We encourage Fire Police Training by conducting simultaneously 8 to 14 courses (16 hours each), Certified by the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy and it's local level instructors. Programs are scheduled in early April and the first weekend after Labor Day. Students attend from all areas of Pennsylvania and some neighboring states.
The Weekend Academy concept makes it possible to have advanced and special classes which would not be accomplished at the local fire company department or individual county levels because of attendance or funding.
Included is a Friday evening seminar directed to a current topic that affects all students participating.
The first F.P.W.A was conducted spring 1988 at U.P.J Johnstown. In 1989 the site was moved to Somerset with better Pennsylvania Turnpike access (exit #10). As of 1998, we have coordinated 21 F.P.W.A. .
F.P.W.A is sponsored by Somerset County Fire Police Assn. founded in 1983, Cambria County Fire Police Assn., founded 1990, and various community college funding partners. The missions of both county fire police associations is to disseminate knowledge and experience of value to fire police by training classes and publications; and to seek at all times the betterment of the fire police service. Prior to F.P.W.A in 1988, Dr. John H. Bell, Jr. and Dr. Norman W. Borring achieved experience by coordinating over 40 local and county classes in five years.
About 1985, Doc Bell established the incentive training awards program. Awards are presented for 50 hours, 100 hours and 150 hours of fire police training.
The training manuals and 2nd editions for the six fire police courses accepted by the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy were compiled by the late Dr. Norman W. Borring, also the first "Train the trainer" instructor for Fire Police.
At the First National Fire Police Summit on March 6, 1999 at Half-way (Hagerstown) Maryland, Dr. John H. Bell Jr. presented that state-wide mandatory training programs must be instituted to decrease the fatalities of Fire Police on duty.
Pennsylvania as of 2015 now only supports two levels of official certification, Basic (BFPO) and Advanced (FIPA) Fire Police;
There are 7 previous certifications that have been phased out but are still taught as optional training in some locations.
If you find any of these classes still taught it is recommended to attend for the knowledge regardless of certification.
These courses/certifications are highly recommended for achieving the absolute best efficient and safe standards of Fire Police.