Continuing Education, Domestic, Publishers, Required, Technology - Written by on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 13:10 - 0 Comments

Five Alarm Blaze! Ohio Firefighters Taking Continuing Education… Online


By Mlle-Ellena via Flickr under CreativeCommons

Pull up your suspenders! Here’s another area where technology may continue to be disruptive: the large continuing education for industries like law, medicine and, yes, fire fighting.


We assume fire-fighters can’t simulate rescuing kids from burning buildings online, cats from trees online or sliding down the greasy fire station pole online. So certainly some training they must do in person. But there are a lot of basic fire-fighting rules, procedures and legal codes they must study… and they can learn that material online.

Continuing education is one of the biggest challenges for Ohio fire departments, where the state mandates ongoing courses. They are compulsory for firefighters to keep up their certification. And, in the past, they often required travel to larger cities, which meant added cost and time away from work and family.  For volunteer firefighters it meant taking time off from paying jobs. But three weeks ago, the Ohio Fire Academy, which is part of the Division of State Fire Marshal, launched an online training program.

At no extra charge, fire departments can upload their own courses using a Client Authorship Tool (CAT). OFA offers a reduced rate for departments, costing only $20 for a one-year online training subscription per student. The academy also offers EMS courses at the same price and combined training for fire and EMS for $35. We would like to hear from people who have used these courses as to their quality and how it compares with in-person training. Please comment below.

Disruptive Tech Winners: The departments saving money, the firefighters who want more time at home.

Disruptive Tech Losers: Companies that provide continuing education for firefighters in person. Fire fighters who liked the days away from home or the station.

Reporting on this mostly positive innovation at Ironton explains benefits and limitations:

“They can take them at home, at the fire station, anywhere there is a computer,” Rome Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steven Rutherford said. “This is a great tool for us.”

Rutherford pointed out some classes will still require travel and hands-on training that simply can’t be done on a computer. But for those classes that can be taught online, the firefighter or EMT saves time and money.

Via New Training Lets Firefighters Study Online – Ironton

Check out OFA online training.

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