A firefighter education teaches prospective firemen the prevention, preparation, and response skills necessary for providing emergency services. The goal of firefighter education is to ensure that all members of the fire brigade have the same set of standards and skills. Prevention involves teaching firefighters how to conduct community outreach programs about fire hazards and identify potential fire hazards in the region they work in. Preparation is the aspect of firefighter training that involves the development of skills and planning necessary for combating fires. Response addresses the operational and logistical aspects of mitigating threats from fires and facilitating the recovery process.
Prevention teaches potential firefighters how to be proactive in their community. Individuals seeking a firefighter education learn about the benefits of strategic partnerships between their fire department and community leaders. Students will learn how to develop risk profile assessments of their community based on socio-economic, environmental, and cultural patterns. Firefighter education seeks to demonstrate how prospective firemen can use such data to educate segments of the population most likely to cause fire hazards or be exposed to fires.
Firefighter training also teaches future members of the fire service how to analyze a building to identify fire hazards. Fire men also gain knowledge of the fire codes and standards in addition to ways buildings in violation of those standards can be brought into compliance. Some firefighter education courses require students to read building and city schematics to determine safe means of ingress and egress as well as the location of water supply systems.
Preparation is the aspect of firefighter education that emphasizes the importance of developing city or statewide disaster response plans and collaborating with other emergency service providers such as the police. Collaboration ensures that all emergency agencies work efficiently to provide immediate disaster relief and expedite the recovery process. Courses in preparation teach students how to determine current and future population sizes and land use requirements in order to conduct hazard analysis and develop adequate response plans.
Response courses use text books, lectures, and simulations to prepare students for actual firefighting or emergency service. Prospective firemen are introduced to command and control terminology used to identify the location, nature, and severity of emergency situations. These courses also employ simulations using a variety of building structures and multiple hazards to test and hone the skills of students. Some response courses also teach students what tactics and action plans to use in mass evacuation scenarios.