Firefighting, Leadership

FEMA’s New On-Line Course Helps Urban Firefighters Battle Wildfires More Safely

Washington, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is unveiling an on-line, independent study course that will enable urban firefighters with expertise in responding to structure fires to safely participate in a wildland/urban interface event.

“The 2004 wildfire season is predicted to be long and hard, and will pose a challenge to all of this nation’s firefighters,” said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “This course is important as it provides another tool for the fire service so that urban firefighters can safely assist in battling wildfires.”

Specialists at the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy developed the online course, Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Operations for the Structural Firefighter Self Study (Q618). The online course identifies many of the operational activities and safety concerns for the structural firefighter in the so-called interface areas, where housing is located in or near wildlands. The course also includes wildland fire behavior, safety issues and operational issues.

The training program is a joint effort of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group and USFA’s National Fire Programs Division. The course takes between two to eight hours to complete; those successfully finishing it receive a certification of completion. The course is located at: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/applications/nfacsd/display.jsp?cc=Q618.