Most of Idaho's fire protection services are provided by volunteer fire departments that operate on a limited budget and volunteer staff. In 1967, Fire Service Training was created and placed in the Division of Vocational Education as an adult training program to fire departments in Idaho. During the first five years, Fire Service Training delivered fire training courses to about 250 firefighters each year. The size, scope and complexity of emergency response training grew and for a time, also included the coordination of emergency medical training under contract with the State's Emergency Medical Services Bureau. As a result of the expanded mission the program name was changed to Emergency Services Training (EST).
With the creation of separate agencies responsible for emergency medical and homeland security training, it is appropriate to change the program name to reflect the mission of coordinating firefighter training and certification. The Fire Service Technology program reflects the complex and technical nature of today's fire service profession, something that could not have been imagined when created in 1967. FST is involved in the training and testing of about 7,000 Idaho firefighters annually in more than 200 supported courses. With no minimum state firefighter training standards, FST works with more than 240 fire departments in Idaho to help support their unique training needs.
In July 2014, the FST Program moved from the PTE office in Boise to Eastern Idaho Technical College (EITC). The college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. EITC is a state supported technical college created in 1969 to serve citizens in its nine county service area by being a minimal cost, open-door institution that champions technical programs, customized industry training, basic skills instruction, workforce and community education, on-line distance education, student services, and the statewide coordination of Fire Service Technology.
The FST program partners with other entities at the federal, state and local level to coordinate services, support, and leverage limited resources to provide additional training opportunities. FST administers the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) certification program, instructor/evaluator development and qualification standards, maintains centralized student training records, supports a coordinated state-wide, multi-agency training and testing calendar, and supports leadership and curriculum development of fire services through the six technical colleges with Fire Service Technology degree programs.
EITC has started the process of making application for IFSAC accreditation. The college is striving to gain IFSAC accreditation by April 2015.
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Dean Ellis, Training Coordinator
Mariha Berrett, Testing Coordinator
Cathy Fife, Technical Records Specialist I
Nikki Berntsen, Office Specialist II
Fire Service Technology
Eastern Idaho Technical College
Alex D. Creek Building
1600 South 25th East
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
Phone: (208) 535-5441
Toll Free: (800) 662-0261
FAX: (208) 525-7026