VDFP Strengthens Statewide Firefighter Training Programs in Five Years with $1.2 Million in Federal Funding

VDFP Strengthens Statewide Firefighter Training Programs in Five Years with $1.2 Million in Federal Funding

Funding aids in the delivery of cutting-edge and industry compliant firefighter training throughout the Commonwealth.

RICHMOND – February 6, 2020 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) has been awarded approximately $1.2 million dollars in federal grants over a five-year span. The grants, which come from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighter Grant program, have been applied towards upgrading turnout gear, specialty rescue equipment, and the development of a training tower utilized by firefighters and other public safety personnel in Virginia.

The most recent funding awarded to VDFP was in October 2019, when the agency received $286,000 to replace equipment utilized for Virginia’s Heavy Technical Rescue training program. VDFP also purchased two tow vehicles to haul mobile training support trailers used to store and protect gear and equipment to various training localities through the state.

“The awarding of over $1 million dollars in grants has allowed VDFP to further serve more than 700 fire departments and has assisted in helping other state agencies reach its training objectives in serving the Commonwealth,” said VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly. “This partnership with the Federal government will have a lasting impact in enhancing firefighter training and safety on the fire ground.”

The federal funding also empowers VDFP to obtain cutting-edge equipment that merges technology and fire science into its training programs.

This year, the agency will begin using thermal imaging cameras and IDLH (immediately dangerous to life and health) meters, which will enable training instructors and students to observe and analyze realistic conditions to generate evidence-based data. The data will enhance future training programs packaged by VDFP.

VDFP has provided approximately $187,000 in matching funds since 2015.

VDFP Triples its Accredited Course Offerings for Virginia’s Fire Service

VDFP Triples its Accredited Course Offerings for Virginia’s Fire Service

GLEN ALLENFebruary 4, 2020 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) announced today that it offers 16 courses accredited by the International Fire Services Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). IFSAC is the accrediting body that recognizes and standardizes competencies in fire and emergency services programs worldwide.

In 2019, VDFP offered five IFSAC accredited courses.

Reaccredited Courses Newly-Accredited Courses 
  • (R) Fire Inspector I NFPA 1031 (2014 edition)
  • (R) Fire Inspector II NFPA 1031 (2014 edition)
  • (R) Fire Investigator NFPA 1033 (2014 edition)
  • (R) Fire and Life Safety Educator I NFPA 1035 (2015 edition)
  • (R) Fire and Life Safety Educator II NFPA 1035 (2015 edition)
  • Firefighter I NFPA 1001 (2013 edition)
  • Airport Firefighter NFPA 1003 (2017 edition)
  • Hazardous Materials Awareness NFPA 1072 (2017 edition)
  • Hazardous Materials Ops Core (5) NFPA 1072 (2017 edition)
  • Hazardous Materials Ops MS: PPE (6.2) NFPA 1072 (2017 edition)
  • (I) Hazardous Materials Ops MS: Product Control (6.6) NFPA 1072 (2017 edition)
  • Firefighter II NFPA 1001 (2013 Standard)
  • Driver Operator – Aerial I NFPA 1001 (2013 Standard)
  • Driver Operator – Pumper
  • Incident Safety Officer
  • Marine Firefighter

“The word ‘accreditation’ means a widely recognized measurement that symbolizes quality. Accredited courses are huge incentives for firefighters, particularly firefighters who have invested years into their own education and earning credentials outside of Virginia, for reciprocity,” said VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly. “By increasing the number of accredited courses we offer, we will attract current and future firefighters who wish to advance to higher positions later in their careers, anywhere in the world.”

See the latest VDFP course offerings by visiting: https://www.vafire.com/course-offerings/.

VDFP Trainings at VFRC 2020

The Virginia Department of Fire Programs is offering NFPA 1031/1033 Continuing Education and Cornerstone OnDemand introduction courses during the Virginia Fire Rescue Conference. To attend these courses, you must register with the Conference to attend. Visit the VFR Conference Registration page to register.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

NFPA 1033 Recertification Training 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Get to Know Cornerstone OnDemand: VDFP’s New Learning Management System 10 a.m.-noon

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Friday, February 21, 2020

NFPA 1031 Recertification Training 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Get to Know Cornerstone OnDemand: VDFP’s New Learning Management System 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

 

Virginia Department of Fire Programs Welcomes Newly Appointed Deputy Director Robert Dubé

Virginia Department of Fire Programs Welcomes Newly Appointed Deputy Director Robert Dubé

RICHMONDJanuary 13, 2020 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) announced today the appointment of its new Deputy Director, Robert Dubé. Dubé joins VDFP with over four decades of experience in firefighting and emergency management.

Dubé has dedicated himself to an extensive career in public safety. He last served as the fire chief of the Alexandria Fire Department, where he retired in July 2019. A past recipient of the Virginia Governor’s Award for Excellence in Fire Service Management, Dubé’s career tenure include service as a county administrator and fire/EMS chief and emergency services coordinator for Louisa County; an assistant fire chief and emergency manager for the City of Clearwater, Florida; and, a firefighter/EMT and captain for Fairfax County, where he began his career.

As an operations chief and task force leader for Virginia Task Force One’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, Dubé responded to local and international crises such as the attack on the Pentagon during 9/11, and disasters in Kenya, Turkey, Taiwan, and Iran.

Dubé also served as an adjunct instructor for the National Fire Academy and FEMA, where he taught emergency management and specialty rescue courses.

“Deputy Director Dubé brings to VDFP a unique perspective as a former county government administrator, fire officer, and first responder. He understands what I call the ’20,000 foot view’ of leadership, yet will infuse his skills in planning and mitigation into our business operations,” said VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly. “We are ready to add his expertise to the mix of leadership here at VDFP.”

Dubé holds a master’s degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University, and is an Executive Fire Officer graduate of the National Fire Academy.

National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week

November 10-16, 2019 is National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week.

Every minute of every day emergency responders across the country work to help save lives at the scene of traffic incidents.  Too many are struck on scene. Too many die. The goal of National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week is, for the fourth year, to reach out to every responder, and to every driver, and to every passenger, to make it clear that every person has a role to play.

First Responders here in Virginia will always remember the ultimate sacrifice by Lieutenant Bradford Turner Clark of Hanover Fire/EMS.  Lt. Clark was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer while he was outside of his fire truck responding to a crash on I-295. He was honored at the 2019 Virginia Fallen Firefighter & EMS Memorial Service on June 1, 2019 and has been recognized by a number of organizations in Virginia for his sacrifice.

Drivers are urged to move over when they see flashing blue, red or amber lights on Virginia’s highways. Please give first responders and law enforcement officers room to do their jobs; move over and slow down. Remember, it’s the law.

Virginia law states that when approaching a stationary vehicle that is displaying flashing blue, red or amber lights, drivers shall:

  • Proceed with caution and, if reasonable, yield the right of way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle or:
  • If changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.

Additional resources are available at:

If your agency has not done so, we encourage you to participate in The FHWA -SHRP2 National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training Program. The following video contains information about the program and contact information to have the training delivered to your agency is available at the VASTIM website listed above or you may contact Briant Atkins, VDFP Chief Safety Officer at 804-249-2173 or briant.atkins@vdfp.virginia.gov.

 

Register for National Incident Management Responder Training

Click here to find a course near you.

3RD SENIOR EXECUTIVE TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC SAFETY SUMMIT will be Nov 14 and 15 with a ceremony commemorating National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week with a Proclamation signing by The USDOT Secretary of Transportation.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is committed to a safe and efficient highway system. To that end, the FHWA Office of Operations, Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Program targets efforts to improve responder and motorist safety, while also advancing incident mitigation tools, techniques, and processes. To move the National TIM Program forward.

Virginia Department of Fire Programs Receives $286,000 from Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

Virginia Department of Fire Programs Receives $286,000 from Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

Funding will support Virginia’s specialty firefighting training programs and integrate devices to monitor conditions during live fire exercises

RICHMONDOctober 8, 2019 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) has been awarded $286,000 in federal grant funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The funding will be used to replace obsolete equipment for the state’s Heavy Technical Rescue training programs, tow vehicles, and thermal imaging cameras and equipment to monitor dangerous conditions during live fire training exercises.

The state’s Heavy Technical Rescue program will undergo an overhaul of equipment replacements that will be used for specialized training courses that include rope, trench, vehicle, confined space, and surface/swift water rescue training. The funding will also provide Fire Programs with two tow vehicles that will aid in hauling the agency’s existing mobile training support trailers to various training localities throughout Virginia.

“We are ecstatic to begin using thermal imaging cameras and specialized monitoring equipment for our live fire trainings,” said VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly. “This will enable our instructors to test and observe temperatures and atmospheric conditions in a realistic environment, which will deepen our firefighter training information with evidence-based data in addition to field experience.”

This marks the fourth year in a row that VDFP has obtained federal funding for the Commonwealth’s firefighter training programs. Since 2016, VDFP has been awarded a total of approximately $1.2 million dollars.

The agency will provide $42,900 in matching funds and has 12 months to complete the purchases under the grant.

October 6-12 is Fire Prevention Week

October 6-12 is Fire Prevention Week

VDFP to provide resources to plan ahead in case of a fire in the home

RICHMOND – October 3, 2019 – Does your household know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds?  Many people don’t.  According to the Department of Homeland Security, only 71% of Americans have a home escape plan and only 47% of Americans have practiced their plan.

October 6-12 is Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme is “Not every hero wears a cape, plan and practice your escape.” The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) is providing a fire escape plan checklist and resources from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind Virginians to develop and practice plans in case a fire in the home occurs.

“When every second counts, having a planned and practiced home escape plan is an important factor in your and your family’s safety,” says VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly, who has 40 years of firefighting and fire safety expertise.

Virginia had 61 civilian fire deaths and 404 civilian fire injuries in 2018. NFPA data shows that a home fire occurs every 88 seconds and that, on average, seven people died in a home fire per day during 2012 to 2016. Today’s homes burn faster than ever, with synthetic materials being a key factor. You may only have one to two minutes to escape after your smoke alarm sounds.

A home escape plan should include:

  • A map of your home with all doors and windows
  • Two ways out of every room
  • Smoke alarms marked
  • Meeting place marked

You should also make sure that your escape plan accounts for household members who may need assistance exiting such as disabled individuals, very young children, or older adults. Once you have created your plan make sure to practice the plan at least twice a year.

Visit the Fire Prevention Week page to learn more about how you can keep yourself and your family safe.