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National Programs

Use the links on the left for additional information on many of the programs summarized below.

AFG/SAFER Grant Program Criteria Development

Each year, criteria for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) programs are developed by a panel of representatives from national fire service organizations. At the direction of the AFG Program Office, the IAFC coordinates and facilities the development process. Criteria development is conducted for the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs.

Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT)

The Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to provide hazmat training for volunteer or remote emergency responders. ALERT will focus on emergency response activities involving the transportation of crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids by rail. Training deliverables:

  • Several online training classes (Hazmat awareness, Ethanol, and Hydrogen)
  • 20 First responder operations classes and three train the trainer classes
  • 15 Ethanol safety seminars in rural areas
  • 10 Regional collaboration training events
  • A "Rural Planning Guide for Rail" document for hazmat rail incidents

John Woulfe, Assistant Director, 703-273-9701

Laura Peard, Program Manager, 703-537-4843

EMS Medical Directors Handbook

The IAFC assembled a team of national-level experts, including EMS physicians and EMS and fire department administrators and chiefs, to develop the EMS Medical Directors Handbook. The target audience is physicians, including both medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy, who serve local-level EMS departments of all types. The Handbook covers training, certification, personnel management, quality assurance, protocol development, management of volunteers, continuing medical education, mass casualty management, billing issues, and EMS provider health and safety.

Ethanol Training Program

The Ethanol Training Program was developed to provide basic information on ethanol as an alternative fuel and the hazards associated with it. The program is an instructor led module-based training program for responders. This course is designed for individuals who respond to ethanol-related emergencies as well as those who work at fixed-facilities and transport fuel.

Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR)

FSTAR's searchable, web-based library provides easy access to research the fire and emergency service can use to improve their operations, health and wellness programs, and community-preparedness. FSTAResearch.org broadens our efforts to create Featured Studies with additional tools that help departments and firefighters understand and maximize their use of research.

Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI)

The Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI) is a program developed by the IAFC and funded by a grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundation to provide new and aspiring chiefs with the tools they need to have a successful and productive tenure as a fire service leader. FSEDI focuses on the real world of leadership in fire and emergency services rather than on standards and competencies offered in other programs. The sessions will be guided by experts from the fire and emergency services as well as the private industry.

Hydrogen Response Considerations Training

The Hydrogen Response Consideration training is a free, online learning program for firefighters focused on the hazards associated with hydrogen in their community. The training is open to all responders and a major goal of is to reach the underserved volunteer response community who often lack the resources of time and money that are necessary to obtain timely training.

Labor-Management Initiative (LMI)

The IAFC and IAFF developed the Labor-Managment Initiative (LMI) to help fire chiefs and union presidents improve cooperative and collaborative relationships to avoid critical labor-management issues, disputes and costly arbitrations. The LMI is especially recommended for new chiefs and union presidents to help them build a comprehensive relationship from the start. The program's facilitator teams are experienced and successful fire chiefs and union presidents. The IAFC and IAFF co-sponsor the LMI Conference on a regular basis, which provides unique networking and educational opportunities to labor and management leaders.

National Firefighter Deployment System (NFDS)

The IAFC has been tasked as a sub-contractor of ICF International/USFA to develop a system of nationally pre-determined, closest, most appropriate pre-EMAC strike teams and/or task forces in the fire service related Emergency Service Functions (ESF) to support a national deployment strategy in support of Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8): National Preparedness.

National Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System

The National Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System turns real-world experiences into learning opportunities for the fire and emergency service by collecting, analyzing and distributing near miss reports. There are two key components of the program:

  • Reports are submitted from all ranks, department types and hazards. The reports are de-identified and reviewed by subject matter experts prior to being posted.
  • Training materials are developed based on near miss reports and posted on the website. The resources include training drills, decision-making training, as well as weekly table-top discussion-based exercises (Report of the Week).

National Hazmat Fusion Center

The National Hazmat Fusion Center is a secure, web-based portal to serve as a data and information network for hazmat teams, first responders, federal, state and local agencies, and the private sector. Through this portal, these stakeholders share critical information to enhance the safety of hazmat responders and improve decision-making for the prevention and mitigation of hazmat incidents. The Hazmat Fusion Center also deploys Regional Incident Survey Teams (RIST) that respond post-incident to hazmat incidents and then develop and disseminate lessons learned and smart practices based on those incidents to the broader hazmat community.

National Safety Culture Change Initiative

This program supports the National Fallen Firefighters Life Safety Initiative #1: Define and advocate the need for a cultural change within the fire service relating to safety; incorporating leadership, management, supervision, accountability and personal responsibility. The project will produce checklists and informational materials for chiefs, officers and firefighters as well as training materials and assessment tools for fire departments. 

Ready, Set, Go!

The Ready, Set, Go! Program develops and improves the dialogue between fire departments and the residents they serve. The program helps departments reach individuals who live in high-risk wildfire areas with information on how to best prepare themselves, their families and their properties against fire threats. The RSG! Program tenets help residents be ready with preparedness understanding, set with situational awareness when fire threatens, and go, acting early when a fire starts. To gain access to free resources and tools, join the program today!

Researchers Creating Usable Emergency Solutions (RESCUES)

RESCUES will transform research knowledge and adapt it to operational practice, leading to improved, strategic dissemination of research findings to the fire and emergency service. It will also provide a platform where researchers and first responders can learn from each other how best to unify both theoretical and practical knowledge and build the foundation for future research. RESCUES will strengthen the usability of DHS-sponsored research and development projects by creating the information dissemination methodology to the fire and emergency service community.

Rural Emergency Response Planning Project

The IAFC conducted symposiums at the Iowa Hazmat Conference in October 2012 and Kansas Regional LEPC EPA Region 7 Symposium. The presentations programs covered specialized rail response including rail incidents, ethanol rail incidents, propane transportation on the rail system and un-odorized propane and mutual aid assistance for rural incidents. View the presentations on IAFCtv.

Sleep Deprivation

Through a partnership with the USFA and the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), the IAFC developed a report on sleep deprivation. The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Fire Fighters and EMS Responders, along with its accompanying web-based videos, presents background information on normal sleep physiology and the health and performance effects of sleep deprivation. Countermeasures for sleep deprivation are reviewed, which relate to identifying those particularly susceptible to risks of sleep deprivation, individual mitigating strategies and work-related issues.

Technology Council

The IAFC Technology Council serves as a knowledge center for technological developments that may affect the fire service. The council provides a forum for information and knowledge exchange among different stakeholders, including fire chiefs, public safety organizations and vendors. Learn more about the Technology Council.

Traffic Incident Management Training

The IAFC, in partnership with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), supports the delivery of multidisciplinary traffic incident management training to the fire/emergency service and other responders. FHWA has developed, under the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2), training programs geared at improving the safety of first responders in traffic incident scenes. The training promotes responder safety, safe, quick clearance, and prompt, reliable, and interoperable communications: www.safequickclearance.org.

Training for Regional Collaboration (TReC)

TReC is a multi-disciplinary, stakeholder-driven blended learning approach to enhancing local, regional and national capabilities for preventing, responding to and recovering from a catastrophic all-hazards incident.  Training was delivered through a blended-learning process, combining web-based modules and instructor-led training sessions in each FEMA region, supported by the secure, web-based TReC Resource Center. TReC was originally funded by DHS/FEMA's National Training & Education Division (NTED). In 2013 there were 20 training deliveries throughout the country and at least one in each FEMA region.

The training will be delivered through a blended-learning process, combining web-based modules and instructor-led training sessions in each FEMA region, supported by the secure, web-based TReC Resource Center. Participants will have an opportunity, prior to training, to utilize an innovative and comprehensive tool to define their collaboration challenges, success and barriers. This information will be incorporated into the instructor-led training sessions to ensure training sessions meet the needs of participants. Such tailored training will support TReC’s ultimate goal to support and enhance collaboration within the FEMA regions across multiple responder disciplines.

TransCanada Partnership

This partnership will provide information about TransCanada's grant program to the fire service and the IAFC will create an education and training program. The TransCanada First Responder Training and Education Project will educate first responders on the importance of energy and pipeline safety, prepare them for disaster response and help them provide leadership within their communities in such situations. 

Vehicle Safety

The IAFC developed the Guide to Model Policies and Procedures for Emergency Vehicle Safety to reduce the risk of injury and death of emergency personnel by vehicles. This document provides guidance for developing the basic policies and procedures required to support the safe and effective operation of all fire and emergency vehicles, including fire apparatus, rescue vehicles, ambulances, command and support units, privately owned vehicles (POVs), and any other vehicles operated by fire department members in the performance of their duties.

Volunteer Workforce Solutions

The Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) Program is a multi-state and national initiative that utilizes SAFER grants to assist fire departments in their recruitment and retention efforts. This program provides marketing materials, training, and staff support to participating departments in Connecticut and Virginia. A new initiative is also being launched nationally to increase the number of women and other under-represented groups among volunteer firefighters in communities across the United States.

Wellness-Fitness Initiative (WFI)

The IAFF, IAFC and 10 local union-municipality pairs joined together to form the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Task Force. The Task Force has dedicated itself to developing a holistic, positive rehabilitating and educational approach to wellness and fitness programs in the fire service. The Task Force has developed the following three programs:

  1. Wellness-Fitness Initiative (WFI)
  2. Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)
  3. Peer Fitness Trainer (PFT) Certification

Additional information can be found at the IAFF Wellness Fitness Inititiave Resource webpage.

Whole Community Planning for Disaster

Whole Community Planning for Disaster is a comprehensive, blended-learning training course being developed for FEMA-NTED to enhance the ability of all community stakeholders to work together toward preparedness by understanding their roles and responsibilities in emergency planning.

The target audience for the training includes all community stakeholders not typically involved in emergency preparedness activities including organizations representing underserved populations (children, the aging, disabled and socioeconomically disadvantaged) and other social service agencies, as well as those involved in any aspect of emergency preparedness (emergency management, first responders and public safety).