Many people I know go from basic skills of the NJ Firefighter 1 to the advanced techniques of NJ Firefighter 2 one after the other with no experience bewtween classes to fine tune their basic skills learned in NJ Firefighter 1. So, experience or no experience? What do you think, what's the best way to do it?
Well I'm a volunteer and we're only required to do FF 1..Which in the area we live the worst thing we'd have to ever face on a fire scene would be a gas station.Theres not any chemical plants or any thing like that.What our department does is let you join up and get a little experience before you take the FF1 training.Our department also has what we like to call Fire School every May.Its only required for us to take that once but its a fun course and most of us whom are "Dedicated" take it every year.But those on the department that do not have their FF 1 aren't allowed to "Go In" their only allowed to help us by bringing ceiling hooks,pike polls,Charging the hoses,basically whatever we need.
But I think that you should take FF1 and then get some experience or as we do get a little experience(Hands On) then take FF1 and then put what you learned from FF1 to use in the field and then like 6 months or so take FF2.Thats just my opinion.
Have you noticed that all of the FF2 Skills are in the same Textbooks as FF1 skills? There is a reason for this and it because all of them are "Fundamental" or "Essential" to the job, and keeping not dead.
Many fire departments here in Georgia teach and test FF2 as part of their Basic Firefighter course. The state only requires Certification through FF!, but that is only the MINIMUM amount of training required for interior Firefighters.
"Do NOT allow minimum requirements to be your maximum expectation."
I believe states allow Firefighters to work with only FF1 to allow for training time, especially in Volly and Combination departments, but I don't think there's any advocacy of waiting any period of time to teach the FF2 skills. Start teaching FF2 Skills along with the FF1 skills, after all can you afford to have Firefighters wait six months to learn extrication techniques (FF2 Skill), or to know how to use foam (FF2 Skill). Wouldn't a gas station fire require the use of foam? I believe it would and wouldn't it be a bad thing if a Firefighter who only had FF1 disturbed the foam layer by inappropriately using a nozzle at the fire?
Of course not. If you work for a large city you go to a fire academy. They all teach FFI and FFII together in one course. Like John said, it's just basic essentials. It's really not that hard. Our academy is now 6-8 months. We go 8 hours/day for 5 days/week during that. Throughout that whole time FFI and FFII lasts maybe FIVE WEEKS. It's very basic information that we just get through and is easy to test on. We spend the rest of the time after that learning the "DC way" and more advanced techniques. What you're out in the street you should be able to perform as good as anyone else. You'll be going on the same fires as the rest of the department. Why get half the training, work, and then go back to finish?
Well, a lot of light had been shed on every aspect possible. The only reason I asked is because I know a lot of guys who struggle through certain classes, but still want to run right into the next class or level before the have a competent understanding of the previous topics. I wasn't asking for myself, I only take classes when I feel I'm comfortable taking a class or with the previous goals of the class before it. However, having different opinions from people from different states or types of departments makes finding the pro's and con's of almost anything an easy task to be completed. Thanks!
The only reason I asked is because I know a lot of guys who struggle through certain classes, but still want to run right into the next class or level before the have a competent understanding of the previous topics
It shouldn't matter, both FF1 and FF2 are basic courses, there is no "advancement" between one and two. If someone struggled in some areas in FF1, doesn't mean they would have issues in FF2. Some people may grasp the hands on techniques, but just have a tough time with tests and so forth. Bottom line is both certs are very basic and by no means makes anyone an expert, it is just a building block to start with and to improve on. Having the cert only means you need to expand on the training and recall the basics, having the cert doesn't make one an expert by any means.
Exactly. Like I said, we did both courses in 5 weeks. Then spent about 20 more to expand on it and learn the DC way which doesn't follow what the book says at all really. Same with other departments, we learn the better and more efficient ways of doing things.
Many state fire academies - including the one in South Carolina, where I work - offer a Firefighter Candidate School that includes Medical First Responder, Firefighter I, Hazardous Materials Operations, Basic Extrication, a FLAG class, and Firefighter II in one continuous resident program.
Ours is an 8-week program. In my department, the inexperienced candidates get one week of departmental orientation that includes being certified on their PPE and our specific SCBAs, then the 8-week fire academy program, then another week of orientation with our training division, then a further 9.5 months of OJT with their line company. That 9.5 weeks includes a specific task list and several additional training programs that include EMT-Basic, Low-Angle Rope Rescue, Water Rescue, Basic Thermal Imaging, Firefighter Survival/RIC, PPV, and several other specialized programs.
We consider FFII to the NFPA 1001 standard to be the minimum professional qualification for our firefighters, just as we consider state and National Registry EMT-B certification to be the minimum EMS professional qualification.
Out west it's completely diffrent. When a fire science student graduates from a 16 week fire academy, he/she recieves a certificate of completetion of an accredited fire academy meeting the NFPA 1001 standard. Nowhere on the certificate does it mention firefighter I or II. When an individual achieves a position as a fighterfighter either career or volunteer the organization must verify requisite knoweledge through skill sets. For a career firefighter this is a six month process which is usually part of the probation. For a volunteer this will take approxitmaley one year. Once a person has been evaluated on NFPA 1001 skill sets, a copy of the the academy certificate, JPR skills and a letter from the training division will be sent to the State Fire Marshals Office. It's then reviewed and the FF-1 certificate mailed to the person. The firefighter-II is similar but only focusing on those skill and the same time frame follows this certification. All together one year process for career and 2 years for volunteer. Every aspect has several checks and balances. Absolutley no pencil whipping or the organization can lose the ability to evaluate. I know many institutions issue FF-I and II at the completion of 8 week fire academies and there is no-way that after 8 weeks a person is completely trained as a firefighter. Especially when some organizations the probationary period is just time. That is flawed system..
"I know many institutions issue FF-I and II at the completion of 8 week fire academies and there is no-way that after 8 weeks a person is completely trained as a firefighter. Especially when some organizations the probationary period is just time. That is flawed system.." Evidence, please?
Please show me the NFPA 1001 JPR that says "completely trained as a firefighter".
And...if you'll check the NFPA 1001 standard, you'll find that the JPRs in that standard are specifically addressed at either the FF1 or FF2 level.
"For a career firefighter this is a six month process which is usually part of the probation." That's fine for local agencies that have the ability to hire and certify their own firefighters, but in many places, the local agency hires the firefighter and a state fire academy trains them. The state fire academies certify the firefighter's ability to meet the standard in order to pass the certification tests. The employer is the place that decides if the firefighter has demonstrated the proficiencies and qualifications necessary to complete his probation.
"Absolutely no pencil whipping or the agency can lose the ability to evaluate." Are you alleging that fire academy programs shorter than 16 weeks are "pencil-whipping"?
Have you considered that maybe the 8-week academies might have smaller class sizes that lead to being able to accomplish more per student in the same time frame, particularly when it comes to skills development and skills evaluations? Have you considered that some of the 16 week academies teach and evaluate skill sets that fall outside of the NFPA 1001 JPRs?
And in the case of my East Coast state's IFSAC-accredited 8-week fire academy, the students that graduate recieve IFSAC certification as FF2's - a NFPA 1001-compliant certification.