The Fire Operations and Training Branch delivers basic and advanced level fire service courses through the Academy of Fire Science and Outreach Training Program and administers both national and state minimum standards for firefighters and emergency personnel. This Branch is also responsible for providing on-scene emergency and routine technical assistance and is the primary office liaison with county and local fire service officials. This Branch is also responsible for the administration of the Fire Service National Certification program.
Outreach Training Program
OFPC has been conducting firefighter training for approximately 60 years. Outreach Training Program is the primary means of providing basic firefighting skills training for volunteer firefighters. This program area has recently been divided into an North, South and West divisions with Deputy Chiefs responsible for the management and delivery of training. The Outreach Training Program has numerous course titles delivered at local fire training sites, at the convenience of the local fire department to permit maximum participation by volunteer firefighters. These courses are taught by OFPC's state fire instructors with specific educational qualifications to conduct firefighter training. The number of state fire instructors assigned to a particular county is based on the county's training needs, previous training history and available state funding, but is never less than four per county.
Outreach fire training courses are scheduled by each county fire coordinator pursuant to section 225-a of the County Law and OFPC's regulations, 19 NYCRR Part 438. County fire coordinators schedule fire training courses in their counties after consultation with local fire chiefs to determine needs, suitable dates, and locations. Course requests are then submitted to OFPC.
Residential Training Program
The residential training program is held at the Academy of Fire Science providing an academic setting for fire and emergency service personnel from across New York for the last 40 years expanding their knowledge, skills, and abilities through education and training as well as sharing their professional experiences. It is the sole academy of its type in New York State training approximately 6,000 emergency service providers in over 130 course deliveries annually.
The residential training program provides education for a variety of academic disciplines including: fire suppression, fire department leadership and management, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, fire and arson investigation, fire prevention and code enforcement, incident management, technical rescue, and emergency response to terrorism. These programs are delivered by full time staff, part time State Fire Instructors (SFI) and guest lecturers.
One cornerstone program is Recruit Firefighter Training (RFFT), which is conducted twice each year. The 11-week (440 Hours) RFFT program is very intense, meeting and exceeding the State's minimum firefighter training standards for a career firefighter. This program is a cost effective way for providing the mandated training for career fire departments that don't hire a sufficient number of probationary firefighters at one time to conduct their own Recruit Firefighter Training Program locally.