November 15, 2016


National Fire Academy Application Period Open:  WUI and Wildland Fire Courses

The U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Academy (NFA) offers a variety of courses that focus on WUI issues and wildland firefighting.  On-campus students can receive specialized training courses and advanced management programs of national impact offered in a classroom setting at our Emmitsburg, MD, campus. Courses can be offered in an off-campus classroom setting, providing the same courses taught in Emmitsburg but delivered in your state to provide you with the opportunity to attend NFA training closer to home.  Through NFA Online, you can receive career-enhancing, self-paced training at home.

Resident Course Offerings 

This is a six-day course for people who have organizational responsibility for wildland urban interface (WUI) risk-reduction operations in their agency or jurisdiction. The course will provide students with the ability to create and sustain a fire-adapted community (FAC) located within a WUI.

Course outcomes will include:
·         Coalition to address the WUI and create FACs.
·         Create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
·         Facilitate partnerships, improve networking and enhance resource allocation abilities that address WUI fire risks/issues.
·         Pre-fire communication and planning between government agencies, local jurisdictions and the community at large is essential in creating an FAC.
·         Improve quality of life and vitality within the local community.

Selection criteria:  This course is for those who have organizational responsibility for WUI risk-reduction operations in their agency or jurisdiction. Open to federal, tribal, state and local government officials including fire and emergency services, state and municipal planners, forestry management, environmental specialists, community risk-reduction specialists, and public educators.

Note:  Local jurisdictions are encouraged to submit applications for community risk reduction teams (limited to five persons) to include positions such as land-use planners, forest planners, natural resource managers, WUI coordinators, public information officers, fire department wildfire representatives.
Priority selection will be given for up to three teams (of five) per course offering. Applications must be submitted together, be approved, and be signed by the head of a sponsoring organization, with a cover letter indicating that they are applying as a team.

Prerequisites:  Incident Command System (ICS)-100-level and ICS-200-level training. Preferred courses are Q0462 and Q0463, available through NFA Online at www.usfa.fema.gov/training/nfa/courses/online.html.  Chief’s signature attests that the applicant has completed this required training.

Upcoming scheduled offerings
Two first semester (October 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017) courses have vacancies as of this writing. Interested students should apply as soon as possible. 
·         November 27, 2016 - December 2, 2016
·         March 5 - 10, 2017

One second semester course has been posted, but more may be added in 2017. The application deadline is December 15, 2016. 
·         May 14 - 16, 2017

How to apply:
The application period for our second semester (April 1, 2017 – Sept. 30, 2017) courses is open from October 15 – December 15, 2016. Here’s how to apply for courses and get a Student Identification Number.

Student stipends:
Students may be eligible to receive stipends to offset a portion of the expense of attendance at certain training courses. For more information about stipends and eligibility, refer to the USFA website at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/training/nfa/about/training_costs.html.

Online Courses

USFA offers many online WUI and wildland firefighting courses; some offered through the NFA course catalog and others via the NFA Online Self Study Learning Management System (LMS). 

Students can access the following courses through the NFA Online courses catalog at https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/nfacourses/catalog/search?&&forget=true&courseCode=Q. Additional courses are under development and will be posted to this site when ready.
·         Q-2100 Wildland Urban Interface Preparedness/Mitigation Series: Set 1.1
·         Q-617 ICS Simulation Series: Wildland Fire

In partnership with NWCG, USFA hosts the following courses via the NFA Online Self Study Learning Management System (LMS). To apply for these courses, students must register with the LMS at https://nfa.plateau.com/learning/user/login.jsp

NWCG Public Courses:
·         NWCG Mountain Flying Training (2013) Online
·         NWCG L-180, Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service (2014) Online
·         NWCG S-260 (V5), The Interagency Incident Business Management (2015) Online 
·         NWCG S-110, Basic Wildland Fire Orientation 2014
·         NWCG S-130, Firefighter Training (2008) Online Component
·         NWCG S-190, Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior (2008) Online
·         NWCG S-230, Crew Boss (Single Resource) (2012) Online Component
·         NWCG S-231, Engine Boss (Single Resource) (2012) Online Component

IQCS Courses available only to NWCG students:
·         NWCG IQCS: Account Manager (2016) Online
·         NWCG IQCS: FMO/Certifying Official (2016) Online
·         NWCG IQCS: Group Leader/Supervisor (2016) Online
·         NWCG IQCS: Training Officer/Training Coordinator/Nomination Coordinator (2016) Online

Wildland Training Skills Crosswalk for Structural Firefighters

The Wildland Training Skills Crosswalk for Structural Firefighters, developed with the NWCG, identifies critical wildland firefighting skills that structural firefighters need to be safe and effective in an initial attack on a wildland fire in their jurisdiction or when working with state and federal wildland firefighters.

The Crosswalk compares National Fire Protection Association structural firefighting standards with National Wildfire Coordinating Group wildland firefighting Position Task Books. It identifies wildland skills and knowledge that qualified and experienced firefighters would not already have acquired through their structural firefighting training.

By incorporating a structural firefighter’s existing fire suppression knowledge and skills, use of the Crosswalk:
·         Reduces required classroom hours.
·         Makes efficient use of limited training hours.
·         Reduces course content redundancies between wildland and structural fire suppression training.
USFA offers free training materials for delivery of the following wildland structural firefighting courses:
·         Company Officer (G330)
·         Non-Supervisory Structural Firefighters: Advanced (G131)
·         Non-Supervisory Structural Firefighters: Basic ( G130)
·         Strike Team/Task Force Leader (G231)

Though the Skills Crosswalk training program is undergoing revision, current materials are still available.  For more information and to order these training materials, please email us.  Also see https://www.usfa.fema.gov/training/other/ for further information. 

Where to Find Additional Information

O-305, Type 3 All-Hazards Incident Management Team Course
All-Hazard Incident Management Teams (AHIMT) play an essential role in the management of, and response to, local/regional/national emergencies, natural disasters and public events.  The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) provides professional development support and technical assistance to teams/agencies in order to help AHIMT members obtain the knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively as a team under stressful, dynamic conditions.  The course is delivered in the field and is conducted by a host agency.  For more information on how to host an O-305 course, see current course offering, or to further develop your Type 3 AHIMT, visit the USFA AHIMT website at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/training/imt/.

For any additional information regarding training and professional development opportunities available through USFA and the NFA, please refer to the Training and Professional Development link on USFA’s website at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/training/.

Also visit our online WUI Toolkit at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/wui_toolkit/.


Submitted by:  Patti Blankenship, Technical Advisor, DHS/FEMA/U.S. Fire Administration, and Chair, Cohesive Strategy National Strategic Committee


The following USFA staff contributed to this article: Juliann Frantz, NFA Online System Administrator, National Fire Academy; Phyllis Krietz, WUI Program Specialist, National Fire Programs Division; Jeff Soule’, AHIMT Program Manager, National Fire Programs Division; Woody Stratton, Training Specialist and WUI:FAC Course Manager, National Fire Academy

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