Hundreds of firefighters attend NC Fire Prevention School

Hundreds of firefighters attend NC Fire Prevention School
Fire chiefs wait for NC Fire Prevention School to start in Carolina Beach on Monday.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - This week, hundreds of fire code officials from across the state will be in Carolina Beach attending the 60th annual North Carolina Fire Prevention School.

The school provides specialized training for different levels of education for inspectors, chiefs and fire marshals. The fire prevention school has competency-based instruction, meaning the student is taught a broad base of material going beyond the requirements of the fire code.

“The men and women come here and learn code and new techniques in teaching, fire prevention,” says Tim Bradley, executive director of NCSFA. “There’s not that many schools and that’s why it’s lasted so long. It’s one of the premier schools.”

Five courses make up the North Carolina Fire Prevention School. Basic (General), Intermediate (General/Technical), and Advanced (Advanced/Technical) classes are required for graduation.

According to the school’s website, classes consist of the following:

Basic (General) - this course will offer general information on the Survival of the Fire Inspector, Building Construction, Using the Fire Code with Other Codes including Zoning, Electrical Hazards, Flammable and Combustible Tank Installation, General Precautions and others. It is designed for the novice inspector or for the experienced inspector who seeks an update on Fire Code requirements. Students should bring a copy of the 2018 Building Code and Fire Code with NC Amendments.

Intermediate (General/Technical) – this course offers the student a mixture of general and technical information. It will provide information from the code and will address material used daily by the Fire Inspector. Topics include Fire Protection Systems, Means of Egress and Occupancy Calculations, Fire Alarm Systems, Hazardous Materials, Tents and Inflatables and others.

Advanced (Advanced Technical) - this course offers the student a look at more advanced technical information. Topics include Civil Liability, Alternative Extinguishing Systems, Flammable Finishes, Existing Building Code, High Piled Combustible Storage, Grading Your Defenses and others.

Graduates (Advanced Technical/Managerial) - this course will offer students information/training on advanced technical and managerial subjects. The topics in the Graduates class change each year to ensure graduate students are eligible to receive their 12 hours of upgrade credit. Topics this year are Interfacing Fire Alarm/Sprinkler Systems with Elevator Control Functions, Fire Alarm Voice Intelligibility and Occupant Notification, Fire Marshal 101, The Buck Stop Here, 10 Top Industry Design Issues, Fire Safety for Buildings Under Construction, LP Gas Updates new or proposed code changes so that the student receives updated and more technical code information.

Masters (Managerial/Leadership)- this course is designed for the leader of a fire prevention division or fire chief. Classes in this course will be leadership based but we will have at least 6 hours approved for Continuing Education Credit. Topics for the Masters course this year are: NFPA 1730 - Community Risk Reduction; NFPA 1730 - Data Survival; Media Relations; Leadership Compass; Grant Writing; Getting to Know Your Legislator; others. This class will be limited to 25 students and shall have graduated from the Fire Prevention School and attended at least one year of Graduates Course.

The school continues to grow each year. In 2018, attendance broke records with 192 attendees.

In years past, classes have been held at Fort Fisher. However, Hurricane Florence damaged that location so this year the fire prevention school relocated to the Courtyard Marriott.

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