Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

It is not required yet in our state but our training officers are trying to implement CE hours for the firefighters similar to the system the State of NH uses for its EMS licenses. I was looking for some feedback positive or negative to CE hours for firefighters and some tips or helpful hints to get us going in the right direction. Thank you.

Views: 163

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

If you are making hard copy records of your training, what else did you need? I think that you need 80 hours a year of continuing Ed. to maintain your status and as long as you keep track of it your good.
Brian

From a legal perspective the more structured continuing education (CE) that is scheduled and documented the better. Many departments do not provide any comprehensive CE and in todays fire service it is imperative to provide that resource. It keeps your firefighters safer; it provides an increased level of confidence and through CE, fire ground or medical operations will enhance the safety of our citizens. If there is litigation against a fire department involving an operational issue, the first thing I would ask for is the training records. If there are none, or there is sporadic training and record keeping, it would provide additional fodder for the plaintiff’s attorney to prove negligence.

As far as a schedule for training I suggest that you model it after your EMS CE. Take a look at your most frequent calls, evaluate how well you accomplish those tasks and then take a look at your high risk calls (which are probably your less frequent calls) and train to those calls. If you are a career department you should train every day as you probably only see your firefighters about 90 to 120 days per year of scheduled shifts. Eliminate vacation, Kelly days and weekends there are probably on 50 to 80 good training days. If you are a volunteer department you should be training at least twice a month with a comprehensive drill quarterly.

That would be the basic number of contact hours for CE. A suggestion is to have your firefighters do the reading and written part on their own time and spend a lot of time in skill and technique application.

Hope this helps

John
Bryan, Hello. I would also look at the possibility of taskbooks and quarterly evaluations for firefighters. I have required my captains on the department to evaluate their firefighter's based on their knowledge, skills, and abilities. This is in conjunction with our sog's and NFPA standard 1001. Within the taskbooks, the areas where they lack the skills or knowledge required, they are counsuled on the lack of needed skills or knowledge and then forwarded to the appropriate training programs. these are either inhouse or at the local college. I also agree with John Murphy's comments about the liabilities, and again this is another way to assist continuing training, but now the firefighter knows where he or she stands with the need for education.

Gary A. Janka
The state of Ohio has made it a requirement to receive 18 hours per year or 54 hours in a three year period. Our fire department requires the firefighters to receive 24 hours of training a year. The fire chief said that is what was required and we implemented it.
I'm all for continuing education because the fire service is constantly changing in equipment, tactics and threats. Not to mention what you plain forget over time.

I'm having problems wrapping my mind around a CE based EMS. Are you going to start licensing fire fighters and make it illegal for them to fight fire if they don't maintain their CE hours? Will they have to go through the entire training program again if they lapse like you do with EMS? Will the scope of practice be the same for FD's at fires the same as EMS nation wide? Not trying to be sarcastic but these are they type of questions that give me problems understanding this.
The only relatively nation wide training requirement I have seen is from ISO on the amount and type of training you should have, all geared toward structural response. Please tell me if there is something else out there that I'm unaware of.

What the fire service needs is for someone to step up like National Registry did for EMS and create a recommended training curriculum that includes CE. Ideally this would be a joint project between the paid and volunteer national associations.

The recommendations would include things such as:
Fire Fighter I certification (from an accredited agency) within 3 years.
Fire Fighter II certification (from an accredited agency) within 10 years.
HAZMAT Awareness with in 1 year.
HAZMAT Operations with in 3 years.
Yearly/Biannual CE that has a set number of base hours. The topics would be composed of PPE, SCBA, Fire Fighter Safety and Survival, Structural response, Water Supply (department centered), Ladders, Hose and Nozzles, Wild Land, Vehicle Fires, Investigation, etc. The goal being that if they recommend 36 hours of CE each year there would be a guide for the departments to follow. If you don't have high rise structures then you don't need that training but if you do both types of water supply you could do that instead.

Something like EMS in a way where each section would encompass several aspects of fire fighting that the department could use to train on what they need while still meeting the national recommended standard. It would be just like NFPA, it would not be law and you don't have to follow it but it is the recognized standard for continued training. No national agency to report to, just guidelines to follow.

Hopefully you recognize that this is not a soap box rant. The more I think about it the more sense it makes to me. Right now some states have standards but they aren't all the same and some don't have any. Please feel free to educate me if there is something out there I missed or you see holes in my theory. This could be an interesting debate and I would enjoy discussing it if someone wants to.

Thanks,
Walt
Hi Walt, I think this is an area where the U.S. Fire Administration should lead the effort to a firefighter national standard, as training requirements are all over the place. State by State the requirements differ greatly some have very low hours of training just to be a basic firefighter, then I remember it also falls on each State governing body to also protect not only it's citizens, but it's firefighters by requireing a higher set of standards for training. But until that happens it falls on each chief and his or her staff officers to set the bar higher.

Gary

Todd "Walt" Walton said:
I'm all for continuing education because the fire service is constantly changing in equipment, tactics and threats. Not to mention what you plain forget over time.

I'm having problems wrapping my mind around a CE based EMS. Are you going to start licensing fire fighters and make it illegal for them to fight fire if they don't maintain their CE hours? Will they have to go through the entire training program again if they lapse like you do with EMS? Will the scope of practice be the same for FD's at fires the same as EMS nation wide? Not trying to be sarcastic but these are they type of questions that give me problems understanding this.
The only relatively nation wide training requirement I have seen is from ISO on the amount and type of training you should have, all geared toward structural response. Please tell me if there is something else out there that I'm unaware of.

What the fire service needs is for someone to step up like National Registry did for EMS and create a recommended training curriculum that includes CE. Ideally this would be a joint project between the paid and volunteer national associations.

The recommendations would include things such as:
Fire Fighter I certification (from an accredited agency) within 3 years.
Fire Fighter II certification (from an accredited agency) within 10 years.
HAZMAT Awareness with in 1 year.
HAZMAT Operations with in 3 years.
Yearly/Biannual CE that has a set number of base hours. The topics would be composed of PPE, SCBA, Fire Fighter Safety and Survival, Structural response, Water Supply (department centered), Ladders, Hose and Nozzles, Wild Land, Vehicle Fires, Investigation, etc. The goal being that if they recommend 36 hours of CE each year there would be a guide for the departments to follow. If you don't have high rise structures then you don't need that training but if you do both types of water supply you could do that instead.

Something like EMS in a way where each section would encompass several aspects of fire fighting that the department could use to train on what they need while still meeting the national recommended standard. It would be just like NFPA, it would not be law and you don't have to follow it but it is the recognized standard for continued training. No national agency to report to, just guidelines to follow.

Hopefully you recognize that this is not a soap box rant. The more I think about it the more sense it makes to me. Right now some states have standards but they aren't all the same and some don't have any. Please feel free to educate me if there is something out there I missed or you see holes in my theory. This could be an interesting debate and I would enjoy discussing it if someone wants to.

Thanks,
Walt
This could wind up under the preview of the U.S. Fire Administration but I think it is something that should start with a joint effort between the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the National Volunteer Fire Counsel (NVFC) or possibly the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Some way to represent both the paid and volunteer aspects of the fire service to create a recommended standard that is attainable by both aspects. The reason I suggest having the IAFF, NVFC and IAFC work together is to have this as a grass roots type project. Something similar to the Everyone Goes Home project. I'm not sure how well NIMS was received in your departments but in our area it was viewed as one more thing being tasked to us from the Feds, FEMA to boot after they had a less than stellar response to Hurricane Katrina, another box we have to check. On the other hand the Fire Fighter Life Safety Initiatives came from the fire service and became something for every department to strive for. I really think this is the difference between how the two were received and would play a vital role in the adaptation of a national standard training recommendation. This should come from within the fire service, not be mandated to the fire service.

Now, what categories would you include:
Safety: PPE, SCBA, Fire Fighter Survival, Health & Wellness, Building Construction
Special Operations: HAZMAT, NIMS, Rescue (vehicle, rope, trench, etc)
Operations: Search & Rescue, Hand line Operation, Large Stream Operations, Water Supply, Ladders
Command: Size Up, Pre Plans/Inspections, Leadership Training

How many general categories would you have and how many topics in each?
More importantly, how many hours annually? Three hours a month, four, six. What would be feasible?

Please let me know your views and if you need clarification on some of my thoughts. This could turn out to be a very interesting debate. Granted it will be mainly theoretical unless it catches someone's eye but still interesting.

Walt
Hi Walt, NIMS was a pain but we survived. Funny thing is NIMS started thru firescope in California in the fire depts there in response to the wildfires and disasters they faced, but was changed with FEMA interferance tieing it to fire grants. As for FEMA and Katrina, myself and 2000 other brothers and sisters from the fire service were deployed to assist FEMA, which many distinguished themselfs with many acts of kindness we show in our own communities. Many of these were not shown in the media, firefighters working 16hr days 7 days aweek then going to rebuild roofs and drywalling homes durning the little time off they had. There was enough blame to go around for every entity involved durning that time, not just FEMA they just made the headlines because they did not stand up for themselves. ( After Brownie ).

I am bias on this as I am part of that organization, and believe at or not mary of us are from the fire service, no not just retired firefighters but also active firefighters. Some hold positions such as operations chiefs, logistic chiefs, or planning chiefs, where they get called up during the big events since Katrina. You know the old saying "when the blank hits the fan and you need it done with experience call the fire service".

But you are right Walt when you were talking about IAFF,NVFC, and IAFC and getting it done at the grassroots level, one example of this is the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System better know as (MABAS) which involves both career and volunteer fire dept's in the midwest. Not just bringing resources but also a set of standards that every fire dept voluntary agrees to when they join, putting all firefighters on the same page in reguards to training and response.

Gary

Todd "Walt" Walton said:
This could wind up under the preview of the U.S. Fire Administration but I think it is something that should start with a joint effort between the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the National Volunteer Fire Counsel (NVFC) or possibly the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Some way to represent both the paid and volunteer aspects of the fire service to create a recommended standard that is attainable by both aspects. The reason I suggest having the IAFF, NVFC and IAFC work together is to have this as a grass roots type project. Something similar to the Everyone Goes Home project. I'm not sure how well NIMS was received in your departments but in our area it was viewed as one more thing being tasked to us from the Feds, FEMA to boot after they had a less than stellar response to Hurricane Katrina, another box we have to check. On the other hand the Fire Fighter Life Safety Initiatives came from the fire service and became something for every department to strive for. I really think this is the difference between how the two were received and would play a vital role in the adaptation of a national standard training recommendation. This should come from within the fire service, not be mandated to the fire service.

Now, what categories would you include:
Safety: PPE, SCBA, Fire Fighter Survival, Health & Wellness, Building Construction
Special Operations: HAZMAT, NIMS, Rescue (vehicle, rope, trench, etc)
Operations: Search & Rescue, Hand line Operation, Large Stream Operations, Water Supply, Ladders
Command: Size Up, Pre Plans/Inspections, Leadership Training

How many general categories would you have and how many topics in each?
More importantly, how many hours annually? Three hours a month, four, six. What would be feasible?

Please let me know your views and if you need clarification on some of my thoughts. This could turn out to be a very interesting debate. Granted it will be mainly theoretical unless it catches someone's eye but still interesting.

Walt
Gary, I referenced FEMA for the purpose of illustration and like you I went down there, only with the National Guard instead of the fire service. I wasn't trying to slight those that went down and did one hell of a job. I was referring to negative image FEMA has to overcome following their initial response to Katrina. Coupled with the fact that the government implemented NIMS (relabeled the fire service ICS we all knew) and had the emergency managers telling us we had to do it, NIMS was not well received.

What do you think the general categories should be and what types of topics should they include? How about the annual hours required?

Walt

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Policy Page

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE

Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to www.fireengineering.com/archive/.

Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton
We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our policy page. -- Bobby Halton

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail peter.prochilo@clarionevents.com.

FE Podcasts


Check out the most recent episode and schedule of
UPCOMING PODCASTS

© 2020   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service