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Capt. Devin Walter hasn’t officially started his duties as the training captain for the Minot Fire Department, but he’s already getting an idea of the work that’s coming his way.
“I’m getting a lot of emails already,” said Walter, who will begin his two-year stint as training captain in mid-December. “I think the best way to describe this job is that it’s kind of that buffer between the crews on the trucks and administration.”
Capt. Austin Burns was the department’s first training captain. He spent a lot of time creating and molding the position for the past two years. He’ll return to working on shift in mid-December when Walter takes over as training captain.
“Capt. Burns has done so much work in creating this position, and I want us to keep progressing,” Walter said. “Capt. Burns set up a very good foundation, and I want us to keep moving forward. I want to pick up where he left off and add to what he’s built from the ground up.”
“I’ve learned so much from Capt. Burns in a short period of time, and I can’t thank him enough for sharing with me some suggestions about what works and what doesn’t work with this job,” Walter added. “He’s excelled in this position, and I hope to continue our progress.”
Walter began his career with the Minot Fire Department nearly seven years ago, and was promoted to captain in October 2018. He’s looking forward to the challenges of his new position.
“It gives me the opportunity to understand the administrative side of the Fire Department, as well as still being involved in the training and the incidents,” said Walter, a native of Minot. “So it’s kind of the best of both worlds. I think it is a great opportunity to learn all aspects of the Fire Department and gain as much knowledge as possible.”
Walter said he wants to continue to stress the consistency of all training, so that skill levels remain consistent when firefighters move between crews. He also knows a challenge in his new position will be to find a balance between the viewpoints of the firefighters and administration.
“I think switching to the administration side and understanding the big picture will be the biggest change for me, but I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “On the trucks, you’re looking kind of day-to-day, but in administrative, we’re looking a year or more ahead. Getting everyone to understand that there is a long-term vision and strategy is a key to success in this job.”
He’s also looking forward to working the members of the department to discuss potential training opportunities and to encourage crew members to bring forward ideas for changes.
“When they come with ideas, I want them to come with research and facts,” Walter said. “We’re always open to ideas about how to improve training and procedures, but we want to be deliberate about how we decide what’s best for the department moving forward.”