems) has been on the fast track when it comes to accomplishing her goals. Her early graduation comes as no surprise as she has always set her standards above many others her age. Nicole knew she wanted a career in emergency services field since she was sixteen. Her passion was initially sparked while taking athletic medicine and anatomy courses her sophomore year of high school. Her enthusiasm drove her to apply to the running start program at her high school and to graduate at eighteen with her Associate of Arts degree.

Nicole Graduation

Nicole said that the defining event was the summer before her senior year. She applied to attend Camp Blaze. This is a week-long camp held in different parts of the county and is designed to empower young women looking toward a career in the fire service. “It was really because of Camp Blaze that I developed a strong passion for wanting to be a firefighter. It was the first time I got to pull a hose line into a burning building, and I loved it,” said Nicole. “All the women who run that program are amazing, they give young women the opportunity to see that they have the strength and ability to do something like firefighting, and to be strong and confident leaders in whatever field we end up in.”

camp blaze

After attending Camp Blaze Nicole began applying to colleges that offered a fire science degree. Ultimately she decided that the University of New Haven (UNH) in Connecticut would be the best fit. She moved across the country and began her life as a college student in the fall of 2012. Having her prerequisites out of the way allowed her to start college as a junior and dive right into her fire science courses. She excelled in all her classes and stood out among her peers. “Nicole is one of those unique students that come through the university who possess a passion for public service, academic ability, and the confidence to make a real difference in emergency services,” said Peter J. Struble, Paramedicine Coordinator and one of Nicole’s favorite professors at UNH. “The fun part of teaching is when you can see tomorrow’s leaders begin to stand apart from the crowd. Nicole is one of those leaders and will be force for positive change in fire and emergency services.”

While enrolled in school, Nicole also looked for opportunities to be involved in the fire service community. She knew volunteering for a local department would give her hands on experience to the material she was studying. She applied to Allentown Volunteer Fire Association. In addition to a full load of fire courses at college, as a volunteer at Allentown she completed her initial Firefighter 1 & 2 courses at night and participated in hands on drills during weekends. “To many, this schedule might seem like a heavy load but Nicole just has a way of getting things done and never complaining,” said Elise Avila Andreasen, sister and marketing manager at Action Training Systems. “You could tell she was happy pursuing her passion. Her unwavering determination is an inspiration. We couldn’t be more proud of her success so far.”


While taking her Firefighter 1 & 2 training with Allentown Vol. Fire Dept., Nicole was excited to see that the department was using training programs produced by her family’s company. She had recognized early on that her family’s business was influential in her career choice but it wasn’t until that moment that she fully realized the impact and incredible resources she has had available to her. “Throughout much of her life, Nicole has been inspired by many close family friends that have had very successful careers in the fire service,” said George Avila. “Some of these, to name a few, B.C. Dennis Corbett, Puyallup Fire & Rescue, retired; B.C. Bruce Arvisu, Los Angeles County Fire, retired; and B.C. Mark Johnson, San Francisco Fire Department. Nicole possesses many of their exceptional leadership qualities that will ensure her a very successful career in the emergency response community for years to come. Needless to say, I am extremely proud of Nicole!”

Nicole finished her bachelor’s degree in Fire Science Administration and graduated this spring at the age of twenty. A huge accomplishment recognized by everyone who has witnessed her steadfast commitment to her goals. This is only the beginning of what appears to be a very promising future in the Emergency Services field. Most recently she has applied to the San Francisco Fire Department. “I want to work for a large city department because I am attracted to the excitement of a big department. I also feel it is a place where I can gain a lot of experience, and if and when I get the opportunity to move up in the department I’d have a larger platform to speak from to make a difference in the fire service as a whole,” said Nicole. Other future interests include becoming a training officer, Chief, working in disaster/emergency management or even attaining her Masters in Emergency Management.

“Training in fire and emergency services is rapidly changing from a top down structured environmentto one where our newest members have opportunities and an environment in which they can analyzeinformation, understand concepts, and reflect on what they learn to improve performance,” said PeterStruble. “The pressures for this change come from a new generation of highly educated, technologicallysavvy, and open minded fire and emergency personnel.”

All those who know Nicole believe she fits the mold when it comes to ensuring the emergency service training continues to move in the direction Struble has outlined. She is a forward thinking leader and we wish her much success in her journey.

Tags: firefighter training, EMS training, emergency responder Training, Fire Simulator

Firefighter Training - A Solid Foundation for Unpredictable Scenarios

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Thu, May 01, 2014 @ 08:25AM

One of the most revered professions in the world today is that of the firefighter. Motivated by purely selfless compassion for their fellow human beings, firefighters place themselves in harm's way to extricate victims from a variety of hazardous environments. While society expresses gratitude and awe for these brave professionals, the perils of the job make fire service training crucial for the safety of both rescuer and victim.

Firefighters must perform many duties throughout their careers (Essentials of Firefighting) The most widely publicized responsibility of a firefighter is of course to extinguish threatening blazes in any number of settings--townhouses, apartment complexes, detached homes, warehouses, and even wide open spaces. Possessing the expertise to recognize the chaotic patterns of one of nature's most destructive forces is not innate; indeed, that knowledge must be learned so that victims can be rescued and fire personnel leave unscathed. 

Firefighters must also be able to operate highly specialized machinery (Driver/Operator Training)--firetrucks, hoses, extinguishers, pumps, hydrants, etc.--with a dexterity that permits the quickest action in the most stressful situations. Emergencies never slow down while firefighting personnel struggle with the very equipment that is supposed to save lives. Training in the intricacies of these tools is absolutely essential to preserving life.

Unfortunately, fires are only one of the many dangers that threaten life and property. Hazardous materials, natural disasters such as floods and tornadoes, and accidents are ever present in both small and large societies. As trained emergency medical technicians, fire personnel are able to treat critically wounded individuals, even after rescuing them from the very situation that caused them such harm.

In addition to the observed work of the firefighter, there are many unseen expectations that a firefighter must maintain. With any incident, there will be reports that must be completed to record the event and the response. While any type of paperwork can be a bit tedious, such documentation is absolutely essential to the integrity of the system. Consequently, firefighters must know how to properly complete such reports.

Firefighter Training

Equally important to the written report, firefighters must ensure that their minds and bodies are at peak levels of performance. Regular drills and physical fitness training become routine in the life of fire service professionals. Understanding the reason behind these measures, but also adopt the lessons learned from these experiences will guarantee that the firefighter is the best prepared they can be.

Fire service training provides the solid foundation for such a meaningful career; in fact, the societies and victims that a firefighter will assist in the future demand no less than the very best training possible. Please contact us today to begin the exceptional training that will positively affect so many.

Tags: Fire training, firefighter training, firefighter training, first responder training, Fire Officer, Fire Simulator

Lieutenant Discovers New Use For Fire Simulator Software

Posted by Elise Andreasen on Tue, January 31, 2012 @ 01:01PM

Fire Simulator, Firefighter Training, StageIT 

Dennis Elliott from Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue in Silverdale, WA recently found StageIT to be a great firefighter training tool for creating some schematics to update his department’s Field Operations Guide (FOG) for apparatus positioning. Click on these 4 examples to see the schematics he created. Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 Example 4

As part of his Lieutenant’s promotional exam Dennis was given an assignment to work on updating the department FOG for apparatus placement at a scene. He had to turn in the updates on paper and provide diagrams illustrating apparatus positioning.
StageIT is most often thought of as a tool for an instructor to use and create simple to complex emergency response simulations. Often overlooked are the schematic diagrams included in StageIT’s media library which allowed Dennis (the testee not the instructor) to quickly create some aerial view schematics illustrating apparatus placement. It took him about a half an hour to produce the four professional looking schematic illustrations included in this folder.

Simple but effective. He did not want to use an aerial map image view to illustrate the placements because too much distracting detail was shown in the photo. With these schematics the focus is all on the placement of the vehicles. While the schematics Dennis created can be projected on screen for use in a classroom, he was also able to print them out to hand in with his assignment.

StageIT provides an easy way to create real-world training solutions to enhance strategy and tactics planning, promotional testing and pre-incident planning. 

By the way, Dennis passed his exam with flying colors and is now a Lieutenant with the department.

Fire Simulator Software, Dennis Elliott, StageIT  

Pictured Above: Dennis Elliott with his son Austin at his badge pinning ceremony.

    Click here to see another example of StageIt Fire Simulator Software

Tags: firefighter training, EMS training, emergency responder Training, first responder training, Fire Simulator, Training schematics, Field Operations Guide