1. #1
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    Thumbs down YOUR state training system??

    Several other threads about training have prompted me to write this one. Here is a Two Part Question.

    1. Does your State Training Agency charge for training??

    2. If so, what are you doing to change that??

    I am finding that I am very lucky to live in Maryland, where all Fire, Rescue, and Basic (Thru EMT-B) Medical Training is FREE, to Maryland Firefighters. Career or Volunteer is not a concern, and all training is referenced to, and accepted by, National Training Certification Organizations. Personal Opinion, I don't understand why those of you who do not have Free training aren't screaming bloody murder and threatening to seize your State legislators lunch money, (which is about all you'd need in some states) to accomplish this. If anyone from the NVFC reads this, Where in the heck are you guys on this?? Heads stuck in the sand as usual??
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    Most fire training and some EMS training is done at County based academies. If there is a cost, it is very low and usually to cover supplies. There are also some local training academies that teach as divisions of the County academy, like the one I teach at. EMS training is done either at County, hospitals, and/or local squad buildings. There is a cost for EMT Basic classes, but the state reimburses for that class. There are probably more options for training than listed above, but these are pretty standard around NJ. Sad part is, many of the instructors do not get any pay for their teaching, it's on a volunteer basis.
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    That is a very good question Mr. Woods. I have never thought about the idea of training being free. I don't know that the state would be able to make the training free, since many of the training centers are privately owned. For instance, Chipola College, which is where I got my certificarions. The Florida State Fire College in Ocala isn't even free.

    I've spent several thousand dollars out of my own pocket getting my various certifications. And the really sad thing is that still can't find a damned job.
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    State fire training courses are provided at no cost through the County Training sites. Some coourses have a fee at the State Fire Academies, which is usually picked up by the Department.
    Some EMS training is cost free, again through the County. EMT levels usually have a cost for supplies, again picked up by the Department upon completion.
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    In terms of free our department pays for EMT-B, and Basic FF. Also you can submit a schooling request for additonal training that is dependnet on grants, and money left in the regular budget. I was lucky that my former employer (private hospital based ambulance service) paid for my medic class with a 2 year commiment. So my education hasnt really cost me a thing. In terms of the free thing .........we do get ALOT of grants for both training and equipment (mostly EMS). I am not sure as to how you get that for free in MD ........as to how to get us to change that I got no idea.......
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    It's big money here in the Land o' Lincoln, Harve.

    FFII (which is the same as everybody else's FFI) can run a deparatment anywhere from $500 to $2400 (that's just tuition). There are some options for reimbursement, but the paper chase makes it impractical. By the time the secretaries get done putting all the paper together, you've spent more on their salaries than you'll get back.

    Illinois Fire Service Institute, which is run through U of I, has many free classes, but there are minimum student number requirements, and even that money seems to be drying up.

    Any advanced class, such as Officer and technical rescue, usually run around $200-$300 per 40 hour class.

    As far as EMS goes, open up your wallet. EMT-B runs anywhere from $250-$500. And paramedic will run you $2400. That's just tuition. Again, there are the occasional grants, but they are sporadic, and you've got to hunt them down.

    It's probably just as well. If the state started paying for this training (and it won't in my lifetime), you can bet there'd be corruption and graft. All of a sudden the tuitions would triple, and the class quality would probably suffer.
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    Honestly never thought twice about it.

    The main EMT class for my area is held through the local community college, goes for about $250. Now regular classes are $88/credit-hour for residents, and the EMT class is about 9 credit hours so that's $792 in tuition plus another $100 or so in "fees."

    (Side note found while looking that up:
    i. Tuition is waived for any dependent
    child of a police officer, as defined in
    section 7-294a of the general statutes,
    or a supernumerary or auxiliary police
    officer or firefighter, as defined in
    section 7-323j, or member of a
    volunteer fire company, killed in the
    line of duty

    And that's for all classes...have to look that up but I'm guessing that applies to all state colleges/universities in the state)

    Some classes taught by the "Academy" (Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention & Control):
    Recruit Firefighter (10 week Career or the occasional really motivated & out of work vollie course): $2,500
    Firefighter II: $325
    CO & Chimney Fires (1 day): $30
    Fire Service Instructor I: $225
    Fire Officer I (96 hours): $385
    Fire Officer II (56 hours): $250
    Rural Tactical Ops (16 hours): $150
    Strats & Tactics (16 hours): $65
    Fire Police Procedures (8 hours): $15

    They used to list "Municipal" and "Industrial" rates, industry usually 2 times the municipal rate, don't see those at a quick glance at the calendar.

    Local instructors who organize independent classes, and the regional Fire School usually fall into that same ballpark for price.
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    There is a cost for EMT Basic classes, but the state reimburses for that class.
    really? I didn't know that. I thought the department has to pay for it all. in NJ, EMT courses and CEU courses for members of volunteer EMS agencies are paid for by the State. if you aren't a volunteer, you aren't eligible to have the state pay (sort of like an incentive to voluteer). most fire courses are taught at the county fire academy, which the department has to pay for. to the best of my knowledge, EMTs on fire departments are not eligible for the training fund unless they are also on seperate rescue squads.
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    1. Does your State Training Agency charge for training??

    Yes, if it is at the Fire College. For most courses (instructor, fire officer, inspector, etc) it is a pretty reasonable fee (about $225). Several of these are also available once a year or so at our county training facility. Usually there's no charge for the shorter classes. FFI at the county level costs a little something to cover supplies.

    2. If so, what are you doing to change that??

    If you get your own instructors, you can teach most (maybe all) of the classes at the local or county level and the only cost is what you spend on supplies. I don't see it as a real problem for us.

    Now for the disclaimer: The above applies to FIRE classes. There are players other than the fire college in the EMS game and the cost is significantly higher.

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    in NJ, EMT courses and CEU courses for members of volunteer EMS agencies are paid for by the State.
    DrP, that's what I meant by reimbursed by the state.
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    1. Does your State Training Agency charge for training??
    Yes. Our State agency is the LSU Fire and Emergency Training Institute, http://feti.lsu.edu , in Baton Rouge exactly 6 miles north of my home. They charge FDs for classes and we are not reembursed as far as I know. Regarding EMS training, First Responder level classes are often taught at the district level with several departments sending students to one of the area fire stations to be taught by a member of that FD certified to instruct FR class. For EMT-B I attended a class at the Baton Rouge Community College and after I graduated my FD cut me a check to cover the cost of the tuition I had paid when I started the class.
    2. If so, what are you doing to change that??
    Not a darn thing.

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    Nationwide we are all trained to the same level (ok 2 levels Perm and Voli, but you expect that)

    The training is provided by the service, all you give is time. A lot of pre course work needs to be completed, and then there is station evaluation on completion of the course.

    A large amount of on Station training is provided by Training Officers, MVA, First Aid, specialist subjects etc. For free.

    No training is required prior to joining, and the level of work a person can do on call outs progresses with the level of their training. Which is a logical system.
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    Yes, Florida does charge for training.Do not get me wrong free training is nice, and would help but to play devil's advocate
    Where are you going to find instructors to give up their time?
    Who will pay for the insurance if someone gets hurt? If you really want the training you will find a way to pay for it. I am lucky my department pays for most of my training.
    However I think FEMA,NVFC,IAFF,IAFC, and other orginaztions need to get together and figure out what classes need to be out there.There is no reason for 4 or 5 different versions of Incident Command.

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    Originally posted by kjohn23
    Where are you going to find instructors to give up their time?
    Who will pay for the insurance if someone gets hurt? If you really want the training you will find a way to pay for it.
    you are absolutely right. having an instructor freely give up their time isn't going to happen. but having the state step in, and use their millions to help the emergency responders. with departments budgets tight as is, preventing their member from being unable to take courses that will help them in their jobs is unacceptable
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Thumbs up When I said Free..........

    FREE Translates to mean that the individual and/or the department do not give any money to anyone else. No one pays any organization for training. The state government allocates money to the budget of the University of Maryland, which in turn funds the operation of the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute. All instructors and support people are State Employees, either Full or Part time. The bottom line is that the citizens pay taxes, and taxes pay for training. One sticky point is there are still a few Community Colleges that have an EMT-B program, but they may be pushed out of that business. I hope. There is no use for EMTs in Maryland, unless they are affiliated with a provider organization. Which means that you have to be a Fire/Rescue Volunteer or employee, or be employed by a Private Ambulance Company, or you will not be certified as an EMT and you are prohibited from practicing as an EMT. With the Fire Training programs providing EMS training, there really is no point in Educational Institutions being involved with it.
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    Like I told you in another thread, Harve........ You guys got it made there........

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    It is all over the board out here, and it is getting worse every year.

    We used to get deeply subsidized training opportunities out here in the rural areas, sponsored by the office of the fire commissioner, but those subsidies have dwindled off. A prime example is a three day basic Strategy & Tactics program for Officers used to cost less than a hundred bucks when I took it five years ago. Now, the same course is almost $400. Factor in travel, because we aren't big enough to fill these types of course locally, and it costs almost a grand to send a single person on a weekend course.

    We also used to get free training from BC Hydro and BC Gas complete with a mobile confined space training trailer, but now they don't do the free circuit anymore, and we are lucky to find them at the major training weekends for several hundred dollars in registration fees.

    After last years BC wildfires, the Fire Commissioner has asked all rural depts to ensure their officers have ICS 300 and S215/250 (interface ops), and all ff's get the complete 2-day S100 annually, but there are a shortage of qualified instructors, and there sure is no extra money out there to spend the thousands required to do this.

    I think a major factor is that for liability reasons, most dept's can't or are afraid to lend instructors or train internally anymore. They do all the training through third party contractors who are in this to make money. I'm all for the extra training, and the guys are willing to take the time off for it, but if we can't find this training for a reasonable cost, it isn't going to happen as frequently as it should.
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    In Wisconsin things are a bit different. The state pays for your basic fire training. Part of the money that pays for this comes from a 2% dues fund that comes from fire insurance. 2% of everyone's fire insurance policy goes into a state fund for fire prevention and education. Each year every department is given a check that is based on their population, department size, number of calls, etc. This money can be used for firefighter training. This would be entry level firefighter, firefighter I, and firefighter II. These classes are given by the technical college system. Any other classes like haz-mat, extrication, rescue classes, confined space, or anything else other than EMS is usually covered by a grant. If it is not covered by a grant, the technical colleges charge the departments which is basically materials cost. Each department has their own policy as to what they pay for and what they don't pay for and charge the individual firefighter. Then there is the occasional FEMA grant or Emergency Management grant for hazmat stuff, fire investigation or something else that comes along that is free to the student.

    For example, my deparment prety much pays for any training I want to take (classes offered by the local technical college) and will pay my hourly wage for me to go it. For any out of town fire schools or special stuff it is on a case by case basis, depending on how much money is in the training budget. Just to mention it, a neighboring department pays half of the class tuition and no wages. There are others that are totally volunteer and tuition comes out of their pockets. Yes, I consider myself very lucky.

    For EMS training (first responder, EMT, & paramedic) used to be covered by a state budget and a EMS grant that each department used to get reimbursed for their tuition. That is gone now. For the most part, if a department or employer does not pay for it, it is up to the student to pay. This is billed by the technical colleges to each deparmtent or employer. Of course a student can apply for all the student loans and assistance programs for anything else if they have to pay on their own. Again, my department will pay for people interested in becoming a first responder. The only catch is you must pass otherwise you are paying for it. We also will pay for 2 people on a case by case basis per available EMT class. Again, you must pass or you must pay.

    Yes, we are sitting ok in Wisconsin, at least so far. Even better if you can get a department to pay for your training.

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    you are absolutely right. having an instructor freely give up their time isn't going to happen
    Don't tell that to anybody down here! Our county association hosts a FFI course every year, and usually several other pro-board accredited classes each year. We charge to cover supplies but we've never had to pay an instructor.

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    I used to live in Arkansas , and believe it or not, they had (have) one of the best academys around. If you were a resident of the state all training was free , unless you wanted college credit then you had to pay for your hours. Also if you lived more than 75 miles away, lodging and your noon meal were free. Their rookie school was IFSAC accredated. In fact many Canadian citizens attended at their own expense.

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    Well, we get all training, is paid for by our dept. and the only thing that they have to pay for is EMT-B.

    So I guess we have it good here as well.
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    Don't get me wrong.......... I don't have it that bad. My department will pay for just about any training I want to go to, whether it be FFI, FFII, FSI, Arson, HAZMAT Tech, EMT-I, EMT-P, Instructor, Worcester Safety Seminar, or whatever else, as long as we have money in the budget to do it. If not this year, the next year I can pretty much guarantee on going.

    I'm just saying it's much better if NOBODY has to pay for the training (myself or the department)........

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    Just a little added on to what Dickey said about WI...

    High school students, like myself, can take advantage of a program in the state called Youth Options. The law states that a school has to pay the tuition for a student if they want to go to an institute of higher learing, Madison Area Technical College for me, to take classes rather than at their high school.

    This year, my HS is shelling out almost $1k for me to go to school, to be a firefighter/EMT. My department will be paying very little, if any, of my training. The only thing that they MIGHT have to cover is the wildland firefighting course I am probably going to take in the spring.
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    Originally posted by fdmhbozz
    Just a little added on to what Dickey said about WI...

    High school students, like myself, can take advantage of a program in the state called Youth Options. The law states that a school has to pay the tuition for a student if they want to go to an institute of higher learing, Madison Area Technical College for me, to take classes rather than at their high school.

    This year, my HS is shelling out almost $1k for me to go to school, to be a firefighter/EMT. My department will be paying very little, if any, of my training. The only thing that they MIGHT have to cover is the wildland firefighting course I am probably going to take in the spring.
    Ohio has a similar program, called Post-Secondary Options (at least that's what it used to be called). This program has been going on for almost 15 years. I did it my Junior and Senior years in High School. Went to a local college and took basic classes like Comp I and II, Psych, Sociology, a computer class, Pre-Calc. That way, no matter what program I decided to go into to get my Bachelor's Degree, i would already have some of the basic classes out of the way........

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    Ohio has a grant program for several fire classes including Vol., FF I, FF II, Fire Instructor & Fire Inspector. Departments serving populations of less than 25,000 are eligible.

    More info: Ohio State Fire Marshal

    Not missing your point Harve, It would be great if all these classes were free for everybody. I just don't think it'll happen in Ohio given the current state of our economy and resulting decreased tax revenue for state and local governments.
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