5. Training & Certification


Develop and implement national standards for training, qualifications, and certification (including regular recertification) that are equally applicable to all firefighters based on the duties they are expected to perform.

A great deal of training and education occurs in the fire service on a daily basis throughout the United States. How fire departments and training agencies measure, compare, and quantify this training is important to the profession and the safety of the individuals providing the service. If the training is accomplished in accordance with national standards, and the results are certified by an independent body or organization, then the system has substantial credibility. There must be a system to ensure this and provide standards that are recognized as being professional in terms of safety, competency, and responsibility.

It is very disturbing that between 2005 and 2013, an average of 10.5 firefighters a year died in training-related incidents. Reported training-related injuries totaled more than 7,400 in 2012. Given those statistics, it’s no surprise the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) identifies firefighter recruits, firefighters participating in training and firefighters conducting training as especially vulnerable to death and injury. Fire Service training programs that have been designed and conducted in concert with the appropriate NFPA Professional Qualification Standards will reduce these needless deaths and injuries. The 5th Initiative of the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives is an attempt to tie training to a reduction in firefighter injuries and line-of-duty fatalities.

Latest Initiative 5 News

  • After the Fire Podcast – Episode 6 In this episode, we continue to discuss the 2019 McMicken Explosion and near-miss incident of Surprise, Arizona where multiple first responders were blasted over 75 feet as a result of an explosion of a lithium-ion battery energy storage facility.
  • After the Fire Podcast – Episode 5 In this episode, we discuss the 2019 McMicken Explosion and near-miss incident of Surprise, Arizona where multiple first responders were blasted over 75 feet as a result of an explosion of a lithium-ion battery energy storage facility.
  • Help Shape the Future of the Fire Service The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will host the National Fire Service Research Agenda Symposium virtually in February and March to prioritize research that promotes firefighter safety, wellness, and efficiency.
  • Making the Nathan Espinosa Story Early in 2018, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation became aware of a significant near miss event in Los Angeles, California. A rookie firefighter fell through the roof during operations at his first working fire. Within days, the Los Angeles fire chief took bold action to ensure the firefighter was cared for, activated a critical injury investigation, and develop a plan of action to prevent a future occurrence.
  • Promoting a Better Safety Climate for the Fire Service During Global Pandemic, Civil Unrest, and Wildland Fires The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the First Responder Center for Excellence (FRCE), once again, collaborated with Firehouse® and published the 2020 Fire Service Health & Safety Report. The 32 page report, which appears in September’s issue of Firehouse®, includes 13 articles written by respected leaders, authors and experts, covering a diversity of topics, including women in the fire service, the power of podcasts in promoting safety and health and changing the very culture of safety among the nation’s fire departments.
  • Training Brings Awareness of the Benefits of Peer Support Programs Our latest online training course, Peer Support Programs for the Fire Service, discusses the important role that a peer support program can play in keeping firefighters and their departments healthy.
  • UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Unveils New Report Investigating Near-Miss Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage System Explosion UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) today released a report detailing a deflagration incident at a 2.16 MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (ESS) facility in Surprise, Arizona. The report provides a detailed technical account of the explosion and fire service response, along with recommendations on how to improve codes, standards, and emergency response training to better protect first responders, maintenance personnel and nearby communities.
  • New Incident Commander Course Addresses the Impact of a Line-of-Duty Death and Prepares Officers The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, in cooperation with Stonehouse Media, is pleased to present When an LODD Occurs: Incident Commanders Speak, our latest resource for preparing incident commanders (IC) to cope with a firefighter line-of-duty (LODD).
    » Get Started: When an LODD Occurs: Incident Commanders Speak
  • Are You an Instructor or Administrator in a Fire or EMS Cadet Program? The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is looking at how COVID-19 restrictions have impacted Fall 2020 plans for high school fire and EMS cadet programs.
  • Fire Hero Learning Network Registered Users Surpasses 100,000 Since Fire Hero Learning Network went live, registered users have earned over 130,000 online learning certificates of completion. The knowledge gained from the modules better positions firefighters and officers as leaders in health and safety training in their respective departments.