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TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A UNIFORM, PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROCESS IN SASKATCHEWAN WITH THE GOAL OF CONSERVING LIFE, ENVIRONMENT AND PROPERTY.

History:
At one time the Office of the Fire Commissioner trained much of the volunteer force to a very limited level, and the career departments met and trained to their own standards. These standards all followed the I. F. S. T. A. training package to some degree. In the eighties the N. F. P. A. 1001 standard became the accepted standard for volunteer and career departments alike. The O. F. C. became very active in the training of fire fighters and instructors. They also tested and kept records of all the volunteer certifications. They also had a vast training material library that many departments utilized. Budget cuts and staff reductions to the O. F. C. all but eliminated training by that office. They still maintain the testing and certification for I. F. S. A. C. and do very limited training. This however left a large part of the provinces fire fighting force with no real training resources The Saskatchewan Volunteer Fire Fighters Association stepped up to the plate and began the instruction of many courses. They also started having two weekend training sessions a year that attracted many departments. The Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs was also putting on training sessions that were mostly geared to fire officers and command personnel. Both these groups had instructors divisions within them. These instructors divisions seemed to be poorly organized and lacked direction and funding.

RECOGNIZING THE PROBLEM
Many of the instructors in the province are members of both organizations and worked for both groups. Other instructors worked with one group or the other and seemed to be in competition with each other. In conversation with other instructors throughout the province there seemed to be a consensus that the system was broken---dysfunctional---NFG (non functional goods)!!!!!!!

IDENTIFYING ALL THE PROBLEMS,
A group of these instructors, at conventions or other functions started to list all the problems faced by them. And the list grew and grew.
➢ Lack of support for the instructors by either organization.
➢ Lack of training and other resource materials for instructors
➢ Fragmented instruction.
➢ Areas with no instructors.
➢ No current list of who the certified instructors were.
➢ No method of keeping training records out side your own department.
➢ No financial support for instruction
➢ Instructors being torn between both organizations
➢ Communication between instructors.
➢ We were jeopardizing fire fighters lives by not giving them vital jobs skill and training

LET’S FORGET PROBLEMS AND TALK SOLUTIONS
• We need to start an organization that represents all instructors within the province.
• It needs to be independent of individual associations.
• It needs to sanctioned and accepted by all organizations in the fire service.
• Once this group is formed it can start addressing the individual problems it faces.

BIRTH OF AN ORGANIZATION
Myself, the president of the S. V. F. F. A. and a handful of other dedicated instructors started to hold informational meetings around the province. This has been a slow process and like the birth of anything, somewhat painful. We have however at this point formed a fledgling group of visionaries (or dreamers as one somewhat resembles the other), to attempt to solve the problems of instruction throughout the province.

• Make training affordable and available for all fire fighters within the province.
• Gain the support and add to the membership list the vast majority of instructors in the province. (career, volunteer, paid on call, industrial,).
• Solicit the support of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs, Office of the Fire Commissioner, and Public Safety and 911.
• Establish a web page and data bank to list the following
o Names of all I. F. S. A. C. instructors:
• Who will instruct for other departments?
• Who can be called for advice or assistance?
• Who will be non active members who want to receive our circulated information?
o Keep records of all students and their training.
o Keep records of instructors and their courses taught or specialized courses they teach.
o Post dates of upcoming courses that have room or welcome outside students.
o Create a forum for the sharing of information among the instructors.
• Seek a corporate sponsor that would supply funding for training materials and aids that would be available to all instructors registered with the group.
• Maintain a level of professional instruction and instructors that will be recognized and respected in the fire service.
• Get support from career instructors who may not necessarily gain all that much as they are more resource rich than smaller departments. They do however have vast skill and knowledge base that the other instructors could draw from
ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE

I wish this section could have been larger, however we are up and moving and even baby steps are at least in the right direction.
➢ We have a mission statement: TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A UNIFORM, PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROCESS IN SASKATCHEWAN WITH THE GOAL OF CONSERVING LIFE, ENVIRONMENT AND PROPERTY
➢ We have gone from an interim executive to an elected two year term executive.
➢ We have started to establish bylaws for the group.
➢ Our membership is growing.