Just to clarify, the Arkansas Fire Academy did not mandate this. It was passed through legislation which may have been backed by the AFA, but it was not their decision. This law was pushed heavily by the Arkansas Professional Fire Fighters. As far as good or bad, I think it is an overall good idea. It keeps the departments informed and trained. As opposed to just driving fast with red lights and being able to say, "I'm a firefighter!". You should also be aware that this training is neccessary to keep many of the grants that are out there.
i agree its a good idea training. never can get to much but why shove the afa certificate down our throat . vol or professional fire is fire it dont know if you came up with a pov with red lights or in a $260,000 + fire truck . i have been a vol for 17 years and tried to keep my guys trained. i have had many come and leave because they have a day job that they get paid to do , and have trouble getting the training done. with this new stuff we had shoved down our throat im losing 2 good firemen and im already 3 short now. i found out this week that there are still fire depts that know nothing about this new requirement . the ones that know nothing about this are going to have a rude awakining when they find out they can't get there 833 money because of it .only way i found out about it was at a meeting to find out about a grant . there should have been some kinda mail out if this wasnt an inside job to fight the vol. firefighters . i vented. i know some one will object try recuriting some good men not just light chasers
Done with good thoughts and intentions, but at the worst time. We are already seeing a decrease in volunteers, and now were adding more to the plate... I wonder what the legislators are going to say when departments start closing and homes burn to the ground...
Has anyone looked at what is "certified" training on the AFA (SAUtech) web sight? How many of you are CTOs? Do you have any Instructor I's on your department? Are you holding training meetings now?
AFA is not mandating the training, acording to the legislation they are only the certifying agency. the legislation was not pushed by the APFF it was pushed by a legislator. With the AFA module program there is more opritunities today than ever to have your regular training night be certified. There are so many different ways to recieve certified training credit. ISO online training is eligable; CPR is eligable; first responder and EMT recert hours are eligable; Haz-Mat, WMD training is eligable. Not to mention all the training in the AFA's catiloge of classes everything from 4 to 80 hour courses that they will work with you if you request the training. The little department of Ion just completed 80 hours of Driver Operator in a 2 month period. Now if all this fails and you contact AFA and submit your training to them and they do not already have a class in the subject you are working on they can grant you hour for your class. I hope we all are training out there. I think we are. All we need to do is follow the way the AFA asks us to. if you don't know how to do it call the AFA the number is 870-574-1521. Yes, I am an adjunct instructor for AFA and I am teaching all the time. We need more out there to teach in your own departments. If we would find one person in each department that would become an Instructor I, and learn how to fill out the paperwork this would not be a problem anywhere in our state. If I can help anyone withany of this please contact me through my sight here at FF Nation.
I agree it is a good idea.We have always offered more training than this and I do believe in training,you are going to perform as you train.But (there is always a but....) it is killing us.A lot of my guys have 2 or 3 jobs and it is difficult to get them to train.We meet twice a month and individuals stop by at other times times to get all the little things done that have to be done.It is hard to ask them to sacrifice more time.I am an instructor 1 and we are trying to meet the goal but I am not going to kick any one off if they don't make the it.
I know a lot of people are trying to do it on paper but I am just not made that way.
I personally feel that some very good training can't be certified.
I really don't know what to do.
Iknow some people say"if they don't have time to train for 24 hours they shouldn't be on the dept"but I don't think it would be right to tell some one who has volunteered for 20 years and worked hard"sorry but you only got 23 hours this year you are fired.I need people now i sure can't fill any more slots.
Budd, I understand, but what I want to stop is the bad mouthing the Fire Academy when people say it's their fault. As an Instructor you can teach what you have been taught by the academy in-house. if it takes several meetings to do it, then so be it. If you take the time yourself to get the train the trainer for the first fire fighter modules, you would then easily have several years of certified training avalible. Also CPR is hours any first responder or emt training or continuing ed is. You just need to fill out the papertwork and submit it. And they can not just take anyones word that the training we are doing is adiquite. We all know of departments that are They did not make the rules they are just the ones that have to certify. Below is from Arkansas Code that was adopted:
" 20-22-806. Certification and classification of fire departments.(a) Fire departments in this state may apply for annual certification and classification by the Director of the Office of Fire Protection Services. Each fire department applying for certification shall submit such information as may be required by the director to determine whether the fire department meets minimum certification standards and to classify the department as to its level of service.
(b) (1) Certification standards for fire departments shall not be changed unless the changes are approved by the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board.
(2) Any change to the certification standards under this subsection shall not be effective until twelve (12) months after the adoption of the published change.
(c) Firefighters shall maintain a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours per year of certifiable training meeting the standards of the Arkansas Fire Training Academy.
(d) Firefighters shall also receive within the first year of service as a firefighter:
(1) Up to sixteen (16) hours in the Introduction to Firefighting course;
(2) Up to sixteen (16) hours in the Personal Protective Equipment course; and
(3) Up to eight (8) hours in the Wildland Fire Suppression course.
History. Acts 1987, No. 837, § 5; 2007, No. 362, § 1."
Capt. I agree with you on bashing the AFA it has gotten out of hand and they dont deserve it. As I said before done with good thoughts but at the wrong time. Here in Watson Chapel I have a new medic (we run ALS 1st response), he is a supervisor for the ambulnce service. Almost every class that I have had him sign up for they have called him in do to the medic sortage. So if I dont get his 24hrs before December 31st I loose a good FF and ALS 1st responder or my Act 833 $$$'s. HMMMMMMM??? What do you think my board is going to tell me? And now with gas at $4 a gallon is he going to travel to another county to make training that he could not make in house? Yes I have my CTO had it when it came out... This ruling is nothing but a way for paid departments to gain all the Act 833 each year as departments are not going to drop members that have 20hrs that year and have been on 20yrs. Like you said the politics of the game. I hope these legislators live in paid areas so they will have fire protection, as the volunteer is going down...
I agree about bashing the afa, they have made a lot of progress with this director.I agree there is a lot of good training out there.The fact remains though that it is difficult for some people to get their 24 hours done.I personaly don't believe that it is a conspiracy by the paid depts.to get all the 833 money.I do believe after the legislation was enacted some paid depts.begin to think "hey this may work to our advantage".
The only thing I can do is offer the training,encourage my people to attend,and hope for the best.
I am concerned that if the letter of the law is not met even though a good faith effort is made,what is the process for dealing with these situations?Do the funds get redistrubited in that county?What is the process?How does the the dept get reinstated?There are just a lot of questions that still need to be answered.Like a lot of other small rural depts we are just trying to survive.
Thank you for the support of the AFA. We need every time we hear AFA bashing, As Barney Fife puts it so well, "Nip it in the bud." As for is this a conspiricy by the paid departments. I can only speak from NW Arkansas. We knew nothing about it until it was already happening. I am the president of the NW Arkansas Training Officers Association, which is made up of only paid departments, and like I said it hits us by suprise. What we need to do is start a campain to our legislator to get it repealed. We all need to stop blaiming and start to work to change it as soon as possible. Trust me I have had headaches over the Article in Fire Watch about "what is a Certified Fire Fighter" in my department. It state in there a member of a fire department should not make an interior attack on a structure fire until they have meet the FFI requirements. I have a program that all my employee before they are allowed to be considered a working member on a company, (be able to make a fire attack) they must "master" 19 job performance standards (JPRs) that are out of NFPA. But my officers are saying because they do not hold a certificate they should not be allowed. We now as of this fall can no longer hire and place on the job any personnel with out their first day be in "Rookie School" unless they already hold a FFII, (not FFI) certificate. Not allowing us as the law states 365 days after employment for them to obtain FFII. So even the paid departments are being effected. We also need some reprisentitives from the Fire Protection Board to do a "road show" explaining the very good questions that you have. If anyone that reads this is going to the joint convention in Bentonville or the APFF convention in Harrison. This need be requested of the fire Board
I unfortunately won't be able to attend the conf.I normally do the muncipal league,emergency mngmnt ,and the rural fire conf. and just can't make the affa/chiefs conf.
I have been talking to my reps and senator about this.I sometimes wish there was a single fire authority in Arkansas,but I can see problems with that also.I don't have a lot of confidence in all the depts ever getting on the same page.There are just too many differences.For example between your part of the world and mine.NW Ark. is growing tremendously and SW Ark is staganant and working hard to stay alive .In local gov't here there is no support for FDs.
To one of our local politicians the rural depts are a necasary (i never can spell that word)evil.He sees the need for only one dept and that is in the county seat.
I am getting off the topic of the big 24,But all of this plays into it.
My thought was to be like the health depts in EMS certifications.Require a cetain number of CEUs .If you have a class that you have worked up submitt an outline to AFA and they let you know how many CEUs it is for.You keep your records and submitt them .I know that would require more people at AFA and in my opinion they are already underfunded.