Canada Fire Services: Your Guide to an NFPA Compliant Training Program

Canada Fire Services: Your Guide to an NFPA Compliant Training Program

Fire departments in Canada follow a number of standards to ensure their people are properly trained and ready to provide life-saving fire services to their communities. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) develops critical industry training standards in an effort to reduce death, injury, fire-related property or economic loss, and other hazards.

In a recent webinar with Fire Fighting In Canada, Vector Solutions' Judy Smith, a regional sales manager with 20 years of experience in workplace safety, and Robbi King, a solutions engineer with 27 years in public safety, share their expert insights into building an NFPA training program specifically for fire departments in Canada.

Keep reading for highlights from the engaging discussion and watch the webinar recording for a deep dive into real ways Vector Solutions' online training platform (LMS) can help your department easily build a training program to meet NFPA training standards. Discover how you can also use these tips to meet other provincial or department requirements.

Online Training Platform Designed for Fire Services

Robbi and Judy jump right in, discussing the value and capabilities of Vector LMS for Canadian fire services. Judy describes the LMS as an all-encompassing platform with access to 350+ in-house courses for fire services, including NFPA, EMS, fleet, soft-skills, and business courses. She emphasizes how customizable the LMS is, with the ability to upload custom content, such as policies and procedures, lesson plans, station notices, and anything you want to get out to your members easily.

Additional features and functions of the LMS discussed include:

  • Calendar - Keep members informed of upcoming training opportunities with the built-in calendar.
  • Test Builder - Design tests and let the system automatically grade and record results.
  • Credentials - Combine custom and ready-made content to deliver, track, and report on bundled materials (e.g. recruit, technical rescue, annual reviews).
  • Reports - Schedule reports once and set auto-delivery to selected recipients at the desired frequency (e.g. training status to fire chief every 1st of the month).

Mirror Your Training Program after NFPA Standards

To ensure your training program is properly aligned with NFPA standards, you can access any standard on the NFPA website through your agency's paid subscription or free access. Robbi uses NFPA 1407 - Standard for Training Fire Service Rapid Intervention Crews to demonstrate how to easily identify the training section and provides recommendations for building training around the standard. One gem he shares is pulling out items from the training section into a spreadsheet to develop and organize a manageable workflow.

Online Training Fire ServicesRobbi emphasizes how any objective from resources you already have (e.g. books, NFPA standards, provincial requirements) can be built out in the LMS to track completions and ensure members' skills meet all standards your department follows. He says, "Not only can we reference the NFPA standard, but we can also look at the province requirements."

And with advanced tracking, the LMS makes it easy for members and supervisors to see where they are in their training and helps keep everyone on track. Robbi also noted that many activities have already been built for Canada's provinces and can quickly be added to your platform by your Customer Success Manager.

QUICKPOLL: How are you currently keeping track of your training records?
      • Paper - 15%
      • Spreadsheet - 26%
      • RMS - 30%
      • Vector Solutions - 30%

How does your department compare to in-session responses from your fire service peers?

Robbi shared his own experience, expressing how his department transitioned from paper to spreadsheets, switching to RMS, and finally implementing Vector Solutions. "I was a client with Vector Solutions for 8 years," he shares, describing the value of having all training information centralized. "And I loved the data I could get out of there."

Meet NFPA and Other Standards with Custom Activities

Vector LMS enables departments to develop custom activities with the Activities Builder feature around any topic. Some examples shared during the discussion include:

  • Share new and updated policies and procedures.
  • Track certifications from external training sessions.
  • Provide pre-learning lessons, such as chapter reviews and related videos, before live skills training.

Judy recommends for departments to "think out of the box" because "Custom activities can capture anything and everything."

All activity components are customizable and reportable. You can also add resources from the file center to your custom activities, like videos, images, presentations, etc., to further support your training activity.

Authenticate proficiency around your custom activities by building complementary tests through the Test Builder feature to ensure members comprehend and retain mission-critical training. Require e-signatures for policy and procedure activities to track acknowledgments.

QUICKPOLL: How are you modeling your training program?

      • NFPA - 9%
      • Province Requirements - 5%
        Department Requirements - 12%
      • All of the Above - 74%

Does your department train against a combination of standards and requirements like your peers?

Whether it's NFPA or other authorities, Judy and Robbi both acknowledge that most departments model their training program around a variety of standards.

Manage Time-Sensitive Requirements with Credentials and Reports

LMS Training Platform Tracking and ReportingTrack certifications, annual requirements, recruit training, or anything with an expiration date—one-time or reoccurring—with Credentials. Judy and Robbi describe how non-training tasks can be managed through Credentials, like developing a driver's license credential to track fleet course requirements and ministry of transportation renewal.

Robbi encourages departments to think of Credentials as a three-ring binder, with the credential as the binder and its topics as the tabs containing courses and activities. Customize your credentials by setting the start date, due date, grace period, auto-renewal, and even automate reminders to alert members and supervisors of approaching expirations.

Utilize the platform's Generate Reports functionality by setting automatic delivery options to help your department make better informed, data-driven decisions.

"Scheduling and sharing reports truly makes you look like a rockstar. It's so easy to set up, and it automatically runs on your set schedule. It's such a fantastic feature!"

Judy Smith, Regional Sales Manager, Vector Solutions

Register to access the webinar recording to get the most out of this informative discussion with subject matter experts.

Contact your Customer Success Manager to help tailor your platform or request a demo to learn more about how Vector LMS can help you meet NFPA, provincial, department, or other standards and requirements.

Contact us for more information