Emergency Responder Training Program

Rescue workers


The International Association of Fire Fighters conducts a comprehensive, nationwide training program to meet the specific training needs of fire fighters, paramedics and other emergency responders employed in fire departments across the United States. The major objective of the Emergency Responder Training Program is to address the occupational safety and health burden among fire fighters by providing state of the art training by translating scientific discoveries into practice through effective education, training, and outreach.

Through the NIOSH / IAFF collaboration, the IAFF:

  1. Enhances the capabilities of fire fighters engaged in emergency response through the delivery of occupational safety and health training programs that are site-specific and trade specific.
  2. Maintains, updates, and creates training curricula consistent with the threats posed to fire fighters.
  3. Uses innovative program evaluation to demonstrate training effectiveness and ensure the training program meets and exceeds regulations and standards resulting in fire fighters who are capable of performing in an effective, efficient, and safe manner.

Every occupation brings degrees of safety risk, and firefighting by its very nature is a hazardous profession. Injuries can and do occur. Fire fighters face the chance of suffering an injury and possibly, death — at the fire scene, on the way to or from a fire, or while training. Each year, tens of thousands of fire fighters are hurt while fighting fires, rescuing people, responding to emergency medical and hazardous material incidents, or training for their job. While the majority of injuries are minor, a significant number are debilitating and career-ending. Such injuries exact a great toll on the fabric of the fire service. From the need to adjust staffing levels and rotations to accommodate injuries, to the focus of the fire service on injury prevention, injuries and their prevention are a primary concern. In addition, the fire service has done much to improve fire fighter safety. Fire fighter health and safety initiatives, incident command structure, training, and protective gear are but a few areas where time, energy and resources have been well-spent. Nonetheless, the number of fire ground injuries per 1,000 fires has remained relatively constant for the past 20 years, which reinforces the need for continued standards development, fire prevention outreach and advocacy, as well as training.

Contact Information:

Dr. Joshua Smith | Assistant to General President

Training, Education and Grants Administration

International Association of Fire Fighters