“For the last 11 years, I struggled with training mandates. It seemed every time I turned around, there was another mandate.” said Chad Abel at Monday’s workshop, “Using Mandates to Improve Your Training.” Acccompanied by Division Chief Al Schlick of the Wauconda (IL) Fire Department, Abel, the division chief for the Fishers (IN) Fire Department provided students with a tool to assess their department’s compliance training mandates, “The Fire Department Required Training Self-Assessment Guide.”

The document briefly reviews the current requirements for entry-level and ongoing training as prescribed by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). It covers specific items under the categories of General Occupational Safety, Fireground Operations, Technical Rescue, Emergency Vehicle Operation, and Incident Management, showing the applicable standards, the initial requirement, and frequency of training. It also provides a self-assessment tool for each item to evaluate the fire department’s compliance status. Abel explained the ever-increasing number of training mandates fire departments have to meet impelled him to create the guide.

Abel emphasized that the guide is not all inclusive, and one should consult and study the applicable standards it references, as well as those of the department’s local jurisdiction and state. Although the document will not “get you all the way there, it will get you closer to compliance,” he said. “Training is important,” Abel said, especially when that call comes in at 3 a.m.; “Are you ready?”


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