The NFA suspended its on-campus and field courses in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By June 2020, the NFA and our partners from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives launched the first online instructor-led live 2-day course, “Fire Investigation: First Responders,” using the Zoom video conferencing app. Additional courses not requiring a student’s physical presence at the NFA’s Emmitsburg, Maryland, campus soon followed.
These 2-day online instructor-led live courses are proving to be an effective and popular way to deliver important training to first responders across the country.
Currently, the courses being offered live online are:
- “Executive Skills Series: Exercising Leadership to Facilitate Adaptive Change” (S0521).
- “Executive Skills Series: Exercising Leadership Within Communities” (S0520).
- “Fire Investigation: First Responders” (S0770).
- “Fire Service Safety Culture: Who Protects Firefighters From Firefighters?” (S0349).
- “Health and Safety Program Manager” (S1722).
- “Incident Safety Officer” (S0729).
- “Shaping the Future” (S0602).
“The response from participants and instructors has been more than positive. Courses are filling quickly and we’re recruiting new instructors. Because this new platform is more convenient for first responders, we’ll be able to get more people trained than we could previously,” said George Morgan, NFA training specialist.
Details on these courses, including dates and times offered and continuing education units awarded, are available through the links above. To maximize accessibility, courses are offered on different days and different times (to accommodate different time zones). The goal, according to Mr. Morgan, is to offer most 2-day courses as online instructor-led live courses.
The course material is identical to the courses that were taught in person, and there is no charge to students. All that is needed is:
- Confirmation that their application has been accepted. Details on the application process, including getting the required Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Student Identification Number, are available at How to Apply for National Fire Academy Courses.
- The course materials (available for download once the application has been accepted).
- Wi-Fi and a device that can download course materials and run Zoom.
These courses include a lot of interaction. Attendees should be prepared to take part in breakout rooms, end-of-the-day review questions and answers, and other activities.
To get credit for any of these courses, participants must pass a test within 24 hours of course completion. Testing is done separately through the NFA Online platform.