Tell us about yourself and why you decided to join the fire service.
My name is Nathan Bachand and I am a Fire Captain and Training Officer for GlobalFoundires Fire Department, Fab 9 Emergency Response Team in Essex Jct. Vt, an industrial fire department with a broad range of skills including firefighting, EMS, confined space rescue, and technician level hazmat response.
My wife and I have two daughters, a three year old and a one year old, and we live on Lake Champlain. I have been involved with emergency services for 15 years. My Uncle, who served as a firefighter, lieutenant and battalion chief, was the driving force for joining the fire service.
Who or what has inspired you as a fire instructor?
During school, fire education was provided by “Fireman Joe”, whom I always admired. My wife, who is also a teacher, inspired me to be involved in public education once I joined the fire service. As I became advanced in my department, I found my teammates coming to me for guidance and knowledge. And all I can say is once the opportunity to take on training in an official capacity presented itself, I jumped at the chance and haven't looked back.
What are some things you are working on in your department and how can others learn from that?
One of the main things I am working on in my department is ensuring that we are meeting not only all Federal and State requirements but also the requirements set by Corporate and our Customers. I also am trying to ensure that we compile this data in a way that we can show compliance to any auditors that our customers or regulatory agencies send.
Tell us about a project or training accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
To date, the accomplishment I am most proud of is to have recently obtained my Pro-Board Certified Fire Instructor I certification. This certification will allow me to further expand my capabilities as an instructor for my department.
When you are gone, what do you want people to remember you by?
I would like to be able to pass on what I have learned throughout the last 16 years of emergency service work to my students. I hope to enable my teammates within the department to rise to a high level of skill and knowledge. I would like to be remembered as a good leader within the team who was willing and able to share his knowledge with those who will come after him.
What is the biggest change you have noticed in the fire service since you started?
Diversification, not only of people but also of skills and responsibilities. Women have been one of the best I’ve worked with; I have no doubt about their skills or knowledge. It’s good to see our emergency services moving toward mirroring the diversity of the public that they serve.
On top of that, majority of fire departments are now doing more than what would traditionally be considered the work of a fire department. When I started with my first department they had just recently moved from responding only to fire related calls and begun to respond with EMS. This crossover seems to be becoming more and more prevalent.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I am a huge fan of Walt Disney World; we got engaged there, went there for my honeymoon and until the recent pandemic, have gone at least once a year.
If you could choose your title (other than the generic Training Officer or Firefighter) that uniquely describes you in your position, what would it be and why?
I would choose mentor; I don’t just want to pass on my knowledge, I want to help other people grow into roles that they did not think they could achieve. I want to support people and help better their careers.
And finally, what advice do you have to give another instructor or to somebody who is just starting out as an instructor?
You can learn just as much from the students in your classes as they can learn from you. Always take time to listen to them.