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Course Offerings

Below is a list of our current offerings. Please select a course to place in your cart for purchase. Once you have competed the checkout process, you will be granted access to the course files and/or tests for a certificate of completion.

  • We have received a number of phone calls reagarding our programs and have created this Frequently Asked Questions section to provide easy review of these questions. By reviewing this section, you may save yourself time and effort by not having to call or email us.

  • A recent study by the U.S. Fire Administration shows that 25% of firefighters who died in motor vehicle crashes were killed in privately -owned vehicles (POVs). Many emergency service organizations allow their members to drive their POVs to the station or directly to the emergency scene. These vehicles are not recognized by the state motor vehicle code as an authorized emergency vehicle and are not granted exemptions tot the motor vehicle code. In some states, the motor vehicle code may authorize the use of a courtesy light but the lights are issued for identification and visibility purposes only. This places a responsibility on the Chief and the department to make sure these individuals are trained in proper defensive driving techniques, understand the department SOPs for POV response and state laws that impact the use of a courtesy light.

    THIS COURSE IS RECOMMENDED FOR EVERYONE IN THE ORGANIZATION WHO DRIVES A PERSONAL VEHICLE TO THE STATION OR TO THE EMERGENCY SCENE!

    $100.00
  • This program, meant to increase the level of awareness of the hazards faced by firefighters, is appropriate for all fire service personnel.

    $59.00
  • Driver error is the major contributing factor in nearly all emergency vehicle rollover crashes. The DVD focuses on Physical Dynamics of Vehicle Operations, Mechanics of Vehicle Operations, Common Rollover Circumstances and Best Practices for Maintaining Vehicle Control. The program includes Rollover video segments, a series of review items, and assessment.

    $60.00
  • The significance of Sexual Harassment situations has expanded in recent years, to the point that it is a required management practice to discuss with employees and members on a regular basis.

  • This program is designed as an annual refresher training module to assist fire and emergency medical personnel in how to handle bio-hazardous pathogens. It is intended to help you comply with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Section 1910:30 for annual review of Bloodborne Pathogen/Infectious Diseases, that emergency service personnel may encounter.
    may encounter.

    This session does NOT cover the full array of subject matter which includes: identifying how significant is the exposure, what actions to take, confidentiality, counseling, testing, treatment and prophylaxis, family issues, employment issues, pharmacology, decontamination, laundry and waste management. For the full course, contact your officer or your VFIS representative.

  • The use of seat belts has been identified as a critical factor in reducing emergency responder injuries and deaths when vehicle accidents occur. This session will help indiviudals beter understand the need for using seat belts, the development of a Standard Operating Guideline for their use, and the involvement in the National Seat Belt Pledge program.

  • Intersections create a challenge for emergency responders, who, in haste, sometimes act in ways that result not in saving lives, but in taking lives. This program stresses eight guidelines that may help reduce the number and severity of intersection accidents, and is intended for emergency service organizations responding to incidents in both department and personal vehicles.

    $60.00
  • Are you prepared to operate if you lost your station, a pumper, or other assets? Many departments are not, which is why VFIS developed its program on "Emergency Service Organization (ESO) Disaster Planning & Business Continuity ". This resource helps ESOs deal with the impact that natural disasters can have on their organization. Emergency responders spend an extensive amount of time preparing for disasters that affect the communities they serve. Unfortunately, the impact the disaster may have on the local ESO is typically not considered. These impacts, at a minimum, can include the loss of facilities, personnel, apparatus, communications, and data. An instructional program as well as useful forms and related "tools" are provided to understand the process, as well as the details of good disaster planning and business continuity.

    This course has nine segments to complete through 6 Steps.

    Step 1. Review segment 1, an introductory reading on the concepts of Disaster Planning.

    Step 2. Several worksheets are provided for you to print and use as prompted in the course Segment directions.

    Step 3. Complete each of Voice-Over Powerpoint Segments 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7,

    Step 4. Review segment 8, a reading on "The Road to Recovery".

    Step 5. Segment 9 is a participant manual which serves as a reference document. Print the manual as a reference for use after the course, in developing your own plan. Have plenty of paper and ink ready, it is approximately 90 pages long, depending upon your system.

    Step 6. TAKE THE ASSESSMENT AFTER COMPLETING ALL 9 SEGMENTS.

    $60.00

  • Distance Learning


    THE VALUE OF THE SEAT BELT
    The year was 1968 and the new car our family bought had a new “thing” on the seat, a seat belt. You were expected to wear it and if you didn’t, an annoying red light would flash on the dashboard and a painful noise would irritate you. But the seat belt wasn’t a new idea, in fact other countries had been installing them on cars for years. However, in the United States, it was not only new, it was CHANGE! As one might expect, it did not take long to find ways to overcome the system, and soon people were disconnecting the lights or connecting the belt in some way to prevent the need to buckle up, yet silence the noise and light.

    It didn’t take long though for emergency responders to see the difference the seat belt would make in accident situations. The reality was, accident victims who wore seat belts sustained less physical injury in vehicle crashes, than those who did not wear seat belts. As we complete 50 years of using the seat belt, we find the evidence supports what we first observed:

    THE USE OF SEAT BELTS IN ALL TYPE VEHICLES RESULTS IN LESS INJURY AND FEWER DEATHS, THAT IF THEY ARE NOT WORN.

    In fact, it is the LAW in many states to use seat belts.

    In this program you will find the following components:
    1. An article on seat belt safety
    2. The National Seat Belt Pledge information
    3. The Seat Belt Pledge Form
    4. Sample Seat Belt use policy from the USFA/NVFC Emergency Vehicle Safe Operations Study, conducted by VFIS.

    It is also appropriate to acknowledge Dr. Burt Clark for his work in establishing the Seat Belt Pledge program and acknowledge those agencies who actively support the program:
    - National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
    - International Association of Firefighters
    - Firehouse.com
    - TrainingDivision.com.

    To complete this course, review each of the segments as indicated. After completing the segments, take the assessment. A certificate will be provided upon completion of the assessment.

    $15.00

  • Distance Learning


    The purpose of this training exercise is to alert you to the situations associated with sexual harassment, the general requirements dealing with the subject and the specific requirements related to your organization. The session has three
    parts.

    1. This brief introduction to the topic Workplace Harassment - Reason for Concern.

    2. Review of the VFIS "Communique" entitled Sexual Harassment - Employee Practice Exposure

    3. Review the document "Pranks, Hazing and Harassment".

    4. Review the document describing Sexaual Harassment Lawsuits.

    5. Review the Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Technique Document.

    6. Review the documents on New York specific sexual harassment regulations.

    7. Review of your specific organization's Sexual Harassment Policy/Procedure and sign off by an officer that you have reviewed it.

    There is no course exam or certificate for this program. The sign off document with your supervisor provides the confirmation of completing the review of the information.

  • The nation’s fire service has long been held in justifiably high esteem. This reputation has
    been hard earned. The fire service is that “rock of stability” to which the public knows to
    turn during the upheaval of a crisis -- be that crisis a dwelling fire, rescue, natural disaster,
    or medical emergency. Fire service members unflinchingly charge into those situations from
    which others flee. We render these services to a grateful nation. The public, be it those who
    have been aided directly by the fire service or all the others who have merely borne witness
    to fire service heroics on the nightly news, is thankful that we are here and ready to serve at
    their beck and call. But all is not well, for that hard earned respect is easily lost. This program will provide a review of the issues and some suggested remedies to protect our reputation.

  • Do you have enough members? Are they the right members? Do you have jobs that need to be done, and no-one on the staff that can do them? Are you losing more people than you have joining each year? If so, you are not alone!



    Recruitment and Retention has become a major concern of the volunteer emergency response community in America. The numbers tell the story. Only a decade ago, there were over one million volunteer fire fighters. These numbers have dropped to just 800,000 and the bleeding continues. For some time, the United States Fire Administration has had a document available regarding Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters. However, as time goes on, changes in how you approach recruiting and retaining members must be undertaken.

    Recognizing this, the USFA provided a grant to the National Volunteer Fire Council to revise the referenced document, create an educational program and provide training to America’s Fire Service in these new issues. Dr. Bill Jenaway of VFIS was named the Project Manager of this initiative. Research was conducted in 2005 and in 2006 training was conducted in twelve venues and the text was revised, edited and finalized.

    The research resulted in three key “findings statements” that one must understand before approaching the issue of recruitment and retention.

    1. Recruitment and Retention is a local problem.

            - The needs, leadership, and challenges are all local

        2. Recruitment is MARKETING, and you must market ALL THE TIME

    - A needs assessment is critical to making sure you invest your time
    appropriately.

    3.    Benefit programs require you to know what your members want, before they become incentives.

    In addition, leadership became a prominent issue with regard to why people stay or leave. Leadership became characterized as an art, science, and a style. It is a third dimension, going beyond doing things the old way. Effective leaders were found to look beyond the numbers and set the direction for the organization. He/she integrated the business of doing business with the why’s, what’s, where’s, how’s, and when’s.
        
    The project and text features research conducted by Philadelphia-based St. Joseph’s University’s Public Safety and Environmental Protection Institute, which is a part of their Graduate Program in Public Safety. The research highlighted a better definition of the reasons people no longer volunteer their time to organizations, such as volunteer emergency service agencies. Make a quick comparison, if your members are leaving, is it because of:
    -    a lack of time
    -    poor leadership
    -    health and medical problems
    -    family responsibility
    -    the volunteering is no longer relevant to the member
    -    the volunteer has moved away
    -    other interests have become more prominent
    -    competing demands (work, family, school, sports, etc.)
    -    a problematic organization
    -    no one asked them to stay
    In fact you may have to poll members who have left to determine the true reason they have left.


    What makes people stay involved? Much of the ability to retain people, centers upon
    motivating members to based on shared VISION. Research found that this is facilitated effectively in many cases by the ESO being able to
    - accommodate individual needs
    - provide rewards and recognition
    - have adequate supervision and leadership, and
    - challenge members.

    Retention issues are not only individual, they can be by “group”; and may be local issues. While volunteer emergency responders typically join to help others, however, over time other factors enter into why they stay. In fact, today, benefits play a significant role in why and how long members stay. Again, research from St. Joseph’s University found the following types of retention programs to work, however, what worked in one community, may not work in a neighboring community, reinforcing the issue that recruitment and retention is a local issue. Some of the techniques used successfully as “benefits” include:
    -    a simple thank you
    -    direct monetary incentives e.g. pay per call, length of service awards, and retirement programs
    -    indirect monetary incentives e.g. passes to local functions, events, and activities, meals, gift certificates, trips, conventions, event participation paid for, and
    -    recognition e.g. news articles, uniforms, and awards to name a few.
    Again, you will need to poll local personnel to determine local reasons people no longer volunteer.

    Some one-thousand fire service personnel have been exposed to this revised recruitment and retention approach, with the resultant product now available for use by America’s fire service.
    For further information on the related products, you are directed to the National Volunteer Fire Council at www.nvfc.org, or 1-800-ASK-NVFC (275-6832).

  • This course is designed for future leaders, or current leaders. The session provides a discussion on the concept of leadership in the emergency services, introducing several different perspectives and applicable situations involving leadership, and allows the participant to consider tools and techniques for individual application.

  • Intersections create a challenge for emergency responders, who, in haste, sometimes act in ways that result not in saving lives, but in taking lives. This program stresses eight guidelines that may help reduce the number and severity of intersection accidents, and is intended for emergency service organizations responding to incidents in both department and personal vehicles.

    $15.00
  • This program provides participants with an awareness of the inherent dangers in responding to highway incidents and the principles, strategies and practices for establishing a safe highway incident scene. This program includes interivews with responders who were involved in a fatal highway response incident, and features a discussion of "The Ten Cones of Highway Safety"

    $60.00
  • Notwithstanding the fact that you are a member of a rescue squad, EMS organization or a fire deprtment whose agency is answering a call for service, if you are driving a privately-ownded vehicle (POV) you are likely to be subject to the ordinary rules of the raod rather than the privileges granted to an authorized emergency vehicle. Even if your vehicle is equipped with a courtesy light, most states do not provide any exemptions from the motor vehicle code.

    Identification and visibility are the only reasons many states permit courtesy lights. What yuo really need to understand is that being a member of an emergency serivce organization and responding to an emergency call does not necessarily grant you specific driving privileges. It's that simple! While it may be that simple in theory, reality appears to be quite different. Improper POV operation by well-intentioned emergency service workers can increase the risk of injury and death to both emergency service workers and to the public.

    THIS COURSE IS RECOMMENDED FOR EVERYONE IN THE ORGANIZATION WHO DRIVES A PERSONAL VEHICLE TOTHE STATION OR TO THE EMERGENCY SCENE.

    $15.00
  • This program is designed to meet the Tennessee statutory requirements for annual training with a special emphasis on intersections. The statute was implemented as a result of the fatal intersection accident involving an emergency response vehicle and civilian – Vanessa K. Free.

    $20.00
  • Accidents resulting from backing emergency vehicles are unfortunately all too common. These incidents often result in minor property or vehicle damages, but sometimes they are severe or even fatal. This program outlines a safe backing program created to help reduce the risk of damage and/or injury.

    $20.00
  • The Fireman's Association of the State of New York in conjunction with VFIS presents "The Effective Fire Department Leader - Part 1 Problems, Pitfalls, and Penalties.

    $25.00
  • Too often the basics of patient handling are taken for granted. Improper lifting and moving patients can cause injury and damage to you, the patient and your organization. Industry statistics show that patient drops are a leading cause for claims of negligence. The EMS industry estimates there are an estimated 42,000 patient drops annually.

    $25.00
  • This program will help your emergency organization to properly care for response vehicles and equipment, so you won't be left behind with a piece of apparatus or equipment that won't work when you need it to work. Keep up on maintenance!

    $25.00
  • The fire service is just starting to realize that there are internal and external risk management issues that impact fire department operations. All facets of Emergency Services must understand both and prepare for both. Risk, is the probability and severity of adverse effects. The Risk Management Process is designed to make and implement decisions that will minimize the adverse effects of accidental losses to an organization. This program will discuss the the concepts of risk management, related management responsibilities of risk management and methods to manage that risk. Specific challenges facing the fire chief are also discussed.

  • Social media, social networking, websites, and related venues have increased the opportunity for members of emergency service organizations to communicate. However, these communication opportunities create potential management challenges and related liabilities if there are no controls in place. This course will discuss the issues, concerns, and necessary actions to deal with this topic.

  • This program addresses liability, exposure, and risks. It also suggests areas and methods to include in your Loss Control program to better guard against or lessen the impact of these exposures. The complexities of the legal environment go far beyond the scope of this presentation. This presentation does not intend to provide legal advice and should not be construed as legal opinion on any actual cases or situations.

  • Managing Fire and EMS Agency financial systems is an important aspect of leading an organization in the 21st century. Almost weekly we hear or read about an emergency service organizaiton that has experienced a theft of funds, or some similar "fidelity" related loss. These situations create not only a financial challenge for the organization, but presents a negative image in the community. This program discusses the issues and concerns, as well as programs and systems you need to implement to effectively manage the financial practices of your emergency service organization.

  • This session is designed to review issues and concerns involving the recruitment and retention of emergency responders in Pennsylvania. the program was developed to not only discuss current issues but identified several solutions that have been found successful in the Commonwealth.

  • This is Unit 1 of the FDSOA On-Line Certification Maintenance System. This session discusses "An Introduction to Firefighter Safety". During a calendar year, a certified FDSOA member must obtain 3 Certification Points. Completing this program will achieve 1 CEU point.

    $5.00
  • Background checks on new members/employees and periodic driving record checks on all members/employees is an important step to take to assure everyone is qualified, competent, and without reproach in performing activities that interface with the general public. This course provides information on why these actions are necessary to protect your organization, and how they are conducted.

  • Strains and sprains are the most frequent cause of fire and EMS personnel being injured in the workplace. These are considered ERGONOMIC related injuries. This program reviews the implementation of engineering controls, administrative controls, or a combination of both to reduce back injuries. Industrial engineering concepts and general principles for task, workstation, tool and equipment design, physical activity, materials handling, environmental factors, and walking-working surfaces are included. Administrative controls, including pre-placement medical examination, training, work-rest regimen, personal protective equipment, back belts, the NIOSH Lifting Equation, and stretching and strengthening exercises.

  • This is Unit 2 of the FDSOA On-Line Certification Maintenance System. This session discusses "Risk Management" and details the difference between "safety and risk management". During a calendar year, a certified FDSOA member must obtain 10 Certification Points.

    $5.00
  • This is Unit 2 of the FDSOA On-Line Certification Maintenance System. This session discusses "Risk Management" and details the difference between "safety and risk management". During a calendar year, a certified FDSOA member must obtain 10 re-certification Points. Completing all Segments and the assessment, you will achieve 1 CEU point. Up to 3 annual certification points can be achieved through the on-line system.

    $5.00


  • This program is intended to comply with the New York State Occupational Safety and Health Training Requirement for Fire Department Safety Training.

    This program serves as the refresher for the time period 6/1/2014 through 5/31/2015.

    $25.00