Wildland Fire Training

The Nebraska Forest Service provides classes in communities across the state as well as at Mutual Aid Schools and State Fire School. The NFS also provides training materials and funding to the Nebraska State Fire Marshal's Training Division for the delivery of wildland fire courses. Presentation or simulation training for fire departments is available upon request.

Wildland Fire Training

Annual Training Opportunities

Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy - Western Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy - Eastern
When: Annually in April, subject to change due to weather When: Annually in November, subject to change due to weather
Where: Ft. Robinson State Park, near Crawford, NE Where: Ponca State Park, near Ponca, NE
What: NWCG sanctioned courses, full schedule available in early January What: NWCG sanctioned courses, full schedule available in early September
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Red Card Certification

The Nebraska Forest Service issues red cards to non-federal firefighters affiliated with a fire department, agency or organization. Visit this webpage to learn about the courses and documents required to obtain a card.

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.

Wildland Aviation Operations

This new course will introduce aviation resources available for Nebraska wildland firefighting operations. Topics will include: Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) models and capacities, water vs. gel vs. foam vs. retardant – which should you request?, SEAT ordering procedures, tactical use of aviation assets, communication and feedback, SEAT base locations, set up and how they operate (including mobile bases) and a day in the life of a SEAT base manager. Offered upon request. Length: 4-12 hours.

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.

Pre-Introduction to Prescribed Fire

This course is aimed at volunteers fire departments 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.

SimTable Overview

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. Length varies.

National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Courses

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 in the Wildland Fire Service

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 six-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 a class discussion.  Topics include: fireline reference materials, communications, and tactical decision making. Offered upon request and at the Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy.  Length: 12 hours

S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws

This is an instructor-led course intended to be presented at the local level. The course lessons provide an 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. Length: 25-37 hours

S-215 Fire Operations in the Wildland Urban Interface

This is an instructor-led course intended to be presented at the local level. Instructional units include firefighter safety in the interface, managing human factors in the interface, pre-incident planning, sizeup and initial strategy, structure triage, structure protection overview, tactics in the interface, tactical operations and resource use in the interface, action assessment, plan update, and after-action review. Length: 16-24 hours

S-219 Firing Operations

This course was developed using a blended approach to learning. Students are required to complete the online training portion of the course prior to taking the ILT. The course introduces the roles and responsibilities of a Firing Boss, Single Resource (FIRB), and outlines duties of other personnel who may engage firing operations. The course discusses and illustrates common firing devices and techniques. Although comprehensive in nature, the course work is not a substitute for the dynamic fire environment. The course provides students with important information regarding general tasks required to be successful. Any opportunity to show students a real ignition or demonstrate the use of an actual firing device will assist in transferring these new concepts and skills to the job. There is an optional field day outlined in the course, it is the discretion of the delivery unit to include the field day; however, if logistically feasible it is suggested by NWCG that a field day be conducted. Length: 18-24 hours

S-230 Crew Boss (Single Resource)

This is a classroom course designed to produce student proficiency in the performance of duties associated with the single resource boss position from initial dispatch through demobilization to the home unit. Topics include operational leadership, preparation and mobilization, assignment preparation, risk management, entrapment avoidance, safety and tactics, offline duties, demobilization, and post-incident responsibilities. Length: 26 hours

S-231 Engine Boss

This is a skill course designed to produce student proficiency in the performance of the duties associated with Engine Boss, Single Resource (ENGB). Topics include engine and crew capabilities and limitations, information sources, fire size-up considerations, tactics, and wildland/urban interface. Length: 12-16 hours

S-290 Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior

S-290 is available via two delivery methods (online and ILT), either of which is sufficient for student completion. This is a classroom-based skills course designed to prepare the prospective fireline supervisor to undertake safe and effective fire management operations. It is the second course in a series that collectively serves to develop fire behavior prediction knowledge and skills. Fire environment differences are discussed as necessary; the instructor should stress local conditions. Length: 15  hours

L-280 Followership to Leadership

This training course is designed as a self-assessment opportunity for individuals preparing to step into a leadership role. The course combines one day of classroom instruction followed by a second day in the field with students working through a series of problem-solving events in small teams (Field Leadership Assessment Course). Topics include leadership values and principles, transition challenges for new leaders, situational leadership, team cohesion factors, ethical decision-making, and after-action review techniques. Some course delivery may be arduous in nature. Length: 20 hours

Wildland Fire Training Partners
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency Nebraska State Fire Marshal Training Division Nebraska Society of Fire Service Instructors
Nebraska State Fire School National Park Service US Forest Service
US Fish & Wildlife Service The Nature Conservancy