Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Firefighter Training: Best Practices

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, in cooperation with New York State Public Employee Safety and Health, New York State Fire Chiefs Association, Firemen's Association of the State of New York, County Fire Coordinators' Association and the Fire Districts Association of the State of New York, has developed recommended minimum training standards based on firefighter and Incident Commander/Fire Officer tasks or positions to provide guidance and promote best practices for firefighter training and education in the State of New York. 

These Best Practices are applicable to all firefighters assigned to the tasks or positions listed below, including probationary firefighters appointed pursuant to section 58-a of the Civil Service Law who have not yet completed a certified basic firefighter training program that meets the requirements of 19 NYCRR Part 426. These best practices do not limit an Authority Having Jurisdiction from establishing training requirements which exceed the recommended minimum standards.

It is recommended that the chosen training program be composed of both the educational content as well as competency verification for the expected firefighter assigned duties as suggested in the best practices document.

Exterior Firefighter:Establishes the minimum recommended training consistent with basic exterior functions for those firefighters assigned to tasks outside an Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) atmosphere.
*Completion of the following NYS DHSES OFPC courses will meet these recommended minimums: NYS Basic Exterior Firefighter Operations course or equivalent, NYS Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations course, National Incident Management System (NIMS) I-700 and I-100 courses, and basic first aid/CPR. 

Interior Structural Firefighter: Establishes the minimum recommended training consistent with NFPA 1001 Firefighter I level for those firefighters assigned to interior structural firefighting tasks. *Completion of the following NYS DHSES OFPC courses will meet the recommended minimums: NYS Firefighter I course or equivalent, National Incident Management System (NIMS) I-700 and I-100 courses, and basic first aid/CPR.

Apparatus Operator: Establishes the minimum recommended training for operators of any fire department vehicle. These minimums are consistent with the general requirements of Chapter 4 of NFPA 1002 Standard for Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator Professional Qualifications and can be met with completion of the NYS Apparatus Operator: Emergency Vehicle Operation course or equivalent and local training specific to the apparatus or vehicle to be operated. It is recommended that Apparatus Operators also complete the training indicated for Exterior Firefighter or Interior Structural Firefighter as appropriate to their assigned tasks.

Fire Officer/Incident Commander: Establishes the requirements of NFPA 1021 Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications, Chapter 4 Fire Officer I, sections 4.2 through 4.7, as the minimum recommended training for any fire officer. Completion of the NYS Fire Officer I (NFPA 1021 2009) course or equivalent meets these recommended minimums. It is recommended, where practical, that fire officers comply with the requirements of NFPA 1021 Fire Officer I in their entirety.

Annual Refresher Training: For compliance with pertinent OSHA Standards as required in the NYS Public Employee Safety and Health Act please refer to the NYS PESH document Firefighter Annual Refresher Training Guidance. The intent of this document is to define the pertinent OSHA/PESH requirements which require annual refresher training designed to maintain proficient firefighter knowledge, skills and abilities in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.156(c)(2) and increase overall firefighter safety in accordance with other applicable OSHA/PESH standards.

These best practices are available here: www.dhses.ny.gov/ofpc/training/documents/training-best-practices.pdf

The Firefighter Annual Refresher Training Guidance is available here: www.dhses.ny.gov/ofpc/training/documents/fire-dept-annual-refresher.pdf