The Foundation for First Responders & Firefighters
First responders face more, and more deadly, situations today than ever before. Often these threats are ones that they will have had no previous experience with. They are also likely to be called upon to assist at large disasters. Survival and effectiveness on the emergency scene today is more dependent on adequate training than ever before. Yet training has always been—and continues to be—difficult and expensive to obtain. To address this need, the Firefighters Support Foundation has started this special project to produce our own first responder-specific training programs and distribute them for free to members of the first responder professions. Every year, thousands of first responders make use of one or more of our programs.
Our programs have been used by agencies nationwide. Many of our programs address advanced topics, new topics, or subjects that are not often covered. Others reinforce the basics. Our programs are developed and taught by academy-level instructors with significant experience in their fields. The programs developed under the aegis of the Foundation for First Responders and Firefighters are generally applicable across the range of first responder professions
Our training programs usually include a video and a PowerPoint presentation. These programs provide turn-key training. Individuals can view the programs at their leisure, while agencies can use the PowerPoint slides as distributed notes, run the video presentation, and pause the video to discuss the material. In this way, the training is consistent from session to session, trainer time is greatly reduced, and the training is completely documented.
All of our training programs are available free to all members of the first responder professions by download. These programs are hosted for us by FireEngineering.com, the premier website for the firefighting profession.
“I highly recommend firefighters, law enforcement and all public safety professionals make good use of these (FSF’s) materials.”
— Chief (Ret) Bobby Halton Editor, Fire Engineering
“Let me commend August Vernon, you and staff for your time, efforts and commitment to the fire service, by providing this free service.”
— Chief (Ret.) Ray Alfred Washington D.C. FD
“The Firefighters Support Foundation has been an excellent source of information, in our continued efforts at preventing unnecessary deaths or injuries to fighters at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. We will be utilizing their training videos during the 2013 International Fire/EMS Safety Week and encourage others to take full advantage of the foundations resources.”
— Abel Fernandez, Chief of Safety Miami-Dade (FL) Fire Rescue Dept
AN ONGOING FOCUS
The Foundation for First Responders and Firefighters produced and distributed a major new training program that cuts across the fire, law enforcement, and EMS disciplines. It addresses the lessons learned from the (too many) active shooter incidents in the United States since Columbine. After Columbine, most law enforcement agencies in the country were trained in some form of active shooter response. Unfortunately fire and EMS were often poorly integrated into that response. With the data we now have we know that in many cases law enforcement was primarily focusing on the wrong problem – neutralizing the shooter. While this is obviously still a necessary objective, it took the development of a new active shooter response protocol to address what is usually the most pressing issue at these scenes: getting treatment quickly to the injured within the golden hour. This is an approach that easily integrates fire,
law enforcement, and EMS, while allowing each discipline to work at what they do best, rather than trying to cross-train fire and EMS personnel into tactical roles.
The Foundation for First Responders and Firefighters is taking an active and prominent role in promulgating Active Shooter Response: The Rapid Response and Treatment Model through both free video programs and seminars. We first produced an overview video training program on this approach, with its developers explaining it to first responders. We wrote an article on the program that was published in a major public safety magazine. We have sponsored seminars on the subject. We are continuing to promote the program and have produced more detailed, drill-down training programs based on the model.