The Nebraska Forest Service provides training to rural fire districts in several ways. We conduct classes in numerous communities across the state as well as at Mutual Aid Schools and State Fire School. We also provide current knowledge, training materials and funding to that portion of the Nebraska State Fire Marshal's Training Division "Firefighter I " curriculum that addresses wildfire suppression.
Firefighters planning to take advanced-level fire behavior classes can refresh their math skills to prepare for class at the Firefighter Math website.
Nebraska has a wide variety of wildland fuels. Tall grass prairie and hardwoods in the east give way to the Ponderosa pine forests and short grass prairie in the west. To address this, the Nebraska Forest Service Wildland Fire Training Program offers a variety of courses with enough flexibility to be fine tuned to the needs of local fire departments.
NFS Wildland Fire Training Partners
- Nebraska State Fire Marshal Training Division
- US Forest Service, Pine Ridge Ranger District
- Nebraska State Fire School
- Nebraska Society of Fire Service Instructors
Courses Currently Available
Nebraska Wildland Firefighter
This course contains general information that enables participants to recognize fuel, weather and topographic conditions, along with the early warning signs of extreme fire behavior. The course also deals with water conservation, fire ground safety and suppression tactics, all with an emphasis on Nebraska fuels. Although the course is designed for entry-level firefighters, it is based on nationally recognized courses and is good for firefighters of any level. The course is available at no charge to any fire department in Nebraska upon request. Length: 3-12 hours.
Fire Department Incident Safety Officer
This class will provide knowledge and understanding of the Incident Safety Officer (ISO) position within the fire department and the ICS system. The course program discusses topics such as safety concepts, guiding regulations, codes, laws, standards and procedures, professional development, reading buildings, reading smoke, risks assessment, hazardous energy and firefighters. Also presented will be the ISO duties on-scene and post-incident responsibilities. Length: 16 hours, or can be delivered in breakout sections.
Fire(wise) on the Acreage
When you hear the words “Firewise Landscaping” what picture comes to mind? A paved parking lot in the middle of the Colorado mountains? Hopefully this course can put your mind at ease. Firewise and the urban/rural interface is not just a concern of people who live in the mountains. This course shows that homeowners don’t have to go to extremes to improve the fire resistance of Nebraska homes and landscapes. It also demonstrates how homeowners can help Nebraska firefighters protect homes in the event of a wildfire. Offered upon request. Length: varies.
Prescribed Fire Safety and Operations
This course is primarily aimed at landowners wishing to gain information on the safe use of prescribed fire as a land management tool. Topics discussed include: a review of Nebraska state statutes that deal with prescribed fire; factors that affect fire behavior; prescribed fire safety practices; items to be considered in planning a burn; equipment used in the ignition and suppression of fire; and firing strategies and tactics. This is not a certification course. Offered upon request. Length: 6-8 hours.
This class will introduce/re-introduce basic leadership knowledge and skills to those aspiring to lead in the Emergency . Topics discussed include: leadership defined, leadership styles, leadership skills and leadership actions. The class is presented in two parts: Power Point with discussion and video. The class makes use of the “Leadership in Cinema” program from the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program. Offered upon request. Length: 6 hours.
Fire Prevention and You: Developing a Prevention Program
This class explores resources, techniques and ideas related to fire prevention and YOU, the firefighter- educator. The class offers the chance to see and learn inventive ways to deliver fire prevention messages and gain hands-on experience with developing a prevention program from start to finish. You will be shown that fire prevention activities can be conducted successfully in your community by YOU and YOUR department. Offered annually at Nebraska State Fire School.
Firefighters and Elected Officials: Their Responsibility in Fire Protection
This class is for those who have the responsibility of managing the various facets of a fire department. Topics will include: Nebraska law and legislative review affecting fire departments and rescue squads; Nebraska state statutes regarding prescribed burning and your responsibilities; Your role in evidence protection pertaining to the legal process and insurance resources; Request for Proposal Process – How to get what you want; NFS Planning Program — Future Equipment Needs, Budgeting, Bonds and Insurance. Offered annually at Nebraska State Fire School and upon request as available.
Wildland Fire Tactical Decision Games
Intuitive decision making is a vital wildland firefighting skill gained primarily through experience. This class will give firefighters an opportunity to practice decision making and communicating that decision to others through the use of sand table scenarios. Participants will also learn tips for developing local sand table scenarios, including plans to build a sand table for in-house training. Offered upon request and at Les Lukert Winter Fire School. Length varies.
S-130 Firefighter Training
This course is designed to provide entry-level firefighter skills. Many of the units are set up so they can be taught in either the classroom or the field; field time is encouraged. A version of L-180, Human Factors on the Fireline, has been included as part of this course. Credit for both S-130 and L-180 will be issued upon completion of this course. Offered upon request and at the Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy. Length: 30-35 hours.
S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
This course provides instruction in the primary factors affecting the start and spread of wildfire and recognition of potentially hazardous situations. S-190 is typically taught in conjunction with or prior to Basic Firefighter Training, S-130. It is designed to meet the fire behavior training needs of a firefighter type 2 (FFT2) on an incident as outlined in the PMS 310-1, Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide and the position task book developed for the position. Offered upon request and at the Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy. Length: 6-8 hours.
L-180 Human Factors on the Fireline
This course is designed for new firefighters. Presentation of the course involves a few short lecture segments, but the primary content is delivered by video and supported with small group exercises. Topics include: situation awareness, basic communication responsibilities, attitude and stress barriers, decision-making process, and teamwork principles. Typically offered with S-130 and S-190 but can be offered as a four hour stand-alone course.
RT-130 Annual Fireline Safety Refresher
This course is designed to provide up-to-date fireline safety information to firefighters holding Incident Command System qualifications who require this training per the 2006, PMS 310-1, Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide. Individual sessions of Annual Fireline Safety Refresher Training contain content pertinent to the registered students including entrapment avoidance, current issues, fire shelter deployment and other hazard and safety issues. Typically offered in the spring and at the Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy. Length: 4-8 hours.
S-131 Advanced Firefighter
This course is designed to meet the training needs of the Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1). The course is designed to be interactive in nature. It contains several tactical decision games designed to facilitate learning the course objectives, as well as class discussion. Topics include: fireline reference materials, communications and tactical decision making. Offered upon request and at the Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy. Length: 8 hours.
Courses under Development
S-212 Wildfire Power Saws
This course provides introduction to the function, maintenance and use of internal combustion engine-powered chain saws, and their tactical wildland fire application. Field exercises support entry-level training for firefighters with little or no previous experience in operating a chain saw, providing hands-on cutting experience in surroundings similar to fireline situations. Planned to be offered at the Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy. Length: 30 hours.
Basic Firing Operations
Using fire to fight fire is a widely used tactic, but it’s the one tool in our kit that has the most potential to harm fellow firefighters. This course will cover duties and responsibilities during a firing operation, firing devices, basic firing methods and patterns, environmental factors and common considerations and rules of thumb. Length: varies.
S-216 Driving for the Fire Service
This course is designed to provide students with the prerequisite knowledge and skills necessary to function as a vehicle operator in the Fire Service. The course is modularized so users can adapt it to local needs. A significant portion of the course time is devoted to actual hands-on driving exercises for the students. Length: 28-32 hours.
Wildland Firefighter Engine Rodeo
This course will utilize hands-on training embedded within friendly competition. Teams of firefighters, using their own equipment and engines, will “compete” against each other in various events for time and proficiency. The course is intended to be used as a pre-season preparedness event. Length: 8 hours.