Let's Talk Fire: Free Online Fire Training
One thing I always tell any firefighter who works with me is that any training you can get is worth looking onto. Sometimes it is hard to find specific training in our service and we usually find ourselves wondering how we will ever get the grasp on sprinklers, or maybe how we will ever be able to fully understand how to get water from a river. That is when I tell my guys to turn to the Internet. There are tons of online classes that are free to the general public as well as firefighters.
I have to stress that some departments will not allow you to use these online classes to receive training hours. While that may be the case the experience and knowledge you can gain should be the primary reason for seeking these classes anyway. if you get credit for them with your department than that is just icing on the cake. My area allows these classes if a trainer is present when you take them so you may want to check into that.
Let's begin out online learning experience by looking at some great classes that will make you a better firefighter.
Link #1 Fire Extinguisher Training
Some great easy training
One of the best factors of online training is you can pretty much set the difficulty level of your training. I wanted to start off with some entry level stuff just to get you going. The first online class is a great fire extinguisher class that will not only teach you how to use an extinguisher but also which one is right for which job.
This link can be found under link 1 in the sidebar. In this course you will get an interactive lesson that will detail each type of extinguisher and how to properly use them in the event of a fire. This is information every firefighter should have but ironically you might be surprised at just how many firefighters don't have a clue.
Link #2 Blazemaster Training Course
- Blazemaster Online Training Program - Home
Blazemaster Online Training Program - learn how to install Blazemaster sprinkler systems.
Sprinklers have taken the fire service by storm and we need to have a better understanding of them than we may know. It is great to work with a prop on this one but we have a great opportunity online to get a really detailed look inside the sprinkler system and know how it does what it does. The first class listed is Blazemaster's online course. This is a great resource for firefighters and home owners alike.
The course has a quiz at the end and upon passing it you will receive a certificate in the mail along with a registration card making you a certified blazemaster sprinkler installer. While that really is not that important it is important to understand how we can access shut off valves and safeways in the sprinkler system to allow us to better do our jobs as firefighters.
Link #3 Ladders
- Ladder Safety Training | Are you using ladders safely?
This free ladder safety training is a tool for the proper selection, care and safe use of all ladders, including stepladders, single and extension ladders, articulated ladders, and mobile ladders. Provided by the American Ladder Institute, this train
This could be you!
I have to express my concern here. Ladder training online should only be used to better allow you to understand the parts of a ladder and how to choose the right ladder for a specific job on the fireground. It should never be assumed that since you have passed these courses that you are OK to climb ladders. That type of training should always be hands on training done at the station.
I like to know that every person I will be working with can at the very least carry and heel a ladder. It is mind boggling at the rate of injury received by the fine folks in the fire service simply due to poor ladder skills. I always want to ensure that my crew know where to position a ladder, how to mount and dismount it if need be and most of all how to remain safe at all times while using a ladder. Online courses can really be life savers in the safety department. It is vital that we as firefighters know our way around each and every ladder we have on scene.
I often feel like we overlook ladders as a real threat despite the fact we use them so frequently in our every time work. Each time we climb that ladder we need to ask our self is someone heeling it correctly or did the probie prop some bricks against it? We need to know if that ladder has passed inspection and should even be in use. All of these are factors to safe and productive ladder operations.
- Emergency Management Institute - FEMA Independent Study Program
The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers self-paced, Independent Study, courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the general public. All are offered free-of-charge to those who qualify for enrollment.
More Advanced Training
The best source for training is FEMA's Independent Study Program. Through this amazing resource you can find hundreds of classes ranging from Incident Command all the way to disaster preparation and management. It is one of the most valuable online entities for those of us who want to be better firefighters and first responders.
I have been using these courses since I began on my fire department and in all honesty thay have been more helpful than I could have ever imagined. I will not list individual classes here because that could take forever. I will list the link to the site for you in the sidebar.
There are literally hundreds of sites that have great training available for us to utilize to make us better in the fire service. NFPA, and it;s offshoots to name a few. I would love to hear from my readers on which sites they have had the best results with.
- Fire Ops Online - Free Fire Training, Drills and Tips
- NFA Online | Distance Learning Training for the U.S. Fire Service
Sponsored by the National Fire Academy, NFA Online provides free, self-paced distance learning courses for the U.S. Fire Service. CEUs available.