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The Importance of Investing in Fire Officer Development Training

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Fire Officer development training is key in ensuring each member of a fire department unit has the appropriate direction and tools to perform their duties in a safe and effective manner. Management of a fire department is only one aspect of a Fire Officer’s role within a fire and emergency response company.

Who Are Fire Officers?

A Company Officer, or Fire Officer, is a designated position at a level above a regular firefighter with the added responsibilities of management and leadership. A Fire Officer may hold the title of a Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, or Chief Officer.

Benefits of Investing in Fire Officer Development Training

There are several reasons why all fire departments need to be able to invest time and finances into training Fire Officers. With the increase of hazardous fire and emergencies across the country, all fire department budgets must be amended to include Fire Officer training programs.

Here’s what Fire Officer training programs offer: 

Polish the Skills of Fire Officers

As a Fire Officer, a person must be able to fully lead a team. This entails task assignments, management of day-to-day activities, and related leadership behaviours. A Fire Officer is both a manager and a leader in the operation of a firehall.

Improve the Ability to Efficiently Supervise Firefighters in Search and Rescue Missions

The Fire Officer holds both a direct and indirect influence on each member of the firefighting force albeit at the firehall or onsite of a search and rescue mission as well as at an active fire scene. Training can attribute to the ability to supervise in all capacities.

Prepare Them to Address Multiple Challenges on Fireground

During an active fire response situation, the Fire Officer must be able to properly manage the safety and response of the firefighters and other personnel. This includes the firefighters, facilities, and all equipment. 

Reduce the Number of Casualties in Fires

Knowing of the inner workings of a fire department can help reduce the risk of fire casualties. It is imperative that the Fire Officer manage and handle all team activities for an effective, safe, and competent fire culture, both on-site and within the physical location of the fire department.

What NFPA Standards Are Required to Become a Fire Officer?

To become a fire officer under the NFPA 1021 standards, there are specific training requirements within four levels of career development. It has been revised to encompass the latest operational practices, information management strategies, technologies, and other relative factors.

The levels include Fire Officer Level I (in a supervisory method), Fire Officer Level II (combining supervisory and managerial theories), Fire Officer Level III (in a managerial/administrative capacity), and Fire Officer Level IV (in a total administrative position).

Who Should Take NFPA 1021 Fire Officer Professional Training?

The NFPA 1021 Fire Officer professional program is available to all firefighters interested in furthering their career as a company officer. It is open to those who have completed the accredited courses of NFPA 1001 Fire Fighter II and NFPA 1041 Fire Service Instructor I. Most training programs will also require confirmation of membership from the candidate’s Fire Chief.

FESTI’s Online and In-house NFPA 1021 Fire Officer Training

As a world-class firefighter training academy, the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) offers the NFPA 1021 Fire Officer training programs in-house and online. These modules are recognized by the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC).

With dedicated instructors, we ensure each student has the proper training assistance to be successful. The fire officer programs comprise of classroom and hands-on practical exercises for module evaluations. Contact us to learn more about our training programs.

How Does Hazmat Training Make the Fire Service Safer and More Effective?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Emergency calls to a residence, retail store, or a commercial building could result in a situation with hazardous materials. Stored fuels, toxic chemicals, and public use of explosives can be a disaster waiting to happen anywhere, at any time. With the potential for the unknown, every firefighter should have hazmat technician training.

What Is Meant by Hazmat?

Hazmat is the acronym for hazardous materials. Various governing bodies across the globe use the term for varying toxins, chemicals, fuels, nuclear waste products, and agents (biological, chemical, radiological) to describe hazardous materials. Any substance that poses a potential risk to the environment, property, and the safety and health of living creatures, especially humans is categorized as a hazmat.

What Is NFPA 472?

NFPA 472, now referred to as NFPA 1072 training and certification, is the core program that deals with emergency response to hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. The program covers safety, assessment, proper notification procedures, use of the Emergency Response Guidebook, and mandate of the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre.

What Is the Difference Between NFPA 472 And NFPA 1072? 

In 2019, the training program known as NFPA 472 transitioned to NFPA 1072. Those with the NFPA 472 certification do not need to update to the “new” training level as the NFPA 472 remains valid as a prerequisite for all future NFPA programs.

How Many Different Levels of Hazardous Materials Response Are There?

There are four principle response levels for any hazardous material emergency. Each level holds definite guidelines and training specifications.

Awareness Level involves discovery of said situation, securing the area for safety, recognizing the type of materials involved, and alerting the proper authorities for response. The personnel may be security guards, administration members, police, and fire personnel.

Operations Level response sees the emergency response team of firefighters notified of the situation. Depending on their experience, they may begin the defensive response to the hazmat incident or be directed to secure and evaluate for the responding technicians.

Technician Level response has certified hazmat technicians take control of the situation by initiating the phases of stopping the exposure of the involved material.  

Specialist Level engages the use of a highly trained hazardous materials response team for situations involving specific hazardous materials, including those listed as weapons of mass destruction.

The Importance of Hazmat Training

Being prepared for hazardous materials emergency response is key for firefighters, medical response teams, police, military, and other emergency responders. Years ago, this type of training was limited to select firefighters and military personnel. Today, the risk for hazmat scenarios is high across the country with the development, transportation, and use of hazardous materials.

A hazmat situation can occur at the local grocery store or gas station, gardening centres, and even office buildings. While these locations tend to use hazardous materials that are known to the local emergency responders, including the fire department, what is stored on someone’s private property can be an unknown hazard. Comprehensive training and knowledge with the management of potential situations is crucial to every fire department and emergency responders.

Mandatory Certifications for Firefighters in Rescue Operations

The Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) offers certified programs and courses to new and existing firefighters and emergency responders. The hazmat training programs prepare candidates for assessing, handling, and managing of hazardous materials and the situations that occur.

Hazardous Materials Officer Program

For those in positions of Hazardous Materials Group Supervisor and Hazardous Materials Assistant Safety Officer, this training program focuses on the knowledge and skills within these fields. The organizational team of the Entry Team Leader, the Decon Team Leader, the Site Access Control Team Leader, and the Safe Refuge Area Manager and their roles are part of the course.

Hazmat Scene Management

In a hazardous material emergency, it is crucial for responders to know how to assess and take control over the management of the situation. The Hazmat Scene Management training program provides knowledge for risk control and actions within safety and legal requirements. Firefighters, military and government personnel, and other emergency responders will have case studies, activities, and exercises to learn appropriate decision-making.

CBRNE Hazardous Material Awareness 

As the only accredited program in North America for those working in and around chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive environments, the CBRNE Hazardous Material Awareness training meets the internationally recognized standards of NFPA 1072. Security personnel and first responders will learn how to identify suspicious packages and hazardous materials and the appropriate steps to initiate the safety of the environment and people nearby.

NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Awareness

As part of the NFPA 1072 awareness training, this course readies candidates for being first-on-the-scene of a hazardous materials incident. You will learn how to recognize potential problems and what action is needed to protect yourself and other involved parties. This course teaches how to collect hazard information and commence appropriate actions. 

NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Operations

It is imperative that every first responder understands the sequence of events that lead to a hazardous material operation and the safe and legal techniques to use in such a situation. The NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Operations training involves learning about PPE, how to assess an incident, and identify involved materials. You will learn about decontamination and provide incident and product control within the situation.

NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Technician

Successful completion of the NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Technician course prepares candidates with the theory and practical experience of protection of property, the environment, and people. You will have the information to respond efficiently to incident command, acts of terrorism, post-operation activities, and be knowledgeable in legislation and media capabilities.

Be prepared for any emergency response by contacting FESTI today! Our certified instructors and team offer these and other courses at our active firefighting training grounds at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Register for a course or program by clicking here and complete the webpage registration. Or for more information about FESTI, contact us today.

How Fire Departments Can Prepare Firefighters for Technical Rescue Missions

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Technical rescue training is key for any size or type of fire department. Fire and rescue services respond to an emergency call on a whim, and many times without knowing what waits to meet them. The basics of search and rescue missions should be part of the core competencies of firefighters.

What Is Technical Rescue

Technical rescue is considered a specialized requirement in response to fire and rescue services. It encompasses six main disciplines of rope rescue, confined space rescue, vehicle/machinery rescue, structural collapse rescue, trench rescue, and water rescue.

What Are Other Technical Rescue Disciplines?

  • Tower Rescue
  • Animal Technical Rescue
  • Wilderness Search and Rescue
  • Cave Rescue
  • Mine and Tunnel Rescue
  • Helicopter Rescue
  • Surface Water Rescue
  • Swiftwater Rescue
  • Dive Rescue
  • Ice Rescue
  • Surf Rescue
  • Watercraft Rescue
  • Floodwater Rescue

Why Is Technical Rescue Training Important for Search and Rescue Operations?

For a successful technical rescue, certified members must undergo extensive training in the six main disciplines. Each discipline supports the basic rescue operations of the others. Whether a team member is a volunteer, part-time, or full-time firefighter, search and rescue operations can be required during any type of emergency. A structure fire, vehicle accident, or an industrial incident can quickly require specific search and rescue skills as well as the use of suitable equipment.

What Is the NFPA Standard for Technical Rescue Personnel Professional Qualifications?

Qualifications of NFPA 1006 certification for a Technical Rescue Personnel position are obtained with training in the awareness, operational, and technician levels of the course. It focuses on rescue missions on land, water, and air.

Is NFPA 1006 Certification Necessary to Become a Rescue Technician?

The comprehensive NFPA 1006 certification is standard for all search and rescue technicians. Firefighters, emergency medical responders, and law enforcement are considered key candidates to obtain the NFPA 1006 certification in technical rescue operations.

Technical Rescue Training Challenges Faced by Fire Services

A technical rescue certification does not come without challenges. There are three main aspects of the training that can limit access to anyone in the search and rescue fields.

Not Having Experienced Instructors

As a technical rescue certification is obtained to enhance the safety, performance, and ability of a person in the emergency response field, access to experienced instructors is limited. The people with the training and expertise use their knowledge and skills in their own held positions. An instructor in technical rescue courses needs to have extensive experience and training time to provide proper teachings.

Not Having the Required Resources

Classroom and book instruction is just a small part of certification towards Technical Rescue Operations. It is imperative to have the proper resources such as the environment(s), equipment, and PPE for learning. Training for a water rescue cannot be done in a facility’s gymnasium, for example.

Not Having the Budget/Funding

One of the biggest challenges with offering Technical Rescue Operations courses to team members is lack of funding. Unlike major corporations in the industry of hazardous activities, fire departments may not have the budget to set up an adequate course that meets the NFPA 1006 standards.

How Can FESTI Help to Overcome Technical Rescue Training Challenges?

Those in the fire and rescue service do have the opportunity to obtain the highest levels of training and certification for Technical Rescue Operations at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI). Our world-class facilities are located within the fire service of Canada’s largest airport at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

All of our team members and teaching staff are experts in firefighting, emergency services, occupational health and safety, and airport emergency preparedness situations. We have the appropriate training grounds and provide advanced equipment and PPE for all training conditions.

FESTI’s Certified Training Programs for Rescue Technician Professionals

NFPA 1006 Technical Rescuer

To become a Technical Rescue Technician, our NFPA 1006 program covers all core competencies needed for certification. With demonstrations, hands-on training, and evaluations, candidates learn Incident Command System, Managing Resources, Incident Surveys, Scene Surveys and Searches, Helicopter Support Operations, Scene Safety, Single points anchors, Site Operations, Incident Size up, Hazards Control, Victim Management, Equipment Maintenance, Rescue Knots and Rigging, and Belay and Haul systems.

NFPA 1006 Confined Space Rescue Training

Learning to rescue from confined spaces is not for the faint of heart! Under the NFPA 1006 curriculum, candidates learn through instruction and practical training to recognize hazard and access, stabilize and package victims, and remove victims using the proper equipment and procedures.

NFPA 1006 Trench Rescue Operations

Using the taught knowledge and available tools, candidates are exposed to hands-on training of the NFPA 1006 Trench Rescue Operations course. By understanding safety measures behind rescuing a person from a trench less than eight feet in depth, candidates will have a better chance for a successful trench rescue.

NFPA 1006 Trench Rescue Technician

The NFPA 1006 Trench Rescue Technician course takes the operations course to the next level with hazardous scenarios.

NFPA 1006 Machine Rescue Training

To be prepared for a machinery rescue, the NFPA 1006 Machine Rescue training program focuses on equipment use for extrication emergencies. Hand and power tools are used in various rescue operations. 

Aircraft Rescue Training

There is no better place than Canada’s largest airport to learn and obtain certification in aircraft rescue training. Instructed with real-life scenarios, the content taught is practiced with Aircraft Rescue Firefighter Training (ARFF) equipment and personnel.

At FESTI, we offer certifications for all firefighters, emergency medical responders, police service members, and corporate leadership members. Register for a course or program by clicking here and complete the webpage registration. Or for more information about FESTI, contact us today.