COLLEGE STATION – The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is launching a new online, blended learning version of its popular Fire Officer I course on Nov. 1 to provide more flexibility for fire departments and their personnel.
“It’s another step forward for our training. We’re using online course delivery to meet the training needs for the fire service on a global level through the advent of technology,” said Robert Barron, training manager with TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute. “It allows us to reach out to a larger audience both within Texas and outside the state.”
The 40-hour Fire Officer I Online (NFPA 1021) course is designed for the first line company officers and supervisors in a fire department.
All fire departments are challenged with shrinking budgets and financial restraints, Barron added. “This online course provides the fire service greater opportunity and access to high-quality TEEX training that meets their needs. It allows us to reach a larger audience in today’s tight economic times.”
Once the classroom portion of the course is completed online, students will need to successfully complete a one-day face-to-face training session and skills assessment in order to earn certification from the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association or Texas Commission on Fire Protection. A two-day session/skills assessment is required to earn the national ProBoard certification. The course is also eligible for credits through ACE and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
The course does not skimp on essentials, Barron said. “It is the same content as the face-to-face class, and students can’t skip the learning activities or modules. The only difference is the initial delivery method, because the skills assessment portion is the same. Companies will save money on their travel and overtime costs because the employee only needs to attend the face-to-face portion and skills assessment for one or two days.”
TEEX is the only training organization in Texas that offers the ProBoard certification for Fire Officer I, Barron added. “By offering this course online, it makes us more competitive in the training business. Oklahoma has already expressed interest in the course.”