Getting trained in highly specialized fields like hazmat often requires turning to trainers who are, well, highly specialized in that field.
Florida-based Intercontinental Fire Training Academy does just that. The company’s team of more than 40 instructors bring more than 100 combined years of experience to fields like technical rescue, urban search and rescue, fire-rescue operations and, of course, hazardous materials training and certification. Twelve of those instructors focus on hazmat education.
The company says the key to its success is its dedicated training staff and the commitment from the team to pass the knowledge to others. That staff typically focuses its efforts on training teams who respond together to technical emergencies, as well as individuals and entities such as military, government, international organizations and other industries seeking these certifications. For example, the company’s 160-hour NFPA 472-1072 hazmat course (hybrid or face-to-face) has a minimum number 15 students and a maximum of 30.
All of the training equipment and facilities they need is housed on site. The company can also travel with trailers, fire apparatus and other equipment to present these courses at other requesting sites.
The academy offers nine hazmat courses and has two others in the works. Those range from the highly complex — like the NFPA 472-1072 course and the 36-hour hydrocarbon chemistry course — to the basic hazmat tech refresher courses. The academy also has an air-monitoring course, those covering leadership, and others that dive into topics like drug labs and chemical suicides.
The company was founded by CEO Jean Delgado, who began as a volunteer firefighter in 1998, became a career firefighter in Islamorada, Fla., and eventually worked for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department. He holds an associate’s degree in fire science, a bachelor’s in fire management and a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management. “My goal is to equip firefighters and EMS personnel with the tools necessary to master [their] craft,” he says.