(New Castle County, DE) - January 26, 2009 -- A report in today's News-Journal paper and Delaware Online indicates that Delaware's volunteer fire companies will soon consider the establishment of minimum training standards for firefighters, officers and fire chiefs. Currently training minimums are set by individual fire companies.
Many of Delaware's volunteer departments base their training programs on NFPA-1720, which sets minimum requirements for fire suppression operations for volunteer firefighters. Boston-based National Fire Protection Association is a watchdog agency which develops standards for fire operations, EMS and building construction. The agency is not affilated with government and therefore has no enforcement powers.
A special note: The introduction of minimum requirements may result in the loss of volunteer members. who have little additional time to devote to lengthy training courses which, for the most part, are conducted at the State Fire School in Dover. Perhaps the Fire Commission and associations would consider a European model, which allows volunteers to conduct specific tasks on the fireground based on their level of training.
Read the story written by Mike Chalmers (here)