The National Professional Qualifications System, or Pro Board, was founded in 1972 to establish a system to accredit firefighter training agencies and develop a registry of individuals trained to use standards formulated by those agencies. Until that time, says Ken Willette, division manager of Public Fire Protection at NFPA, there was no national standard for training firefighters and firefighting practices were limited to a specific city or region. That made it difficult for departments to help one another and raised questions about the fire service’s professionalism.
Standards were needed to promote common fire service training and skills, and the Pro Board asked NFPA to develop those standards. The result was NFPA 1001, Firefighter Professional Qualifications, says Willette in his column “Common Goals” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.
Since the publication of NFPA 1001, NFPA has developed 18 more standards addressing the professional qualifications for a variety of fire service positions, including fire officer, fire investigator, fire service instructor, and emergency vehicle operator. This is just one more example of how NFPA standards are with the fire service every day and on every call.
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