1. #1
    Peter J. Starkel
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default certified vs. non certified trainers

    Looking for opinions on certified trainers (certified fire service instructors) vs. non certified trainers overseeing & implementing in house fire department training

  2. #2
    Scott Clark
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Good question! Certified Instructors are not only going to give you quality instruction, but is safer for the firefighters and your community. But, there are individuals that teach very well and are not certified Instructors. Liability should be a concern of yours when you don't have a certified Instructor teaching also. With non-certified Instructors, you should have them make a up a class curriculum and submit it for review. It is a good idea to establish a training committee and have a variety of people on it and have a person chair the committee that is enjoys training. You should not limit the committee to just line officers either. I have a feeling you have had bad experience with this one way or the other. Just don't turn away people who want to teach and can do it. Just review the course materials if your concerned. Also it is a good idea to encourage your people to become certified Instructors and use their enthusiasm to help your department grow.

    ------------------
    If we stand united.... We will never fall.

  3. #3
    Lou
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    There is nothing wrong with in house training, when it is done the right way. Having a training officer teach the basics benifits all members. New members learn new skills, this training can help reinforce the training they get at fireschool. And this kind of training keeps the more expierienced member in touch with what he/she needs to know. Certified training is very usefull when training with new materials or ideas. Both types of training have their place in the fire service.

  4. #4
    tydon
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I have been charged with the training of our dept. for more than 3 years. I am a certified IFSAC training officer.
    I have no problem with someone being given the role of training the "Troops" based on Knowledge and years of experience. One thing I have learned is you never can stop learning, that is why I love the fire service.
    If you are a knowledgable individual in the fire service, please do not think of the junior guy as the guy who may take your job, but as a person who will need your help to return home to his/ her family, or as the "Brother" who will help you get home to yours!
    Yours Faithfully;
    tydon

  5. #5
    tydon
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Sorry, forgot to add this;

    It is the employers responsibility to decide who is capable to provide the training, which brings them the weight of liability to provide the proper training, so don't blame the instructor.

  6. #6
    mfgentili
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    The fire chief ultimately has the say on who can conduct in house training to members of the department. Certification by no means is an assurance of the instructor's abilities as a firefighter but rather that he/she has met the requirements of the certifying agency as an instructor. The main advantage of having certified instructors is the legal issues that sometimes come up. Also in order to become certified, the firefighter has had to show proficiency in conducting classes and operating various audio visual equipment. This may be an advantage in keeping classes interesting and running smooth. A certified instructor also has an advantage when instructing their peers or superiors. It eliminates some of the "Who are you to teach me" attitude that we have all seen. I am the Training Officer for a 250 member career department and am assisted by adjunct instructors consisting of both certified and non certified members. We require certified instructors be present for all live fire evolutions and follow NFPA standards as closely as possible. Most individual fire company in house training is conducted by the company officer or any member of the company having skills they can share with others. Remember, we can and do learn from others regardless of age, gender, rank, or certification. In the end I think it is most important for the students to respect the instructor in order for learning to occur. This respect can only be gained by the actions and attitude of the individual and not by any certification they have attained. The ultimate would be to have these experienced, motivated individuals who are respected in the department become certified instructors. I encourage anyone who is interested in teaching firefighting to become certified because once you achieve this recognition it remains with you forever and cannot hurt in any way. Good luck and I hope my opinion is helpful.

  7. #7
    mfgentili
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    The fire chief ultimately has the say on who can conduct in house training to members of the department. Certification by no means is an assurance of the instructor's abilities as a firefighter but rather that he/she has met the requirements of the certifying agency as an instructor. The main advantage of having certified instructors is the legal issues that sometimes come up. Also in order to become certified, the firefighter has had to show proficiency in conducting classes and operating various audio visual equipment. This may be an advantage in keeping classes interesting and running smooth. A certified instructor also has an advantage when instructing their peers or superiors. It eliminates some of the "Who are you to teach me" attitude that we have all seen. I am the Training Officer for a 250 member career department and am assisted by adjunct instructors consisting of both certified and non certified members. We require certified instructors be present for all live fire evolutions and follow NFPA standards as closely as possible. Most individual fire company in house training is conducted by the company officer or any member of the company having skills they can share with others. Remember, we can and do learn from others regardless of age, gender, rank, or certification. In the end I think it is most important for the students to respect the instructor in order for learning to occur. This respect can only be gained by the actions and attitude of the individual and not by any certification they have attained. The ultimate would be to have these experienced, motivated individuals who are respected in the department become certified instructors. I encourage anyone who is interested in teaching firefighting to become certified because once you achieve this recognition it remains with you forever and cannot hurt in any way. Good luck and I hope my opinion is helpful.

  8. #8
    KEN PAWLAK
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    There is nothing wrong with members and line officers doing the in house training as long as they have the knowledge of what they are teaching. The only time you have to have an instuctor is if you are going to certify them in what they are taught. There is a legal issue in not using certfied instructor's but as with anything legal it is how you interpit it. Stay safe and I hope this helps.


    Ken Pawlak
    Training Officer
    Ansonia,Ct. FD

  9. #9
    KEN PAWLAK
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    There is nothing wrong with members and line officers doing the in house training as long as they have the knowledge of what they are teaching. The only time you have to have an instuctor is if you are going to certify them in what they are taught. There is a legal issue in not using certfied instructor's but as with anything legal it is how you interpit it. Stay safe and I hope this helps.


    Ken Pawlak
    Training Officer
    Ansonia,Ct. FD

  10. #10
    Lt132
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I'm currently a Certified Instructor in New York State, and have had many discussions with members of my department as to the advantages and/or disadvantages of having a certified instructor. Some people seem to think that just because you are 'Certified', you will be running the show when it comes to training. As far as I'm concerned, that cuoldn't be farther from the truth. honestly I would be lost without the input and assistance given by older, more experienced members of the Department. As far as a little background on myself, I've been involvced in the Fire Services for about 9 years, am only <grin> 27, and worse yet, a female. Wow, it really is still hard to get people to bend their way of thinking! I am one of only a few people in my Department who are certified as NYS Instructors, and hopefully will be nationally Certified in a few months.

    My feelings as far as liability is concerned are that a Certified Instructor should be present at all time if possible when training, especially during practical evolutions. If one is not available, then there should be an understanding somewhere that the subject and content of the evolution was AT LEAST discussed with a CI to help ensure proper safety guidelines are followed, along with OSHA and NFPA requirements. I actually had another officer tell me he 'didn't need to know' what the different NFPA and OSHA standards addressed, only Chiefs did. More on that in another forum.

  11. #11
    Herb King
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I have been in the FS for 34 years, both vol and paid and any department I have been with has always used a combination of certified and "educated" instructors. It is always better to learn from someone who understands the lesson, certified or not. It is the role of the training officer or line officer or chief, whoever is responsible, to insure that the material being taught is correct as to contect SOG's, etc. There have been many subjects the I as a certified instructor and master instructor have have learned a new idea or point of view of from a non-certified instructor.

  12. #12
    Revone
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Every Fire Officer should become a certified Fire Instructor via their State Fire Marshal or IFSAC. I am certified by both the State of California and IFSAC. Each time I take a new instructor class, I learn something new. Instructor training enables the Student Instructor the knowledge and skill to teach in a manner that will have the most effect on the students.
    The fire service is finally now become more professional thanks to the National Fire Academy. FEMA, US Fire Administration and the National Fire Academy offers FREE training to Fire Officers. Why not become certified and professional! The life you save could be your own!

  13. #13
    DD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I have been a state certified instructor since 76. I have found that there are only two requirements for a person to be considered a good instructor by many
    firefighters. You have to be from more than 20 miles away and wearing necktie.

  14. #14
    Jeff801
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    To me it is a no brainer. The Chief Training Officer must be an experienced fire instructor/Officer. There would be little quality assurance if just a coordinator ran the show. Who will be ultimately responsible for the information taught and who signed off on the lesson plan. This is like the question of whether a "Fire Administrator" aka "Suit" be allowed to call himself "Fire Chief" when he has never busted his *** on the fireground. They both may be teachers but the question is who knows the subject.

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