Learning Objective: The student shall learn the importance of training in small or rural volunteer fire departments and some resources to assist with training.

Online course offerings, like those from the U.S. Fire Administration, have become important tools for  training volunteer fire departments.

Training is a primary mission function of all small or rural fire departments. It is essential that all volunteer members responding to emergencies be trained to safely and effectively carry out the mission of the department. Training, with evening or weekend drills, helps to reinforce proper skills of the job. Volunteers who serve in small or rural fire departments are often involved in structural firefighting, hazardous materials (hazmat), auto accident victim extrication, and other complex incidents.

State fire and emergency training agencies are a critical resource for developing and delivering training to volunteer fire departments. Courses developed by state training agencies and the National Fire Academy (NFA) are often delivered locally at county training facilities or community colleges. Distance learning tools in the form of online course offerings have become important mechanisms for delivering training to volunteer fire departments.

Training in small or rural volunteer fire departments has the following characteristics:

  • Training is a primary mission
  • All members train safely and effectively
  • Training reinforces proper techniques
  • Many types of training venues are available
  • Training is necessary for all volunteers

For archived downloads, go to: www.usfa.fema.gov/nfa/coffee-break.