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Thread: Sorta What I have Been Thinkin'

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    Default Sorta What I have Been Thinkin'

    This appeared on Firefighter Nation. It's similiar to my thinking regarding a Rural FFI or Basic Exterior Firefirefighter Certification.

    Rethinking Volunteer Firefighter Certification[/B]

    [B]A look at how duty- and community-based training could affect volunteer firefighter skills and certification inShare.5By Shane Ray

    Published Thursday, March 1, 2012 | From the March 2012 Issue of FireRescue
    When it comes to certification in the fire service, it’s important to generate discussion and ask questions, but rather than looking to our training or certificates for answers, we should be looking at our service delivery.

    Questions we should be asking include:

    •Are certification levels in the fire service comprehensive enough?
    •Is the delivery of fire and rescue training sufficient and/or accurate for those who need it?
    •Should training result in certification?
    •Does certification indicate mastery?
    •Do we have a system in place that ensures our emergency responders’ training is commensurate with the duties they’re expected to perform?
    With regard to the last question above, having such a system in place depends on the type of fire department. Volunteer departments might not have the resources to implement such a system, let alone be able to fund and provide the training necessary to support the system.

    The fire service in general has very comprehensive training systems, professional qualifications and certifications, but it’s questionable whether all departments use them as a guide when delivering services, especially those in rural communities. So how do we improve training, certification and qualification levels in all-volunteer and mostly volunteer fire departments so volunteer firefighters are not only safer, but also more successful in serving their communities?

    Fire Service Stats
    According to the NFPA’s U.S. fire department profile, there are an estimated 30,125 fire departments in the United States. Of these, 2,495 departments are all-career, 1,860 are mostly career, 5,290 are mostly volunteer and 20,480 are all-volunteer. In other words, 70% of all firefighters in America are volunteers, which equates to 768,150 fire and emergency service responders.

    But what percentage of these providers is adequately trained and certified to perform the functions they’ve been assigned? According to the NFPA’s Third Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service, 46% of firefighters lack formal training, which indicates that they’re not certified. Thus, the challenge becomes ensuring qualification through training and certification.

    Duty- & Community-Based Training?
    NFPA 1000: Standard for Fire Service Professional Qualifications Accreditation and Certification Systems, defines training as “the process of achieving proficiency through instruction and hands-on practice in the operation of equipment and systems that are expected to be used in the performance of assigned response duties.” Certification is defined as “an authoritative attestment; specifically the issuance of a document that states that an individual has demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to function in a particular fire service professional field.”

    Given those definitions, what if we were trained and certified to the level of something like “rural fire support” or “volunteer apparatus operator” or “rural community incident commander”? This may not be the best solution to the training/certification issue, but then again, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Life Safety Initiative #5 suggests that we “develop and implement national standards for training, qualifications, and certification (including regular recertification) that are equally applicable to all firefighters based on the duties they are expected to perform.”

    Clearly, these recommendations and guidance exist to create a system that ensures our training and certification fit our functions and fire departments.

    Going even further, NFPA 1720: Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations and Special Operations to the Public by Volunteer Fire Departments, takes into account the type of community being served. Should our professional qualifications do the same? A firefighter in a rural community may have very different duties than a firefighter in an urban setting, so should our community type help determine whether we’re qualified to do the job?

    The “Basic Responder” Idea
    In March 2011, the IAFC’s Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) began a discussion at their National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., on the need for a “cafeteria plan” for certifications and the need for modular training that leads to certifications. This points to the fact that we, as a national fire service, have focused too much on interior operations. It also points to the possibility of having certification for a “basic responder”—someone who is not an interior structural firefighter.

    For example, the state of Montana, under the leadership of Butch Weedon and with the cooperation of the fire service of Montana, maintained a certification and training program for exterior firefighters focused on tactics outside the hot zone. This shifts the focus away from interior structural firefighting and puts it on the delivery of fire, rescue and medical responses to the community. This also serves as a model that the rest of the fire service could look to if it follows suit. The challenge will be whether we can we make our certification commensurate with our communities’ needs, the risks we face in them and our capabilities to serve them.

    This is by no means an attempt to dilute the national standards or to create more requirements; rather, it is a discussion on how to make them more applicable, especially to rural communities and the volunteer fire departments that serve them. The goal is to make the rules complement reality, not dominate it.

    OSHA 1910.156(c) essentially says that the employer shall provide training and education commensurate with the duties that employees are expected to perform. Most volunteer fire departments in America have members who respond to assist on scene in ways that don’t involve entering an IDLH environment. These responders need a set standard or guideline to follow when it comes to their job function, as well as proper training, certification and a medical screening that’s commensurate with their duties. For example, personnel who do not wear SCBA do have a place on the fireground; however, they need a standard operating procedure (SOP), standardized training and a system that outlines the requirements for skill mastery, how long it takes to achieve mastery and the different starting points for individuals with varying skill levels.

    A New Pilot Program
    To try to answer some of the questions raised in this article, the fire service of South Carolina and the South Carolina Fire Academy are embarking on a pilot program to develop training, certifications and physicals that are commensurate with firefighter job functions, particularly in volunteer fire departments. We intend to follow NFPA 1000 and to continue to use established accreditation organizations, such as the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) and Pro Board, for guidance. Curricula certified by these organizations follow the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) model from the National Fire Academy. We’ll also be working in cooperation with our community college, which helps direct firefighters toward a degree in fire and emergency services.

    Our overall goal is to ensure that our volunteer responders are safer and can provide more successful service to their citizens. If you’d like to contribute ideas or feedback to this pilot program, please contact me at 615/405-5661 or chiefrays@aol.com.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-10-2012 at 04:20 PM.
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    As much as I wan't to type up a long response to this, as I have much input, I feel the amount of people that actually read the whole thing will be minimal. So in short,

    I highly agree with this. I have always said that it is crazy to need a FF1 or Essentials of Firefighting standerd to do non-hotzone work. Many local departments around me have devised systems to allow firefighters with enough training to complete certain tasks around the fire scene that do not involve the actual hot zone.

    I will be following up on this to see where they take this!
    Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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    Say what you want spin it how you want, but there has to be a minimum standard of training. There are too many things that can go wrong in this business and you need to have enough capable and trained people to handle you basic needs (i.e. calls).

    I know this line of thinking comes from ‘well we don’t have enough volunteers and we can have the unable or don’t want to do the stuff in the yard.’ If a department doesn’t want to train to the standards because they only want to train to what happens in their little corner of the sand box then so be it, but that department should not receive any state or federal dollars and should not be on any form of state wide mutual aid list.

    What happens when Joe Bob’s fire department gets the call or self dispatches their self to a major disaster in a mid size city? Chief Red Bone sends an engine full of non trained firefighters because he doesn’t need all these standards and training because ‘we don’t need to train on that because everything we have here is one story houses.’ What happens when Joe Bob’s fire department gets to the disaster and they get assigned as 2nd due on a structure fire and has no one that can go inside? This is more than a might happen it does happen.

    I want to know that the guy walking up to me at least has the basic training. Giving someone gear and training them how to drag hose and set up a fan in the front yard does not make them a firefighter.

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    There is no easy answer to the volunteer problem. States are also cutting class and instructor funding, adding to the problem. I think more online free structured classes followed by practical workshops would appeal to today's younger generation leading to a certification of at least FF1 or even 2. If the classes were available nationally to all, we would then increase our ability to operate with most depts. yet keep cost low.
    Ed

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    I'm troubled by the reported number of volunteers with no formal training, although I'd like a little more information on the definition of the term. F'rinstance, I know many volunteers with many hours of training, but because certification at FF1 has only been available here in the recent past, many senior members don't have it in their portfolio. They probably have all or most of the components, but no cert that reads "Firefighter I."

    We're currently running only two Firefighter I classes in the county each year. Every now and then they are able to dig up enough hours (a class takes about 300 instructor hours, out of the ~900 we get each year) to field another class and it fills up immediately.

    They usually allow a few more than the max allowable into the class at the start, figuring that several will drop out for whatever reason. The last class graduated pretty much everybody.

    We haven't had a FF2 offered in several years.

    The resources just aren't there to run a weekends-only class that would help some folks with work schedule issues get through. Heading to the state fire academy for the resident FF1 just isn't in most volunteer's schedule.

    Fortunately, the state offers a "Scene Support" class - about 40 hours - that gets a member up to what can best be described as an "awareness" level of knowledge. No hot-zone work, but stuff like pump operator, driver, etc, are then allowable.

    This comes in handy for that older truck driver who can drive/operate anything in the station, but isn't going to be going interior.

    With many states struggling with budget issues (NY among them), this situation isn't likely to improve.

    I would dearly love to have a department fully staffed with volunteers certified at FFII. For the moment, I don't see it happening.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    Say what you want spin it how you want, but there has to be a minimum standard of training. There are too many things that can go wrong in this business and you need to have enough capable and trained people to handle you basic needs (i.e. calls).

    I know this line of thinking comes from ‘well we don’t have enough volunteers and we can have the unable or don’t want to do the stuff in the yard.’ If a department doesn’t want to train to the standards because they only want to train to what happens in their little corner of the sand box then so be it, but that department should not receive any state or federal dollars and should not be on any form of state wide mutual aid list.

    What happens when Joe Bob’s fire department gets the call or self dispatches their self to a major disaster in a mid size city? Chief Red Bone sends an engine full of non trained firefighters because he doesn’t need all these standards and training because ‘we don’t need to train on that because everything we have here is one story houses.’ What happens when Joe Bob’s fire department gets to the disaster and they get assigned as 2nd due on a structure fire and has no one that can go inside? This is more than a might happen it does happen.

    I want to know that the guy walking up to me at least has the basic training. Giving someone gear and training them how to drag hose and set up a fan in the front yard does not make them a firefighter.
    And this would represent a certified minimum level of training. Like it or not, there are rural departments that will never have the capability to operate interior on a structure fire beyond a piece of furniture. There are a list of possible reasons: Funding, manpower, resources, aging apparatus etc etc. Some will call that excuses ... So be it. But that is the reality of the situation.

    What this would do would provide a non-interior firefighting certification for those members that choose not, can't or no longer can operate interior, or provide a means for a department that chooses not to engage or simply can't engage in interior operations to certify it's members through a formal class and testing to the level of performance that the department chooses to provide.

    As far as Billy Joe Bob self-dispatching, that seems to me like a problem for the department they are responding to it that they should have the systems in place to control freelancing departments in their response area. If the department requests them and does not know Billy Joe Bob's capabilities, shame on them and they get what they called for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    If a department doesn’t want to train to the standards because they only want to train to what happens in their little corner of the sand box then so be it, but that department should not receive any state or federal dollars and should not be on any form of state wide mutual aid list.
    I take issue with this statement. We have several members that for one reason or another cannot and will not go interior. These guys and girls are some of the best water supply, pump operators, drivers, and support staff that you will ever find. Some are clostrophobic or have other reasons they won't go in.

    Why does a person need to be trained to attack a high rise fire in order to be considered properly trained. According to your statement of "what happens in their little corner of the sand box", this means that every firefighter everywhere has to have training to respond to an incident anywhere. Does that mean that FDNY (an example only, no disrespect in any way) now need to take training in tractor overturns, large animal rescue, barn and silo fires, agricultural hazmat, air tanker operations, wildland training, rural water movement . . . . . just to be certified as a minimum? If it works one way, it has to work the other as well. To dangle funding over this is a slipperly slope that will end in departments having to cover extremely large areas due to the smaller departments having to close up.

    If there were certifications for rural water movement, exterior ventilation, scene staging, fireground support, and other non-interior tasks that were truely universal, then the you would know exactly what each person was certified in, and you wouldn't lose members because all you teach are things that they will never do. The people I am speaking of would then have no reason not to get trained for the roles which they are comfortable taking on. Nor would it limit them as to what they could take and get certified in.

    I am all for having these smaller certifications that then become pre-requisites for further certification (FFI, FFII, etc), but only if they are standardized. For that matter, why aren't the definitions of FFI and FFII standardized? In PA FFI takes a lot more to get than in NY. It takes about an extra 60 hours of classes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    I am all for having these smaller certifications that then become pre-requisites for further certification (FFI, FFII, etc), but only if they are standardized. For that matter, why aren't the definitions of FFI and FFII standardized? In PA FFI takes a lot more to get than in NY. It takes about an extra 60 hours of classes.
    PA F1 isn't so much Hard in the skills or knowledge they teach you, but man does it take allot out of your personal/work/family life for a peice of paper...
    Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    I take issue with this statement. We have several members that for one reason or another cannot and will not go interior. These guys and girls are some of the best water supply, pump operators, drivers, and support staff that you will ever find. Some are clostrophobic or have other reasons they won't go in.

    Why does a person need to be trained to attack a high rise fire in order to be considered properly trained. According to your statement of "what happens in their little corner of the sand box", this means that every firefighter everywhere has to have training to respond to an incident anywhere. Does that mean that FDNY (an example only, no disrespect in any way) now need to take training in tractor overturns, large animal rescue, barn and silo fires, agricultural hazmat, air tanker operations, wildland training, rural water movement . . . . . just to be certified as a minimum? If it works one way, it has to work the other as well. To dangle funding over this is a slipperly slope that will end in departments having to cover extremely large areas due to the smaller departments having to close up.

    If there were certifications for rural water movement, exterior ventilation, scene staging, fireground support, and other non-interior tasks that were truely universal, then the you would know exactly what each person was certified in, and you wouldn't lose members because all you teach are things that they will never do. The people I am speaking of would then have no reason not to get trained for the roles which they are comfortable taking on. Nor would it limit them as to what they could take and get certified in.

    I am all for having these smaller certifications that then become pre-requisites for further certification (FFI, FFII, etc), but only if they are standardized. For that matter, why aren't the definitions of FFI and FFII standardized? In PA FFI takes a lot more to get than in NY. It takes about an extra 60 hours of classes.
    This is in part why I have stated the need for a certification of Exterior Firefighter.

    Simoply take the components of FFI that do not involve interior operations or SCBA operations, such as vehicle fires, and teach them as a seperate class.

    Safety, building construction, ICS, fire behavior, extinguishers, basic forcible entry, ventilation, ladders, water supply (very heavy emphasis on rural/tanker ops, less on hydrant ops unless the department uses them frequently) and wildland and ground fires would comprise the course.They would test- written and practical - on those skills and be certifed as an Exterior Firefighter. Even throw in or require haz-mat Awareness if you wish.

    If down the line, the member wanted to operate interior, simply teach the other modules and now they can test out for FFI, including haz-mat operations.

    To me this is a no brainer. It simply makes sense for the rural fire service or departments that have no wish or need to see thier folks certified as Interior Firefighters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    This is in part why I have stated the need for a certification of Exterior Firefighter.

    Simoply take the components of FFI that do not involve interior operations or SCBA operations, such as vehicle fires, and teach them as a seperate class.
    Vehicle fires DO involve SCBA operations. (Or at least they SHOULD)

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Safety, building construction, ICS, fire behavior, extinguishers, basic forcible entry, ventilation, ladders,


    If you're not in the "hot" zone, you wouldn't be doing these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    water supply (very heavy emphasis on rural/tanker ops, less on hydrant ops unless the department uses them frequently)


    Usually these are the old guys, that have already done interior firefighting in their youth.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    and wildland and ground fires would comprise the course.


    Wildland and forest fires can be just as dangerous and physically demanding as interior firefighting.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    They would test- written and practical - on those skills and be certifed as an Exterior Firefighter. Even throw in or require haz-mat Awareness if you wish.

    If down the line, the member wanted to operate interior, simply teach the other modules and now they can test out for FFI, including haz-mat operations.

    To me this is a no brainer. It simply makes sense for the rural fire service or departments that have no wish or need to see thier folks certified as Interior Firefighters.
    Are rural and volunteer Fire Depts. going to start buying Crash trucks? 'Cause that seems like that's the kind of fire fighting strategy some people want to follow. If the majority of your people can't go interior, what's your purpose as a fire dept?
    Last edited by johnsb; 04-11-2012 at 04:12 PM.

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    Firefighter 1-2 is like basic training in the military.
    It gives the recruit a knowledge of the basics.

    Most of the things being spouted here, such as high rise ops, tractor overturns etc. can and should be taught after learning the basics. You have tolearn to crawl before you run a marathon...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Vehicle fires DO involve SCBA operations. (Or at least they SHOULD)

    Which is why I listed them as a skill to be classified as interior operations skills.


    If you're not in the "hot" zone, you wouldn't be doing these things.

    Again, I'm talking about skills that don't necceasrily invilve SCBA that an person not interested or capable of going interior can easily do - set up fans, force doors and windows away from smoke and fire, set up ladders are all skills that non-SCBA qualified personnel can and in most rural VFDS do all the time. Some even do roof work.

    As far as extinguishers, they are designed to be used on inciepient fires, which generally means that no PPE is required (as civilians are rtrained to use them all the time w/out PPE), so I would feel that they should be included in the exterior firefighter certification.

    You could argue that building and construction and fire behavior may not be skills that exterior members necessarilly need and that I could buy into in an effort to possibly make the class shorter. I would have no problem in throwing that into the classes that would be required in the component to get FFI at a later date.

    Now if we wanted to talk about a Support Firefighter certification, which by the way, wouldn't be a bad idea at all either, yes, I agree that things like ladders, forcible entry and ventilation would not be applicable, but I'm talking about a certification which would allow members to support interior operations in the hot zone without the use of SCBA.
    Usually these are the old guys, that have already done interior firefighting in their youth.

    Often but not always. I have seen plenty of younger members setting up drafting operations, setting up ponds, filling tankers, dumping tankers, making hydrants and stretching supply lays. I have also seen plenty of female members doing these tasks as well.


    Wildland and forest fires can be just as dangerous and physically demanding as interior firefighting.

    Yes, but again, I have seen plenty of damn good wildland firefighters on the volunteer side that have absolutly no interest in wearing and SCBA and operating interior. That was one that you could include or not include in the certification and have a good arguement for either position.


    Are rural and volunteer Fire Depts. going to start buying Crash trucks? 'Cause that seems like that's the kind of fire fighting strategy some people want to follow. If the majority of your people can't go interior, what's your purpose as a fire dept?
    In some departments that wouldn't be a bad idea. I'm not going to rehash this again but there are hundreds if not thousands of very poorly funded, poorly staffed and poorly trained VFDs out there who through no fault of their own will never be an interior orietened VFD. Like it or not, that is the reality and likely always will be the reality.

    So we give them the ability to be certified at what they generally do - Exterior operations. That way we know that they have been trained and passed both a practical and written test at the competies that they will perform at a fire.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-11-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Firefighter 1-2 is like basic training in the military.
    It gives the recruit a knowledge of the basics.

    Most of the things being spouted here, such as high rise ops, tractor overturns etc. can and should be taught after learning the basics. You have tolearn to crawl before you run a marathon...
    Fully agree that FFI/FFII is like basic training for the military, assuming that you are going to be in combat situations.

    Problem here tthere are many, many, many VFDs that will never have the resources- apparatus, tools, SCBA, water supply or manpower to put thier personnel in interior structural "firefighting combat" situations. They will be operating exterior in most cases except for maybe things like stove fires, chimney fires, small fires in the wall and such.

    Train them and certify them to operate at that exterior level. Certify them to handle those simplier situations by certifying them on building constructions, ladders, forcible entry and extinguishers. Again, if my air force only has prop aircraft I don't need my mechanics to be certified on jets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    In some departments that wouldn't be a bad idea. I'm not going to rehash this again but there are hundreds if not thousands of very poorly funded, poorly staffed and poorly trained VFDs out there who through no fault of their own will never be an interior orietened VFD. Like it or not, that is the reality and likely always will be the reality.

    So we give them the ability to be certified at what they generally do - Exterior operations. That way we know that they have been trained and passed both a practical and written test at the competies that they will perform at a fire.
    In response to your comment on poorly funded and trained depts., I'd like to see LESS grant money going to large metropolitan depts. (even my own) for absolutely stupid programs. (drafting equiptment in trailers with no tow vehicle, big ***** RV's with commo equipment when you already have one, for example) The little guys should get some real help from Washington to at least bring them up to basic standards. They pay enough in, they ought to get something back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    In response to your comment on poorly funded and trained depts., I'd like to see LESS grant money going to large metropolitan depts. (even my own) for absolutely stupid programs. (drafting equiptment in trailers with no tow vehicle, big ***** RV's with commo equipment when you already have one, for example) The little guys should get some real help from Washington to at least bring them up to basic standards. They pay enough in, they ought to get something back.
    Amen brother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Firefighter 1-2 is like basic training in the military.
    It gives the recruit a knowledge of the basics.

    ...
    So why not a FF1 Exterior cert.....the basics before the FF1? Make it a requirement before FF1. And then remove those parts from FF1.

    The minimum needs for some departments is not FF1, so shouldn't the minimum basic training meet the needs for ALL departments? Then FF1 for the next level, FF2 the next, etc.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    In response to your comment on poorly funded and trained depts., I'd like to see LESS grant money going to large metropolitan depts. (even my own) for absolutely stupid programs. (drafting equiptment in trailers with no tow vehicle, big ***** RV's with commo equipment when you already have one, for example) The little guys should get some real help from Washington to at least bring them up to basic standards. They pay enough in, they ought to get something back.
    I agree. Basic equipment needs to be supplied before "wants". I know of several reciepient FD's of AFG Grants that "lived it up" with the grant monies. If you are going to recieve AFG Grant money, you should be funded to buy the basic equipment. If you want more "bells and whistles", then you pay for that locally.

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    AFG has made it clear that they want FF1 and FF2 certifications. They want your plan of implemantation of training to get there. So it appears of you want federal money it will eventually be tied to training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    So why not a FF1 Exterior cert.....the basics before the FF1? Make it a requirement before FF1. And then remove those parts from FF1.

    The minimum needs for some departments is not FF1, so shouldn't the minimum basic training meet the needs for ALL departments? Then FF1 for the next level, FF2 the next, etc.
    In Ohio we have such a system. In addition to FF1 and 2 we have a VFF certiication known as a volunteer fire fighter certification, Level 1A, or a 36-hr card.

    this cert includes the modules that exterior or limited hot zone personel would need such as fire behavior, ventilation, forcible entry, ladders, etc, and omits those that an entry level cert doesn't necessarily need, ie, ropes, alarms/suppression systems,prevention/pub ed.

    It is at the discresion of the chief whether members w/ a 36hr card can go interior, but obviously the FF1 and 2 guys are the first pick.

    in OH
    VFF=36hrs
    FF1=120hrs
    FF2=240hrs

    if an individual holds a 36hr card he/she has the option to take an 84 hr FF1 transition course which includes the modules omitted in the VFF class and results in a FF1 cert for the student.

    this smaller cert works out well for a small rural dept like ours with membership made up mostly of college students who don't have time in their class schedules to take a full FF1 course.
    it is also nice that when we alternate the VFF and transition classes each year it gives an oportunity for the VFF card holders to get their FF1 w/o a giant time commitment. In fact we typically Alternate VFF and FF1 classes each year and during the FF1 class the VFF cardholders only attend the modules they didn't have in their first class.

    It has downsides:
    In my opinion 36 hrs isn't alot of time to sufficiently train an interior firefighter, so only those VFF cardholders the chief feels comfortable with will actually go interior. VFF cert also omits any live fire training in the cirriculum

    So, it has down sides, but it does give us the ability to certify more firefighters who can perform exterior and limited inerior tasks relatively inexpensively and in a shorter period of time than we could if everyone had to take FF1.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    I'm troubled by the reported number of volunteers with no formal training, although I'd like a little more information on the definition of the term. F'rinstance, I know many volunteers with many hours of training, but because certification at FF1 has only been available here in the recent past, many senior members don't have it in their portfolio. They probably have all or most of the components, but no cert that reads "Firefighter I."
    That was my situation when I moved here to LA. Even though I had boatloads of training, both outside and in-house training, it was almost impossible to get the classes for FFI in VT. In fact, to test you actually had to travel to New Hampshire. A couple of years after I arrived here I started taking certification tests just to have the pieces of paper.

    We have a guy who just joined our department a couple of years ago after retiring from 25 years on the neighboring city department and he didn't have a single certification in his file. When he attended the academy (in fact, up until 5 years ago) they didn't test out for FFI & FFII, and Driver/Operator, Officer, etc wasn't required as all promotions to those ranks were handled through the Civil Service testing process without any requirements for certification. He is now in the process of testing out.

    Our Asst. Chief and one of our Captains, who have also worked for another city department for about 10-15 years, and are at the rank of Captain and EMS Shift Supervisor, were in the same boat but they started testing out several years ago here so they would have the paper.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-12-2012 at 12:57 PM.
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