1. What is the difference between a direct delivery and a supported delivery course?
Direct delivery means the UFRA provides everything for the core course including instructors, props, equipment, books, etc. A supported delivery means that UFRA provides all of the props, equipment, books if needed and other related materials, but the participating department or departments provide the instructors. In the direct delivery there is also a schedule set up at the beginning of the course so arrangements can be made for instructors to be at class on specific dates and specific times. The supported delivery has the flexibility to negotiate and move some of the training dates and times to accommodate the needs of the department(s) and their members. Some props are only allowed to be used for Direct Deliveries. Those props include the Mobile Command Training Center, the Live Fire (Flashover and FAST) prop, the Extrication prop, and the Hazardous Materials Technician prop.
2. Why does UFRA require a minimum of 12 students in order to facilitate a training class?
This relates specifically to being fiscally responsible to all members of the Utah fire service with the training funds that are available. Departments who serve a community of 10,000 or less are only required to have a minimum of 8 students. Obviously, we can train more firefighters all around the state if we are frugal and judicious with the training dollars that we are allotted to use with core courses.
3. Does the training really reflect the demographics of Utah’s Fire Service?
Is UFRA actually balancing the training between volunteer and career departments? Historically, the average participation by departments for training courses and prop usage have been 65-70% to volunteer departments and 30-35% to career departments. This may fluctuate from year to year, but the average has remained fairly consistent for for the past 10 years.
4. Why doesn’t UFRA let the students keep the IFSTA books after each class?
This is a simply a cost issue for UFRA. Books have become increasingly more expensive over the years. The number of students being taught has continued to increase. The ongoing cost of purchasing books to give to every student is not financially possible within our current budget.
5. Why can’t we use the burn props without having UFRA instructors?
The most hazardous training situation is one involving actual fire. All of our “Live Fire” instructors have had considerable additional training and perhaps more importantly, more extensive experience in the use of the live fire props. They have participated in a Train the- Trainer course. They have worked with designated “Lead Instructors” and have taught multiple times. Their combined training and experience gives them the ability to anticipate items and issues relating to safety and to “running” the prop. There is also a certain amount of liability associated with teaching in this hazardous environment. All efforts are being made to have a safe and positive experience when firefighters are exposed to this type of live fire training. We all want firefighters to be able to know and recognize certain aspects of fire behavior and be able to react in a way that will bring the fire situation to a successful conclusion. By providing UFRA trained instructors, we meet all of the parameters that are associated with NFPA and University procedures in delivering this important training in the field.
6. Why do we have to provide our own personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to participate in training, especially the live fire props?
It is the responsibility of each department to provide PPE for the training events provided by UFRA. This will insure they fit the individual and have the needed PPE to be a firefighter in their respective departments. There is no value in providing PPE and firefighter training for a department member if they do not have the proper PPE to utilize at their departments. Budgetary constraints, logistical limitations and potential liability issues do not allow UFRA from providing this service. It will continue to be the responsibility of the departments to provide PPE for all of their department members who attend UFRA training.
7. Are more courses being considered for “on-line” delivery or training, such as FFI?
UFRA is working to provide a variety of “on-line” teaching and training. Efforts are underway to reduce the total number of instructor to student contact hours. This may come in the form of an “on-line pre-requisite” portion to the course or perhaps sometime during the course. Such as having an “on-line” component to the Apparatus Driver Operator (ADO) class that covers maintenance, inspection, and initial hydraulics. The student would be asked to do the on-line material and be prepared to participate in the practical portion of the skills as well as have the instructor respond to questions and follow-ups to the on-line delivery. This will provide students with the opportunity to review those materials and be better prepared for class. It will also get students through the material in a reduced classroom time frame. Other courses such as Haz Mat Awareness will most likely be fully functional as an on-line class without any “live instructor” time.
8. What is the Command Training Center (CTC) all about?
The CTC is all about teaching and learning how to effectively and efficiently “command” an incident utilizing the full NIMS and ICS components. It enables the participants to use a blended learning approach to acquire the requisite knowledge and then immediately apply that knowledge in a fast paced, technologically supported, interactive environment with their fellow students. Each participant is given a single resource assignment and has the ability to negotiate their way in a fire-driven virtual environment and then based upon assignments given by the Incident Commander (IC); carry out those assignments and report back. The IC utilizes and hones skills to effectively and efficiently “run” an incident in a “real time” environment while achieving designated ICS benchmarks. Feedback in the form of a “post incident critique” is then given and the students rotate their positions allowing for all participants to function in a variety of roles and conditions learning ways to appropriately use strategies and modes of operation along with ensuring accountability of their firefighting crews.
9. Who does the fire department contact to schedule UFRA training?
Each County has a program manager assigned to provide service to the departments within that geographical area. They can be reached by calling (801) 863-7700 or toll free at 1-888-548-7816.
Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Piute, Sevier, Washington, Emery, Grand, Wayne, San Juan
Juab, Wasatch, Millard, Sanpete, Carbon, Uintah, Duchesne, Daggett, Utah, Tooele
Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Morgan, Rich, Weber, Summit, Salt Lake
1. Where does UFRA’s budget actually come from? Is it only from the University?
The majority of funds which cover all the expenses in training delivery come from a contract between Utah Valley University (UVU) and the State of Utah. The Utah State Fire Prevention Board has the responsibility to oversee the funds and they award the money based upon an approved contract. Those funds are generated by a portion of a “premium tax” levied on fire insurance policies sold within the state and collected by the Utah State Tax Commission.
2. What do the courses actually cost to deliver? Are there any examples?
Although costs fluctuate based on fuel prices, travel distances, and instructor fees; the average 2-day class with props runs between $2,700 and $3,300 for that 16 hour delivery. A full “direct delivery” Firefighter I course (which includes up to 6 different props during the class) can cost just over $ 9,000.00 for the complete course.
3. Why are some classes free and Fire Schools have registration fees?
The free classes are covered by the contract mentioned in the above budget question. UFRA is contracted to provide requested courses to the fire service and pays for those deliveries through the contract monies. Fire Schools require the acquisition of rented classroom and/or convention space along with added travel, logistical and other related expenses which are in addition to the course costs. It must be pointed out that despite the collection of registration fees, the fire schools are heavily subsidized by training dollars.
4. What are the costs for the different classes and props?
Currently (winter of 2008), the Flashover trailer costs about $1,100 for each burn. The Initial Fire Attack (IFA) trailer runs about $900 per burn. The Instructor I/II, Fire Officer I, and Inspector I classes expense out at just under $ 2,000.00 per course.