Training doesn't end when a recruit passes the minimum skills test. Every member of the Fitchburg Fire Department is expected to attend training at least twice each month. The drill held on the first Tuesday of the month is attended by all members. This drill provides an ideal time to bring in guest speakers, discuss changes in department policies, guidelines and practices, and generally inform the membership of "what's new". The other drill required of all members takes place during the third week of the month. The same drill is conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Members attend on their assigned "platoon" night. This drill is a hands-on opportunity to refresh existing skills and practice new ones in small groups.
Any member who operates any department vehicle is required to attend drill during the fourth week of the month. Like the drill held in the third week of the month, this drill is repeated on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and members attend according to their platoon assignment. This is also a hands-on drill where drivers spend time driving apparatus, pumping, operating the aerial, and reviewing the skills needed to be a safe and effective apparatus operator.
Department officers and any firefighter who acts in the role of an apparatus officer is expected to attend the officer drill held on the second Tuesday of each month. Any interested member is also welcome and encouraged to attend this learning opportunity. Common topics for this drill are strategies and tactics, incident management and role playing exercises.
Finally, the crews staffing each station are expected to engage in some type of training during the 24-hour shift. These training sessions are generally shorter in duration than the 3½ hour weeknight drills but are important, nevertheless, in maintaining job proficiency.