Hey everyone. I would really enjoy it if everyone would contribute to this discussion because I think itís something that several of us ponder about from time to time, especially those trying to get into the fire service.
If any of you remember I came on here a few months ago and asked if Firefighter 1001 training from Mississippi State Fire Academy would transfer to Alabama in which I found out it would not because of the hours each school offers for the course. Here is some stats for some of the states fire trainingÖ..
Mississippi State Fire Academy:
214 hours of training for Firefighter 1&2
Follows NFPA Guidelines for Firefighter 1001
LSU Fire Academy:
FF1 and FF2 courses that follow NFPA 1001 Guidelines
Alabama Fire College:
400 Hours which includes EMT-Basic
Follows NFPA 1001
Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Training Academy:
FF1 around 8 weeks
FF2 around 4 weeks
Follows NFPA 1001
Florida Fire College:
Firefighter 1&2 (Firefighter Minimum Standards) 480 Hours
Follows NFPA 1001
So I gathered all of this information and started to look at each course and see how each course was structured. Overall, each course teaches the same thing. Each course follows NFPA 1001 Firefighter Professional Qualification Standards. However there is only one true difference between the courses, the amount of hours spent in each course.
Now I do not want people to start thinking I am just being bitter because I found out training here in Mississippi would not transfer to Alabama. I just got curious as how a state could deny qualification or level of training for a firefighter based on hours. If each state acknowledges NFPA guidelines then why deny training from another state that follows the same NFPA guideline as you do?
Now I am going through EMT school now and will take a National Registry Exam at the end of my course. This means that my certification as an EMT-B is recognized Nationwide no matter which state I go to. Why canít firefighter training be the same way? Should the fire service start looking into methods to make firefighter training, regardless of which state it came from, to transfer to any other state in the union. I just think that it is a little ridiculous that if I moved to another state I would have to retake all of the Firefighter 1&2 certification again.
I am not trying to pick on Alabama or cause an argument here. I am just trying to discuss if there would be a way to change the curriculum a little bit so that firefighter training was uniformed from state to state and that a firefighter from Florida or Mississippi or California or New York could stand side by side and do the exact same job with the exact same training and not question each other on how to do things because they know that they are equally trained. And if a firefighter from Tennessee wanted to move to another state they donít have to worry if their training counts because they know it will and will not have to repeat all of FF 1 &2 just because the hours arenít the same.
Thanks everyone. Stay safe out there.
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07-01-2007, 05:49 PM #1
Nationally Certified Firefighter 1&2.....
Last edited by KevinFFVFD; 07-01-2007 at 10:49 PM.
07-01-2007, 06:21 PM #2
Kevin, as I pointed out when you first posed the question it is far more complicated than simply comparing the hours. Alabama's FF1&2 and Certified volunteer firefighter courses are Proboard accredited - Mississippi's are not. Here's a link to The Pro Board Site. Alabama will sometimes recognize training from other states but the comparisions are made on an individual basis. Accreditation aside, many large departments and some not-so-large will still make you attend their academy no matter what you were at your other department because everyone operates differently and those methods and procedures are usually taught at the department's academy.
NREMT is more widely recognized than the Proboard but it is still not a national standard - not all states recognize it.
07-01-2007, 06:43 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
I'm not only getting Kevin's back on this, I'm reaching out even beyond the box, and saying flat out: We need Federal Legislation that would require all states to recognize a single standard, AND, require all states to provide training to that standard, FREE, to any person who is a member in good standing of a Fire Department. Additionally, all Training in Fire Rescue, and EMS Fields should be restricted to those persons who are a member (Paid or Volunteer) of a Fire Department, or other organization which provides Emergency Services to a specific area. Life works that way here, and I can't find a better system.Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
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07-01-2007, 07:23 PM #4
I am trying to pick on Alabama or cause an argument here. I am just trying to discuss if there would be a way to change the curriculum a little bit so that firefighter training was uniformed from state to state and that a firefighter from Florida or Mississippi or California or New York could stand side by side and do the exact same job with the exact same training and not question each other on how to do things because they know that they are equally trained. QUOTE]
Are you sure you're not trying to start an argument here? Maybe you should put NOT in there. Calm down, I'm just messing with you.
Anyways I like the idea but some places operate different then other places or what not. Maybe there could be some type of class you could take to get to the states level or agencies level that you would move to. Instead of taking the whole 240 class maybe take a 20-40 hour class to get up to speed. I feel we need to have some continuing ed as well. Why do we have to do CE on the ems side but not fire? And we run way more ems calls then fire calls. I'm sure I'll get slammed for saying that but something needs to happen to get people motivated and attending training sessions as well. I guess this could go back to your comment of having to take the fire class over again, well I feel it would be a good refresher for some people. I think it would be a good thing.
07-01-2007, 07:43 PM #5
A national basic Firefighter course, with regional (whether it is county, or state level) specific training.
I, for one, would LOVE to see free training, even at just the Fire I/II level. Potential Firefighters in Fla have to pay for their own training, and then apply at a dept. With the current property tax cuts here, a LOT of Certified FFs (Myself included) are out over 3,000 dollars, and not much chance of getting hired in the near future.AJ, MICP, FireMedic
This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.
07-01-2007, 09:14 PM #6
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
This is one of the problem I have been talking about all along when folks on here talk about minimum training standards.
As we see here, the "standards" are in fact not standard at all. The idea behind a national standard is a class that can be taken and recognized state to state, which more often than not, is not the case with Firefighter 1 or 2. That was the purpose of Firefighter 1, but states have taken the basic premise of a common "standard" cirriculum and turned it into, in some cases, a way for a state to recieve revenue through retaking/challenging tests and in some cases, retaking the entire course.
If we really want to begin talking seriously about a national mimimum standard, this problem needs to be addressed.
07-01-2007, 11:02 PM #7
dday05, thanks for pointing out that mistake in my post. I meant to say "not picking on Alabama".
I was talking to my dad about this and brought up this point. Firefighting is one the few certifications that is not recognized state to state. If a person went to medical school in California or France and wanted to move to North Carolina and practice medicine they can. Or if a person takes a CPA exam, or goes to Law school, or electricianís cert, or engineerís cert or any other ďprofessional degree or certificationĒ and wishes to move to another state then they can without having to retake that cert or degree, but a firefighter has to.
Some people have told me ďwell if you went through the fire academy once then it should be easy for you going through another fire academy.Ē True, but the point is I have to do it all AGAIN. I spent years on the department I was on as a ďcertified firefighter/EMTĒ and wish to move to another state and just because that state has different ďstandardsĒ I have to retake it all. All of that time and training for NOTHING. Thatís why it bothers me so much. I live in Mississippi now but have a 50/50 chance of moving to the Birmingham Alabama area within the next 4 or 5 years. And I am being told that all of the training I have received in Mississippi will not transfer to Alabama and Iíll have to retake everything except EMT which will transfer (thank God for that).
I am not saying we should crate one fire academy or restructure every fire academy, but I would like to see something along the lines of one nationally accepted curriculum for firefighters, just like EMT. Something where each state still has their own fire academy but teaches the same curriculum as every other state. Of course this WAY easier said than done, but it just seems logical to me.
07-01-2007, 11:25 PM #8
Hey no problem. I was just pointing out that to mess with you. I myself am a terrible speller and typer along with being distracted very easilly.
I guess the one thing to think about here, and I know you will not like what I have to say but if you go to Alabama or where ever it is (a state that I hate driving in or even being in) would you be going there for a firefighter job? I would take the class. Yes it might seem like a big pain, but you would have a 25-30 year carreer out of it and in the end it would be worth it.
07-02-2007, 12:31 AM #9
By the way, please do not confuse my motives of this thread. I am not trying to make my personal situation better, but try and see if there would be any possible way to fix this problem because I know for a fact I am not the only person with this situation. People come on Firehouse all of the time with the same questions.
07-02-2007, 02:18 AM #10
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
Well is Alabama a IFSAC State or recognizes it? I'm certified in SC and MS as a FFI & II because of IFSAC...
Kevin, I was with B Warren when he called you and I didn't think to ask him if Alabama was IFSAC, but if they aren't shouldn't they have a min. standards board you can go in front of? Forgive me but I haven't researched this enough.
07-02-2007, 02:29 AM #11
I donít know anything about Alabama minimum standards. Iím not even really 100% sure about Mississippi minimum standards but thank goodness I have a friend who is on the minimum standards board. I do know that there is a city in Alabama that says it will not accept courses from an internet college even if it is in Fire Science. But 95% of the schools that offer fire science are offered over the internet. There really is no place, especially in Mississippi, to physically to sit in class and earn a fire science degree. So I guess I am screwed in that sense too.
07-02-2007, 04:20 AM #12"Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
07-02-2007, 09:45 AM #13
A national standard thats transferable is a nice idea. One of the problems I see is whos standard do you use?
Do you go with Mississippi's 240 hours or Florida's 480? Do you add EMT basic to the mix or keep it separate? And what about the volunteers? Do you make them do the full class, or separate it like Florida which requires 480 (FF 1&2) for paid and 160 (FF1) for volunteer?
Heck, you have states that dont even have a state level FF certification.
And why stop at firefighter basic? How about company officer, chief officer, inspector, investigator, instructor? Shouldnt they be fully transferable as well?
Do all states even have these requirements?
Lots of things to work out...Fire Marshal/Safety Officer
"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
Success is when skill meets opportunity
Failure is when fantasy meets reality
07-02-2007, 10:15 AM #14
The real work has already been done. What remains is the BS of politics."Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.
07-02-2007, 11:05 AM #15
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
In KY to be a career firefighter you need to have 400 hours in specific areas. IFSAC I requires 100 hours and IFSAC II is 40 hours. Why should Kentucky honor IFSAC I and II if Kentucky's requirements are higher?
As for the National Registry EMT, Kentucky uses them as the testing standard but once you pass you are licensed instead of certified. You keep your license as long as you maintain your continuing education hours and are employed by a medical facility or ems agency. You can let your National Registry lapse and maintain your KY license only to practice. So in Kentucky your National Registry EMT will not allow you to practice medicine, just allows you to apply for a Kentucky license.
As for once you went to an academy you should never have to go through another academy does not hold water. Having been through your academy does not teach you the SOPs and policies of my department and how we operate. Just viewing these boards alone shows that almost every department uses different techniques to get the job done. Going through your academy will not teach you the FDNY, CFD, BFD, LAFD, LFB or even little LFD way of doing business. Heck we had a nine year firefighter leave and then come back four years later to the same department. Guess what, he had to go through our 24 week academy again.
If you want to short cut your way around having to go through the academy again I pity you. I had all the certs from NY before coming to the Bluegrass State. They made the academy easier and allowed me to help others in my class. Heck, I'd go back to the academy in an instant and do it all over again.
As for those who want to set the standards...
Who is going to set the standards? In Kentucky we have two standards one for volunteers/paid-on call and career. Volunteers are certified after completing 150 hours of training and maintaining 20 hours a year. Career are certified after 400 hours of training and maintaining 100 hours a year. Which standard do you want to use, the 150 hours or the 400 hours? This will be the sticking point of any standard, volunteer vs. career. The traditional fight of almost every thread on this board.
07-02-2007, 11:58 AM #16
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
- PG County, MD
As someone whose getting into the fire service I agree that there should be a standard. If I go to another state I should have the same BASIC training as all the firefighters there. I agree you'd have to do some different training based on if its a city or country area, but there should still be a standard of the basics. On the free part, I'm not sure about other areas, but here all classes are paid for by the fire department...
07-02-2007, 12:01 PM #17
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
- PG County, MD
07-02-2007, 12:35 PM #18
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
It is not necessary to have uniform national standards regarding the length of training. Just uniform national standards as to the content of training, and the right to challenge a test without repeating the academy.
What matters is what you know, not how you came to know it.
07-02-2007, 02:34 PM #19
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
- The Mistake On The Lake
I'll agree with randsc there. Being from PA, and having my FFI and testing my FFII this fall, it makes little sense for me to go to say KY, and have to go through hundreds of hours of training, to learn the same things, just because PA doesn't make me sit through between 150 and 400 hours of class. The physics of fire, basic pump operations, vehicle design, building design, etc, don't change state to state for the most part. While some things might be different, general items, which make up the majority of the course load, remain the same. If there were a test, that I could challenge, proving my competancy in the basic skills FFI, and FFII are supposed to teach, then it saves me 400 extra hours of class, for things I already know, and could help, when I only need to learn local SOP's and SOG's for how things are done.
An abbreviated academy that teaches the local way of doing things, rather than everything from this is how we put our boots on up through ICS would be better. Like was said, the hours aren't important. I could spend three weeks teaching kids how to tie their shoes, and then one hour teaching a second group of kids how to tie thier shoes, and neither group will be better because of the hours spent under instruction. Each individual kid, will still be able to tie their shoes.
07-02-2007, 02:59 PM #20
The city of Jackson which is 45 miles away from where I am, plus being the largest city in Mississippi with the largest fire department, has their own training academy. The academy there, I believe, is around 12 weeks, 6 weeks longer than the Mississippi State Fire Academy. So I talked to a captain over there and he said even though the training is longer and a little different, I would not have to go through their full 12 weeks. I would just have to take a 2 week orientation to their SOPís and methods and then I would be assigned to a company.
That is a fantastic idea. If I went to Birmingham with the FF 1&2 I have from Mississippi all I should have to do is go through an orientation to how they do things and adjust to that departments style and codes and that should be all I have to do. Just because Birmingham or any other state has a longer fire academy does that mean they are better firefighters than me? Of course not.
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