The Fire Service Extension team at West Virginia University Extension recently received a five-year reaccreditation to provide training and education for firefighters across the U.S., the only state agency to achieve this certification.
The Pro Board evaluated the Fire Service Extension testing methodologies as being fair, valid and reliable. The Pro Board is an international accreditation for fire service organizations. The Pro Board accreditation process is a rigorous review of the processes used for testing first responders seeking certification against National Fire Protection Association standards, including an on-site visit by board members.
“This accreditation allows a firefighter to go from one state to another and be recognized as having the same training,” said Mark Lambert, director of WVU Fire Service Extension.
Although the process is meticulous, Lambert said it is necessary to guarantee their trainings meet a high standard of excellence.
“The Pro Board accreditation means that the methods used to test first responders for certification meet the highest national standards on fire and rescue training,” said Lambert.
Looking to the future, Ralph McNemar, program coordinator for WVU Fire Service Extension, said they are working to add additional levels to the certification program to better meet the needs of first responders across West Virginia.
“Professionalism has been a long-sought goal by members of the fire service,” said McNemar. “It has only been within the past 25 years that a system has evolved to produce national professional qualifications standards that an agency can use to establish performance measures for personnel.”
To learn more about WVU Extension programs, visit extension.wvu.edu, or contact your local WVU Extension Service office. Keep up with the latest in WVU Extension Service news on Facebook and Twitter by following @WVUExtension.
CONTACT: Haley Moore
WVU Extension Service
304-293-8986 (office) or 304-612-6359 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
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