To supplement and support state and local fire service training programs, the National Fire Academy (NFA) develops, delivers and manages educational and training programs with a national focus to increase the capacity of the nation’s fire and emergency services and the public to prevent, mitigate, prepare for and respond to local, regional and national emergencies.
The NFA’s delivery systems are diverse. Courses are delivered at the resident facility in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and throughout the nation in cooperation with state and local fire training organizations and local colleges and universities.
In fiscal year 2016
7 percent (7,298) of NFA students attended classes in residence at Emmitsburg.
42.5 percent (43,892) of NFA students attended classes delivered at the state, local or college level.
50.5 percent (52,067) of NFA students took training through NFA Online.
On the Emmitsburg campus, the NFA conducts specialized training courses and advanced management programs of national impact. NFA offers two-, six-and 10-day courses in a concentrated, residential setting that is most conducive to intensive learning.
On-campus programs target middle- and top-level fire officers, fire service instructors, technical professionals, and representatives from allied professions. Any person with substantial involvement in fire prevention and control, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), or fire-related emergency management activities is eligible to apply for NFA courses.
Learn more about on-campus delivery
Due to space and budget limitations, NFA cannot accept all qualified applicants for courses at the Emmitsburg campus. Also, many volunteer and career fire service personnel do not have the time to attend on-campus programs.
To reach these students, the NFA offers courses through a distance delivery training system. NFA courses are available for delivery in states and local communities through the NFA -Sponsored and State/Local Partner-Sponsored Off-Campus Two- and Six-Day Programs.
Learn more about off-campus delivery
The NFA is taking advantage of technology in order to deliver more training to our students. NFA Online maximizes the number of students we can reach. Self-study and online mediated courses are available at no charge to the general public as well as to the fire service.
Learn more about online delivery
States have a need for courses that the NFA cannot develop because of time constraints, the number of courses needed, and subject matter or resource constraints. Some state-developed courses are the equivalent of NFA courses in both quality and content.
The NFA and State Fire Training Systems have agreed upon a set of criteria and a process to have state-level courses approved as NFA courses. The states manage the system for assessing courses submitted by individual states; essentially, it is a peer-review process using geographically distant states to perform the assessment. Once a course meets the established criteria, it becomes an NFA-“approved” course.
Approved courses are NFA courses delivered locally by local instructors. Students in NFA-approved courses may be registered in the NFA student database if the state training system provides the information and, if the state so desires, may receive NFA certificates.
Approved courses are available for distribution to other states that may not have adequate resources to develop a course. The process for exchange, costs, etc. is managed by the states involved.
For more information on approved courses, download the list of state courses approved by the NFA PDF 137 KB and contact your state fire training office.