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Minimum Training Requirements for NYS Volunteer Firefighters

36 posts in this topic

NYS states that minimum training for Interior Firefighters is as follows:

For members that joined before 8/1/02:

Firefighting Essentials and Initial Fire Attack

For members that joined between 8/1/02 and 12/31/05:

Basic Firefighter, Intermediate Firefighter and Firefighter Survival

After 1/1/06:

Firefighter I and Firefighter Survival

The question I had and still have is this: If a member joined an FD say 20 years ago, was the Essentials and IFA the required training, or was it just Essentials?

And, do guys now need to take equivalent or better classes to retain their Interior status, or are they "grandfathered?"

Thanks.

FF398, BigBuff and bigrig77 like this

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Chief

If your Department has as its foundation FireFighter one, then the OFPC has an equilivant as to what consituates firefighter one. At least it does if you are going to test for National Certification. I am not sure if this answers your question or not but if you are referring to an older firefighter that might want to meet the new standard they either have to have the equlivent or take the firefighter one and survival.

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NYS states that minimum training for Interior Firefighters is as follows:

Do they actually have a minimum? I don't think it is legally required anywhere that you take a state course. Hazmat Ops is definatly legally required but I don't know the fire classes are legally.

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Being I have only taken FF1 only.( I only know whats in that class only) Are the major differances between FF1 and Essentials?

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Do they actually have a minimum? I don't think it is legally required anywhere that you take a state course. Hazmat Ops is definatly legally required but I don't know the fire classes are legally.

That's kind of what I am trying to verify. We have our own minimum training requirements, and I am trying to make sure we meet what is LEGALLY REQUIRED and put in what we expect from our guys.

Last I knew, each department basically draws up their own set of rules, but I would hate to do it then find we missed something required of us. If you know what I mean.

Thanks.

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Chief

If your Department has as its foundation FireFighter one, then the OFPC has an equilivant as to what consituates firefighter one. At least it does if you are going to test for National Certification. I am not sure if this answers your question or not but if you are referring to an older firefighter that might want to meet the new standard they either have to have the equlivent or take the firefighter one and survival.

Thanks Walt. I kind of figured this, but we wanted to make sure we didn't have to tell a guy that's been in 35 years he now has to take Firefighter I because he never took Initial Attack and that's the only option now.

BigBuff likes this

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Is the minimal requirement for FF1 and Survival enforced? I only ask because I joined after 1/1/06 and took FF1 and then took Survival after since my FF1 course did not include Survival. I was interior during this gap. Should I not have been? I know others that I have taken FF1 and not Survival who joined after 1/1/06 who are under the impression that they are interior.

Nice post, I am looking forward to seeing the answers that you get.

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The minimum legal requirements for volunteer firefighters in NYS are set by PESH, not OFPC, and Firefighter 1 is not the standard. As I have posted before, NYS is a home rule state, so your AHJ sets the plan and training requirements on how you meet the PESH law. OFPC has sent out guidance on what equivalents are for FF 1, but again these are not laws.

Bnechis likes this

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With each new standard OFPC included a list of equivalents to catch a member up from the previous level. They never said people were required to catch up, but to continue in the progression of classes you would have to taker the missing classes first.

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John I have been out of the loop with training for quite some time but I will do my best...it is to my understanding there is no minimum standard for volunteer firefighters as there is for career firefighters. I posed a question to the state as to why volunteer depts can not have MTO's and that was the response I received by OFPC. The only requirement is the 15 hour OSHA and 8 hour safety training. Due to home rule in NY depts can adopt thier own standards but remember we still have NFPA and allthough their standards are not regulatory they are consensus standards and have been referenced to.

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John;

I believe that 20 years ago the only requirement for interior operations (The term "interior operations" didn't exist then either) was Essentials. I don't know about grandfathering.

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Do they actually have a minimum? I don't think it is legally required anywhere that you take a state course. Hazmat Ops is definatly legally required but I don't know the fire classes are legally.

Correct there is no legal requirement to take state classes in NYS. Hazmat ops is legally required, but the law clearly states that the employer (and NYS courts say VFD's are considered employers) must certify the firefighters to the HM ops level or higher. Unless you work for OFPC, they can not certify you.

The minimum legal requirements for volunteer firefighters in NYS are set by PESH, not OFPC, and Firefighter 1 is not the standard. As I have posted before, NYS is a home rule state, so your AHJ sets the plan and training requirements on how you meet the PESH law. OFPC has sent out guidance on what equivalents are for FF 1, but again these are not laws.

Very well said.

Yes PESH sets the rules in NYS, but they are based on OSHA regs. Federal law requires NYS PESH to enforce OSHA or stricter regulations to get funding. For years most NYS PESH regs had a state cover with a zerox copy of the federal registry for the subject behind it. Their are a few exceptions (bailout ropes being one), but most times NYS does not exceed the OSHA reg.

PFDRes47cue likes this

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Personally I think FF1, 2 and survival is a great start.... I like the way the county has these classes set up

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I imagine that AVET and Ladder Ops will be added eventually.

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I imagine that AVET and Ladder Ops will be added eventually.

One thing I would really like to see is the move toward the national Pro Board curriculum

SageVigiles likes this

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One thing I would really like to see is the move toward the national Pro Board curriculum

Agreed. Minimal training for all of us - paid/volunteer in all 50 states - should be the same! People find themselves moving more now then they did years ago to seek work - if a guy is trained to be a firefighter in Alaska he should be qualified to do it in Hawaii!

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Thanks Walt. I kind of figured this, but we wanted to make sure we didn't have to tell a guy that's been in 35 years he now has to take Firefighter I because he never took Initial Attack and that's the only option now.

The thing you need to ensure is that the guy with 35 years has it on his state training record he took it or a copy of the certificate still. If he doesn't and the its not on the record...he can't prove anything..nor can you.

Also if you have personnel that have basic firefighter and never took intermediate....from what I was explained do not meet the OSHA regulation and not FF 1 equivalent. So if you require FF 1 by policy...they do not meet it. And Intermediate no longer exists.

As far as NYS requirement...you really if I understand it right...have to follow the OSHA regulations. The state courses exceed the fire brigade standard.

The county offers what the SFI and CFI's put dates in to teach courses. Most instructors have found it makes sense to tie a day for Survival in with the FF 1 since 1/2 of the skills from survival are in FF 1.

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The minimum legal requirements for volunteer firefighters in NYS are set by PESH, not OFPC, and Firefighter 1 is not the standard. As I have posted before, NYS is a home rule state, so your AHJ sets the plan and training requirements on how you meet the PESH law. OFPC has sent out guidance on what equivalents are for FF 1, but again these are not laws.

FF 1 is...the standard. What it is not is regulatory. It exceeds it in fact and any department would be nuts in todays age not to adopt it as it is the "standard" of the fire service industry as outlined in NFPA 1001

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A little confused....I was under the understanding that New York was a "home rule" state, where INTERIOR status was determined by you department's standards. Can anybody enlighten on this??

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A little confused....I was under the understanding that New York was a "home rule" state, where INTERIOR status was determined by you department's standards. Can anybody enlighten on this??

Sure, It is up to the dept to set the minimum standard as long as that standard is equal to or exceeds the state minimum, which is so low that no one should consider it.

For career depts. the state law says they must have 229 hours to be interior, but the Westchester minimum standard is 480 hours and FDNY's is longer than that.

Many VFD's require FF1 & FFS, but thats more than the OSHA minimum.

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Sure, It is up to the dept to set the minimum standard as long as that standard is equal to or exceeds the state minimum, which is so low that no one should consider it.

For career depts. the state law says they must have 229 hours to be interior, but the Westchester minimum standard is 480 hours and FDNY's is longer than that.

Many VFD's require FF1 & FFS, but thats more than the OSHA minimum.

This may be a dumb question - but in the case of combination departments, can the department/district say that all firefighters (paid or volunteer) have the same minimum training (the 229)?

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Being from that Era .... Don't laugh my EF course was sign by Nelson Rockerfeller

Ok Barry .... it was just the EF course .. Initial Fire Attack wasn't started to mid 70's before then it was single company operations

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The minimum legal requirements for volunteer firefighters in NYS are set by PESH, not OFPC, and Firefighter 1 is not the standard. As I have posted before, NYS is a home rule state, so your AHJ sets the plan and training requirements on how you meet the PESH law. OFPC has sent out guidance on what equivalents are for FF 1, but again these are not laws.

There are no requirements from PESH except an hour training requirement ... when the talk about min training they defer to OFPC.

Just note standards are enforcable in court .. such as CPR is a standard ... if you do CPR wrong .... well you get the picture

Standards are also enforced by PESH/OSHA under the general duty clause. There was a case in Oneida County Court were a fire chief was convicted for criminally negligent homicide and that was part of the case

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There are no requirements from PESH except an hour training requirement ... when the talk about min training they defer to OFPC

Then OFPC defers right back to PESH! Only in NY. I don't understand why a state as big and populated as ours is behind the curve with training requirements as compared to say Florida or the Carolinas, or Texas. In those states, regardless of your status (career or volunteer) the training requirements are the same. I know the reason why (FASNY) but I just don't understand it. Their mission is to look out for the good and welfare of the members of the volunteer fire service, but instead they are doing a disservice to those members by lobbying for the lack of training requirements. Everytime OFPC does something to better the training level, FASNY has a problem. It happened when the training went from EF and IFA to the Training 2000 series, and now to the FF1 and FF2 format.

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This may be a dumb question - but in the case of combination departments, can the department/district say that all firefighters (paid or volunteer) have the same minimum training (the 229)?

Yes they can!! The AHJ can set the standard as high as they wish as long as it meets the minium. All career departments have to meet , by law ,229 hours of training and a minium of 100 hours annually. it is also broken down in hours and subjects. Just to make it more interesting :)

I do have a hard time relating to combo departments that have different standards within them selves. yes I came from one and still could not understand the reasoning. it just made no sense.

It only seems ro reason that the better trained all firefighters are the better chance we have of protecting the citizens we have sworn to protect. it all seems so simple. Then we go and !@@$ it up.

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This may be a dumb question - but in the case of combination departments, can the department/district say that all firefighters (paid or volunteer) have the same minimum training (the 229)?

Yes they can!! The AHJ can set the standard as high as they wish as long as it meets the minium. All career departments have to meet , by law ,229 hours of training and a minium of 100 hours annually. it is also broken down in hours and subjects. Just to make it more interesting :)

I do have a hard time relating to combo departments that have different standards within them selves. yes I came from one and still could not understand the reasoning. it just made no sense.

It only seems ro reason that the better trained all firefighters are the better chance we have of protecting the citizens we have sworn to protect. it all seems so simple. Then we go and !@@$ it up.

Couldn't agree more with you Capt. Makes even less sense in combo departments that have no rank structure..but yet the ones running the show are elected and have less qualifications then the paid staff. What happens most times when the discussion comes up of getting rank into contracts? Pressure from the volunteer side and conversation based on control, fear of loss of control and pride instead of what best would allow more efficient functioning and service to the customer.

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Then OFPC defers right back to PESH! Only in NY. I don't understand why a state as big and populated as ours is behind the curve with training requirements as compared to say Florida or the Carolinas, or Texas. In those states, regardless of your status (career or volunteer) the training requirements are the same. I know the reason why (FASNY) but I just don't understand it. Their mission is to look out for the good and welfare of the members of the volunteer fire service, but instead they are doing a disservice to those members by lobbying for the lack of training requirements. Everytime OFPC does something to better the training level, FASNY has a problem. It happened when the training went from EF and IFA to the Training 2000 series, and now to the FF1 and FF2 format.

Let me break this down .....

PESH/OSHA: all they care about is safety.... they could care less how you roll a hose or do forcible entry .... they do care about content when it comes to the main safety requirements (use of SCBA, bloodborne pathogens, that fun stuff) ... They did however put the requirement about how long the training should be.

The content ... how many hours for fire house safety, equipment safety, etc, .... that fun stuff was ........ NY State Fire Chiefs Assoc.

Basic Qualifications for firefighters.... that is NFPA but remember PESH/OSHA uses Standards under the General Duty Clause

Now all that said and done, my feelings and just my feelings, is all that above is just minimum. You are kidding yourself thinking that's all you want to do and to make your program just meet that. You want to do better ... you want to provide all the training and all the tools for your firefighters to be able to do their best ... in the safest way possible. You goal shouldn't be " oooooo let's meet what NFPA or OSHA says." Your goal is to be ... what I need to do to help my firefighters do what they need to do .... and to get them back home safetly to their family, the same way they left.

For those who don't know, besides all the years I have firefighting, I am the North Americian Safety Professional for a very large international company. To be honest, I know firefighting is a very dangerous job and sometimes our pride and tradition gets in the way. Accidents, as well as deaths, are preventable. All the firefighters that have lost their lives are heros, just like all of us that are still alive, each in our own way, are too. Last year the number of firefighter deaths are down. But, honestly can you see me going back to my company with stats like that.

I can see it now: "Well I would like to report we had a very good year last year, we lost only 84. Out of that 90% wasn't on the fire scene. A good precentage of those were from returing or responding to a call. And, many of those are from us not seeing the person and backing over them or driving too fast and not wearing seat belts."

After I gave a report something to that effect, I will be out the next morning looking on indeed.com for a new job.

Think about the deaths of our brother and sisters in this service, wouldn't you do anything to just have another minute with them. Now look at all the rest of your firefighters around, would you want to be the one to tell their family that they weren't coming home any more?

We need to stop .. career needs to do this, volunteer needs to do that .... OSHA says this NFPA says that . We need to say skip all that, what we need to do; is the best we can do and push for more. There is nothing more! I want you to do with your life is to sit back, and to for you enjoy your great grandkids, and all of us want you, as well as the rest of us to do the same.

Ok that was my sermon for today! :)

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