The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has been committed to establishing strong partnerships between first responders and various industries to ensure that safe, effective operations occur on all emergency incidents. As part of this commitment, members of the IAFC Hazardous Materials Committee and IAFC Fire and Life Safety Section have partnered with the Propane Education Research Council (PERC) to establish a committee to build a certification program for propane response. In addition, many incidents have occurred involving first responders and the propane industry that have stressed the need for responders and industry specialists to appropriately communicate with each other on the scene and understand each other’s needs.
The propane industry and the IAFC jointly established a program training committee to evaluate and build a formal education program for propane responses that will culminate in an exam for a new responder ProBoard certification being established. The committee has recently met and set goals and objectives for the program currently in development. This program aims to establish a formal online training program for awareness, operations, and operation mission-specific responses. Once a student, whether in the fire service or the propane industry, has completed the online portion, they will attend a one-day instructor-led classroom and hands-on session. After completing the one-day session, the student, if credentialed, will have opportunity to take certification test. This test will measure professional competencies by utilizing a written test and practical hands-on exercises based on established job performance requirements outlined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This process will ensure that first responder and industry specialists have learned the necessary skills to respond and work together on mitigating a propane incident properly. The testing process utilized is a fair and validated process that will use an established national testing database based on specific learning objectives.
Once completed, the goal of this program is that it will be available at multiple location in each of the 50 states. The committee has worked to establish updated information presented in an online format that will benefit both first responders and industry specialists. The committee is also developing specific site requirements for each training location to include equipment and exercises that meet the required the new performance requirements. This process will ensure consistency in delivering the one-day instructor-led program no matter where it is delivered. The anticipated completion of this program will be in 2022.
The IAFC and PERC are proud of this partnership and look forward to having first responders and industry specialists work together in a safer, more efficient manner.
Chris Angermuller CFO, CTO and MIFireE is a 27 year veteran of the fire service and is currently a Deputy Fire Chief with the Grand Junction (CO) Fire Department. He currently serves as a Committee Member for the International Association of Fire Chiefs Hazardous Materials Committee. He is also a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Master's Degree in Public Administration and is currently working on his Doctorate in Public Administration form Liberty University.