The FRFC has two primary training functions for its member departments:
- Recruit Fire Academy Training
- Professional Development/Leadership Training
Recruit Fire Academy Training
Recruit Fire Academy Training began for the FRFC in 1998. Since that time, the FRFC has offered its membership the opportunity for firefighter recruits to train in two academies, offered in the spring and fall of the year. The FRFC academy is a fifteen-week training experience with over 800 hours of mostly hands-on/skills training. The basic curriculum is developed around the NFPA 1001 skills and utilization of the IFSTA Essentials textbook. However, the FRFC academy goes well beyond the basics for complete recruit training with a goal of graduating recruits that are fully functional and fully capable firefighters on day one of their fire company assignment.
In the last twenty years, the FRFC has offered nearly 40 recruit fire academies with over five hundred recruits graduating. The organizational goal for the FRFC academies is to engage in continuous improvement and look for ways to provide even greater and more effective training for member department recruits. Most recently the focus of the academy has shifted to include more emphasis on modern fire behavior and graduate highly trained and skilled “legacy freighters” that are educated and equipped with the requisite knowledge of modern fire behavior theory, tactics, and task level skills.
Professional Development/Leadership Training
The FRFC was originally created to address the needs for professional development and leadership training for its members. For fifteen years, the Professional Development for Career Officers (PFCO) and the Professional Development for Fire Officers (PDFO) were active leadership training courses for the FRFC member departments.
A new leadership-training program is being beta-tested in 2018, along with a comprehensive study and development of a new, future professional development program for the FRFC’s member departments.