Professional Status: The Future of Fire Service Training and Education–PART THREE: A MODEL FOR TRAINING AND EDUCATION–Page 2

Suggested Roles and Responsibilities

Training Higher Education
Learning Outcomes Provide students with practical applications that give them the “ability to do the work,” using skills- or competency-based approaches. Provide graduates with cognitive skills that give them the “ability to manage.”
Firefighter I and II, Special Certification, and Fire Officer I – IV Deliver courses that directly support Firefighter I and II, special certifications, and Fire Officer I-IV standards, as appropriate. Provide “officer development” and deliver courses that address Fire Officer I – IV certification.At the executive officer’s level, a master’s degree in public administration (or related disciplines) and applied training in strategic policymaking are desirable professional preparations.
Risk Management- Oriented Direct all relevant and applicable curricula toward “risk management” because the fire service’s response and mitigation missions have expanded greatly over the years to include all disasters, natural and manmade.

Address “all hazards” rather than solely fire-related incidents. This coordination of training and higher education provides a professional development path for transforming chief fire officers into “all-risk managers.”
Standards “Crosswalks” Certification agencies identify the standards addressed by the fire science courses offered within their states, particularly those in the model curricula. Fire science publishers for the model associate courses identify standards addressed in their textbooks. NFA standards “crosswalks” for its resident, field, and baccalaureate courses are available on the USFA Web page Fire-related training, higher education, and certification service providers collaborate to promote students’ eligibility to apply academic credits toward appropriate standards and vice versa.

Model Curriculum
Associate Degree Programs
Another result of the 2000 FESHE conference was the model fire science associate degree curriculum. The FESHE attendees identified six core associate-level courses in the model curriculum, including the following:

  • Building Construction for Fire Protection
  • Fire Behavior and Combustion
  • Fire Prevention
  • Fire Protection Hydraulics and Water Supply
  • Fire Protection Systems
  • Principles of Emergency Services

In 2001, the National Fire Science Curriculum Committee (NFSCC) was formed to develop standard titles, descriptions, outcomes, and outlines for each of the six core courses. In 2002, the FESHE IV conference attendees approved the model courses and outlines. The major publishers of fire-related textbooks are committed to writing texts for some or all of these courses.

It was recommended that all fire science associate degree programs require these courses as the “theoretical core” on which their major is based. The course outlines address the need for a uniformity of curriculum and content among the fire science courses within the United States’ two-year programs. Many schools already offer these courses in their programs, while others are in the process of adopting them. Once adopted, these model courses address the need for problem-free student transfers between schools. Likewise, they promote crosswalks for those who apply their academic coursework toward satisfaction of the national qualification standards necessary for firefighter certifications and degrees.

The committee also developed similar outlines for other courses that are commonly offered in fire science programs. If a school offers any of these “noncore” courses, it is suggested these outlines be adopted as well. The noncore courses are:

  • Fire Administration I
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Legal Aspects
  • Hazardous Materials Chemistry
  • Strategy and Tactics
  • Fire Investigation I
  • Fire Investigation II

Baccalaureate Degree Programs
At FESHE IV, the NFA announced it would release its 13-course upper-level Degrees at a Distance Program (DDP) curriculum to accredited baccalaureate degree programs that have signed agreements with their state’s fire service training agency. DDP will remain as NFA’s delivery system for the 13 courses; however, release to other schools enables the formation of model curriculum at this level. The courses are:

  • Advanced Fire Administration
  • Analytical Approaches to Public Fire Protection
  • Applications of Fire Research
  • Community and the Fire Threat
  • Disaster and Fire Defense Planning
  • Fire Dynamics
  • Fire Prevention Organization and Management
  • Fire Protection Structures and Systems Design
  • Fire-Related Human Behavior
  • Incendiary Fire Analysis and Investigation
  • Managerial Issues in Hazardous Materials
  • Personnel Management for the Fire Service
  • Political and Legal Foundations of Fire Protection

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