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Open Fire Academy, International Takes Firefighter Education Mobile

Open Fire Academy, International Takes Firefighter Education Mobile

The need for emergency responders to access information in a timely manner is critical.

When seconds count, being able to find what is important can make significant differences in how an incident concludes.

The Open Fire Academy, International, in its effort to ensure information is available in times of crisis, has made available its training materials from web-enabled mobile devices. All of its courses, student materials, and information can now be accessed from any web-enabled cell phone or PDA.

Consider these examples:

  • A fire chief is on a scene of a house fire. He recalls some information from a class that he recently took that could assist him with the ongoing operation. Using his cell phone he can now go onto the class site and review the needed information.
  • A firefighter is taking a needed class. She unfortunately doesn't have access to her course when she's away from the station. Now she can access and participate in the course using her web-enabled PDA from anywhere - so she isn't tied to the station or a particular computer.
  • An instructor is an observer of a hazardous materials incident response. He sees that the incident would be a great learning opportunity for the students of his online class; and is able to take pictures and video, then upload them to his class site. He then IMs and emails his students from their personal pages to go and review the photos and video. He then launches a discussion through the chatroom, and a discussion board for those that missed the training opportunity.

These are just a few examples of how the system can be used. The key element is training and education with greater availability and convenience for all. Education does not only take place in a formal environment, and students should be given the opportunity to be flexible in their courses.

One firefighter student of the OFA said, "I enjoy being able to access my classes anytime - when I'm waiting at a resturant or store, I can follow up on my reading assignments and homework. I don't have to wait until I get home."

To visit the new mobile location go to:

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