Member Monday: Fire University is Committed to Delivering Quality Hands-on Training
The NFSA membership team was able to sit down with Guy Cooper, Administrator for Fire University. The team and Guy discussed Fire University’s history, services, and vision for the future as a fire protection training provider.
Guy explained that the university sprang from a shared desire to deliver quality hands-on training to the fire protection industry. Essentially, the university’s founders looked across the industry to see what some common demands from fire protection contractors and fire departments were. The answer was nearly universal: more training.
With this demand in mind, the founders set to work to build out a facility that would match the industry’s needs. The result was a 7,200 square foot training center with 15 different risers from all manufacturers representing every type of system in use, from wet to dry to preaction, and everything in between. The facility also boasts fire pumps and even a live fire sprinkler system, offering students the ultimate hands-on experience.
Fire University has five instructors to teach its students. The facility is also available for companies to rent for any type of class.
Fire University’s state-of-the-art facility is located in Penns Grove, New Jersey, just minutes from the Delaware Memorial Bridge. This strategic location gives students from New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and beyond easy access to the facility.
Developing a Curriculum
Coming from an education background, Guy knows the importance of developing a curriculum that is informative and rigorous. While Fire University’s facility is no doubt very impressive, it’s the university’s commitment to quality training that is truly what sets it apart. “It’s all about development and making people career ready,” Guy explained to the NFSA team. This value towards career development for students is why Fire University set forth to draft several different curriculums for its classes. Fire University tailors classes to the type of professional being taught, whether they’re a fire sprinkler contractor, fire official, or firefighter.
When asked to share more about some upcoming classes the university has scheduled, Guy informed the NFSA team that the university has a backflow course in development and a two-day fire pump hands-on workshop being offered in July and October with plans for more dates.
What’s more, Fire University is also an ASSE Approved Provider and ICC Preferred Provider and is one of a few organizations that offers an ASSE 15010 certification.
Working with Fire Departments
Fire University is also driven to deliver quality training to those in the fire service, which is why it works closely with the nearby Salem County Fire Academy. Guy explained that the university is looking to branch out to more fire academies and departments in the region. “With all these big box stores and facilities being built in the region,” Guy shared, “a lot of our local fire departments reached out to us to learn more about their role in protecting them.” In response to this need, Fire University offers alarm and fire sprinkler classes for fire departments to better understand their role and the tactics they need to employ in the event of a call.
Big Plans for the Future
While Fire University is committed to providing training to sprinkler fitter apprentices, fire sprinkler contractors, code officials, and fire departments, the university’s vision doesn’t end there; Guy shared that the university wants to be a positive industry ambassador for those looking for a career in fire protection, which is why Guy and his team hope to reach out to local vocational high schools to share what it is the industry can offer. Guy hopes that Fire University can work closely with NFSA to promote the industry to the next generation of professionals.
Fire University and the NFSA: Partners in Progress
Fire University just joined the National Fire Sprinkler Association as a Supplier and Manufacturer (SAM) member, but the membership is already starting to show a lot of promise for the company. Guy explained that he looks forward to the exposure and networking that an NFSA membership grants, and hopes to promote the school and classes, as well as have an ongoing dialogue with professionals to see what their educational needs are.
To learn more about Fire University and to view their course calendar, visit their website at https://fireuniversity.org/.