For Immediate Release
February 08, 2016
State Office of Fire Prevention and Control Receives Re-Accreditation from the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications
OFPC Meets Rigorous National Fire Protection Association Standards
Through its 74 accredited agencies, the Pro Board provides a national and international level of recognition for members of the fire and emergency service who have demonstrated proficiency in meeting NFPA standards. This re-accreditation required OFPC to undergo a critical assessment of its ability to meet the 19 point accreditation criteria that has become the hallmark of integrity for the Pro Board system.
This accreditation allows OFPC to conduct national certification tests in New York State in approved subject areas and issue national certifications.
In addition to an evaluation of the quality, knowledge and skill level of its training program, OFPC is required to go through an extensive evaluation of its administrative processes associated with course development, course deliveries and national certification testing processes to receive accreditation. This is to assure that programs accredited by the Pro Board maintain the highest level of integrity and quality in the aforementioned areas.
“With re-accreditation, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control demonstrates its commitment to improving life safety for their citizens and emergency personnel,” commented M.H. Jim Estepp, Chairman of the Pro Board. “Through re-accreditation, this agency can provide official Pro Board certificates to fire service members who have demonstrated a competency with professional qualification standards.”
OFPC's main goal is the effective and efficient delivery of essential fire and life safety protection to all New Yorkers. With more than seven hundred full- and part-time members, OFPC operates five branches: Fire Operations and Training; Fire Inspection and Investigation, East and West; Special Operations; and, Education and Operational Support.
DHSES Commissioner John P. Melville said, “National certification is the one consistent benchmark that provides fire departments and localities the confidence that a firefighter has met the national training standards for the specific subject area evaluated and allows an objective process to evaluate differing training programs. OPFC’s re-accreditation shows that the team operates with the highest professional qualifications standards in all of the activities it delivers for the state’s firefighters and our citizens.”
“Accreditation through the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications not only validates the quality and effectiveness of the New York State Fire Training System, but it also provides for a nationally consistent method to evaluate our training programs as well as the knowledge and skills of individual firefighters,” said State Fire Administrator Bryant Stevens. “I applaud those members of the Office of Fire Prevention and Control who worked diligently to achieve re-accreditation and assured that all program requirements were identified and addressed.”
OFPC annually trains more than 60,000 emergency services personnel in regionally delivered programs and residentially at the Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls, N.Y. OFPC also implements statewide minimum training standards and best practices for firefighters, inspects over 25,000 buildings for fire and life safety hazards and investigates fires at the request of local fire departments. Additionally, OFPC supports and assists fire departments and other agencies at disasters, major emergencies and in the stabilization and mitigation of hazardous materials incidents.
OFPC also manages New York State's Urban Search and Rescue Team (New York Task Force-2), operationally coordinates fire service resources during activation of the Statewide Fire Mobilization and Mutual Aid Plan, and collects, compiles and disseminates information relating to fire and arson prevention and control. The office also operates the state Fire Incident Reporting System, which processes approximately 1.5 million incidents reports annually; and, administers the Emergency Services Revolving Loan Program.
OFPC delivers a wide breadth of services to firefighters, emergency responders, state and local government agencies, public and private colleges, and the citizens of New York. The Office advances public safety through firefighter training, education, fire prevention, investigative, special operations and technical rescue programs. The timely delivery of these essential services enables the Office to make significant contributions to the safety of all of New York State. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov/ofpc.