Volunteer Incentive Program

The Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) is a free, intensive six-day educational opportunity for volunteer and combination department emergency services personnel. Students have the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and information with colleagues from across the country.

VIP courses are tailored specifically to the special needs of volunteers. Most mirror content in National Fire Academy (NFA) on-campus 10-day courses, but to keep time commitment to a minimum, coursework is compressed into six days. These six-day courses retain the content, quality and integrity of the 10-day deliveries, ensuring a successful learning experience.

VIP courses, offered during a "VIP Week" three times a year on the NFA campus, are accredited through the American Council on Education.

Explore VIP courses, course descriptions and schedules

Who can take VIP courses

Volunteers in volunteer or combination fire departments
can take VIP courses. Special consideration is given to qualified volunteer chief officers accompanied by elected officials, i.e., city managers, elected board members, town/borough council members, village selectmen, township supervisors, or other allied professionals who are not fire service members. The elected official also must submit an application for the same course/same class session as the volunteer chief officer.
Paid personnel in predominantly volunteer combination fire departments
MAY be eligible. In addition to your application, you will also need to provide a letter from the chief verifying a predominantly volunteer combination department and how you will use the training requested to help the volunteers with whom you work.
Personnel in career fire departments
Volunteers are given priority seating in all VIP classes. Vacant seats are first assigned to applicants from combination departments and then to career departments.

For more information, contact the VIP Program Manager, Cindy Wivell, at 800-238-3358, ext. 1157, or by email at cindy.wivell@fema.dhs.gov.