Please click on the small triangle in front of each topic to see the information for the different partner countries.
GermanyThe training for the voluntary fire brigade is standardized by fire service regulation 2 (FwDV 2). This applies in each of the 16 federal states. The beginning is always with the team member part 1. (basic training) of an hourly extent of 70 h. After that the training follows seamlessly with team member part 2. In 80 hours over a period of 2 years, the firefighter is trained there to independently perform the team member function in fire-fighting and rescue operations. This training takes place in the municipalities and counties.
For this training there are specially trained instructors from their own fire brigade or fire brigades of the municipality and county. In the 2 years of the basic training (team member part 2) the courses radio operator with 16h and smoke diver with 25h can be completed additionally. Both courses are not necessary. The team leader training course can be completed upon completion of the team member training and the successful radio operator training. This has again a duration of 35 h. This training also takes place at municipal or county level.
DenmarkThe training for firefighters is independent of employment. It is therefore no matter whether you are a volunteer, part-time or full-time employed firefighter. The training for firefighters is divided into two steps. A basic education and a functional education.
The basic education lasts 74 hours, and after completing the training the firefighter can:
- independently commit to an incident, take part in the work and comply with the safety regulations in the rescue service.
- independently and in collaboration with others, deal with the vital functions of the injured person, minimize the development of life-threatening injuries by means of examination procedures and carry out the necessary movement and transport of the injured person.
- in co-operation with colleagues and pre-hospital staff, knowledgeable, targeted and situationally dealing with injured persons with acute injury at an incident.
- independently carry out the work functions through efforts towards the most frequent accidents involving passenger cars and, in cooperation with others, free up jammed persons.
- independently use the breathing apparatus as personal safety equipment in connection with solving the tasks in the rescue emergency
- include the necessary basic technical and tactical skills to solve the various fire-fighting and rescue tasks at the incident.
- in cooperation with other perform firefighting and rescue tasks outside buildings and other constructions.
- in co-operation with others, solve the various CBRN tasks outside the area with direct contact at the site of injury, including the necessary basic technical and tactical skills.
- in various rescue situations, independently and in collaboration with other breakthrough building materials, lifting heavy loads and stiffening buildings to save people safely.
- independently and in cooperation with others save people in height and in depth, including constructing lifting and hoisting constructions for different tasks.
- independently carry out the work functions by means of efforts towards all types of accidents with different means of transport and in cooperation with others free up jammed persons.
- independently and in collaboration with others save people from production facilities and during floods use the necessary technical and tactical skills.
- independently and in collaboration with others solve the various CBRN tasks at the site of injury using the necessary technical and tactical skills.
- act as chemical diver and in collaboration with other loose rescue, collection and sealing tasks in area with direct contact.
- independently use the pumps and, in cooperation with others, provide water supply for different efforts.
- use the necessary technical and tactical skills to solve the various fire-fighting and rescue tasks at the site of injury.
- independently and in collaboration with others perform various firefighting and rescue tasks.
- in the work as a firefighter, independently and using the necessary technical and tactical skills, incorporate the physical, mental and safety aspects in the solution of various smoke diving tasks.
- independently and in cooperation with other works such as smoke dives and in a safe manner, solve fire extinguishing and rescue tasks in various buildings and other constructions.
CroatiaThe Croatian firefighting association is responsible for the all educational and training programs. Organizational structure for education firefighters is divided onto firefighting school-intended for becoming a professional firefighter and firefighting basic course for volunteer members of fire brigades. The basic education for the volunteer firefighter takes place on regional level and regional firefighting associations are responsible to organise the course.
To become a volunteer firefighter, there's a minimum of the criteria required:
- Membership in volunteer firefighting association for at least 6 months
- Minimum 18 years old
- Medical exam
The criteria for applications are:
- High school or vocational qualification (three or four years of school education)
- Medical exam
- 18 years old
- Physical condition; cooper test, jump in the distance from the place, abs, push ups, chin-ups, ski squat
EstoniaApplicants must pass 1st level 16 hrs course to do prevention work and pass 2nd level 36 hrs course to be active in field. 1st level course is taken on local level and 2nd level course on regional level. Qualified and trained professional fire fighter is reponsible for trainings. 16 hrs course and training must be completed no later than in six months time after giving in the application to become a volunteer firefighter. It includes an overview of:
- Rescue Board and fire fighting system in Estonia
- Rescue Act and legislation
- History of rescue service
- Terminology in rescue service
- Call signals for rescue radio (trucks, operators, brigade names)
- Emergency equipment and machinery used in rescue institutions
- Arranging rescue work: event management of the scene; headquarters and staff; outing order and plan; Operational Preparedness Report; Departure stages (1-4 stages)
- Fire fighting apparatus (fittings, distributors and threats, collectors, imo tapes, hydrant risers)
- Jet pipes and hoses
- Safety clothing
- Liquidation of oil pollution
- Different types of fire
- Rescue services
- Extinguishers and their use in different types of fire
- Educational videos of fires (what to do/not to do in case of fire)
|Introduction, history and legislation||1||-|
|The activities of the Rescue Board, the structure and responsibilities of the rescue agencies||0,5||-|
|Introduction to rescue services||0,5||-|
|Types of accidents and responsibilities, behavior in case of danger||2||-|
|Rescue equipment and technology||0,5||1|
|Behavior in case of fire||1||-|
|Process of burning and fire extinguishing||2||-|
- Introduction (organization, goals)
- Operating a rescue radio and call signals
- Basics of fire (process of burning, characteristic of substances, methods of putting out fire and extinguishing substances)
- Organising rescue events (event management of the scene; headquarters and staff; outing order and plan; function of a call center and workflow)
- Rescuing equipment and clothing (tangles, pumps, ropes, knotting, use of ladders, fire hoses, safety, practical)
- Supplying water in different places and situations (fluid flow and pressure loss in flow lines; hydrant systems; sucking line branching; power lines; transporting water, practical,)
- Types and tactics of fire (building fires, forest and field fires, vehicle fires, fire of flammable liquids and gases)
- Divided extinguisher system and gases/fumes of fires
- Special hazards (dangerous substances, electrical, gas devices and their hazards, explosives, low temperature, safety instructions)
- Protocol and measures
|Organizing rescue work||1||2|
|Rescue equipment and technology||2||2|
|Fire fighting work||2||7|
|Rescue Act and Implementation of Measures||6||-|
BulgariaThe training of Volunteers in Bulgaria is regulated by Ordinance for the establishment and organization of the activity of the voluntary formations for prevention or control of disasters, fire and extraordinary situations and treatment of their consequences. It is especially mentioned in Chapter 2. Training and preparation of volunteers: there are 5 types of training:
- initial basic training
- specialized training
- VFB leaders training
- training for volunteers` trainers
- ongoing training (skills refreshment)
Initial basic training:
The aim of the training is to provide basic knowledge and skills for implementation of the main activities for protection of the population in case of fires and emergency situations and elimination of their consequences.
Duration – 160 hours, divided into 3 modules.
Evaluation – theoretical exam test and a practical exam.
- Тraining volunteers for the operation with fire trucks and motor pumps. The aim is acquiring knowledge and skills for proper operation with fire trucks and motor pumps. Safety measures. Duration – 80 hours, divided into 3 modules. Evaluation – theoretical exam test and a practical exam.
- Initial training of volunteers to work with breathing apparatus. The aim is acquiring knowledge and skills how to work with breathing apparatus, obtaining permission to work with breathing apparatus. Duration 30 hours. Evaluation – theoretical and practical exam.
To summarise: The basic education is 160 hours divided in 3 modules, 2 technical and 1 medical parts. It is necessary to have refreshing training every 3 years , or every year on personal request. Every three months the leader of the VF organize 4 hours current training of volunteers. The basic training is organized locally in licensed training centers of MOI or other licensed schools/ training centers. The responsible body is the Academy of MOI and the director of Fire Department in MOI. There is difference in the trainings for volunteers and professional fire fighters.
HungaryThe basic training for volunteer firefighters is 40 hours, including 25 hours theoretical and 15 hours practical training. Theoretical training includes basic concepts and moves (e.g. how the basic equipment works – breathing apparatus, pumps, etc. and fire extinguishing, car parts).
The training is the responsibility for the association each volunteer fire fighter belongs to. The basic requirement for taking part on the exam is to belong to a volunteer firefighting association. The basic education is the only one that is compulsory, further education is organized by each association and the association can decide how often it organizes these training courses. If somebody would like to have a particular position among the volunteer firefighters he/she should train himself/herself. For using each tool (e.g. hydraulic rescue tool, chainsaw, pumps, power generator, built-in pump, etc.) a volunteer firefighter should pass a special exam for the tool consisting of written and practical exam.
The training of the professional firefighters is different: Before they send someone to school he/she has to pass on a psychological test, medical test, and physical test. Then the training will be in the Disaster Management school (so it is organised on a national level) for half a year.
Further Education & Training:
GermanyFor the qualified further training of the comrades starting from the team member part 2 training course 18 state fire brigade schools are available in Germany. There, courses are offered for this level of firefighters on the subject of "technical assistance" as well as "CBN deployment" of hazardous materials and goods. Thus, the comrades are fit for any position on the back of the fire engine. The drivers and operators of the "machine operators" units must successfully complete a special training course. This is carried out at district level for the fire-fighting vehicles. For turntable ladder vehicles this usually takes place at the state fire brigade schools.
All the above courses apply to the training of volunteer firefighters and are grouped under training level F2. The professional or works fire brigade completes a B1(B2) course which covers all the training content of the above-mentioned voluntary fire brigade courses. (team member part 1 and part 2, radio operator, smoke diver technical assistance, CBN deployment, machine operator, motor chain saw training, team leader) in approx. half a year. The contents may differ slightly depending on the federal state and location of the training. The B1 course is also called the basic course professional fire brigade. There is no B2 training course as an independent team leader training course. This is included in the B1 course. Depending on the federal state, this training course is conducted at the state fire brigade schools or at professional fire brigade station. In Saxony at the LFS in Nardt in Saxony-Anhalt at the IBK in Heyrothsberge and in Thuringia at the professional fire brigade in Gera, as the nearest locations to Kabelsketal.
DenmarkLocal risks may require additional training for the firefighter. This training can be targeted to specific objects, or task solutions. This could, for example, be education in sailing with a lifeboat, value chain, education in establishing dikes, training in animal rescue, water diving, re-preparation, emergency treatment, flight with drone and the like. Education that is completed with certification of the firefighter is usually subject to demands from other authorities, but it is the rescue service that is responsible for ensuring that the necessary competencies are present.
CroatiaSpecialised trainings are organised on local and regional level. The instructors are always professional firefighters. There are different specialized trainings organised each year, and from each volunteer fire brigade two memebers are obligate to participate trainings. The specialized trainings are:
- Engineer for the firefighting vehicles and pumps, duration: 24 hours, theoretical part: 12 hours, practical part: 12 hours
- Paramedic, duration: 30 hours, theoretical part: 15 hours, practical part: 15 hours
- Respiratory protective equipment, duration: 30 hours, theoretical part: 12 hours, practical part: 18 hours
- Radio communications, duration: 20 hours, theoretical part: 12 hours, practical part: 8 hours
- Responses in radiological- biological- chemical contaminations, duration: 24 hours, theoretical part: 12 hours, practical part: 12 hours.
- Active member training after 5 yrs service time -6 hrs
- Training on the consequences of traffic accidents- 16 hrs
- Emergency vehicle training- 31 hrs
- Life saving first aid training -16 hrs
- Smoke diving training- 36 hrs (very limited target group)
- Rope rescue training
- Hights rescue training
BulgariaAdditional specialized courses:
1. Training volunteers to rescue injured people in road traffic accidents – 28 hours.
2. Training volunteers for rescue using rope techniques 1st level – 40 hours.
3. Training volunteers for rescue using rope techniques 2nd level – 24 hours.
4. Training of volunteers to work with a chainsaw – 40 hours.
5. Training volunteers to work with mechanized lifting equipment– 40 hours.
6. Training volunteers to work with motor generators – 40 hours.
7. Training volunteers to prevent accidents in the chemical industry – 24 hours.
8. Training of volunteers for radiation protection – 24 hours.
9. Training volunteers to rescue buried people under destroyed buildings – 27 hours.
10. Training volunteers for flood rescue – 32 hours.
11. Training of volunteers to operate as a task manager – 24 hours.
1. Training of volunteers to drive and use fire trucks – 240 hours.
2. Training to use breathing equipment – 30 hours.
3. Specialized training for fire fighting activities – 144 hours.
4. Specialized training in rescuing activities – 319 hours.
5. Training for leaders of VF – 80 hours.
These courses are also organized by Montana Training center / MOI.
HungaryFor using each tool a volunteer firefighter has to take 2 exams: written theoretical exam and practical exam. If a volunteer firefighter passes both exams he/she will have a licence to the particular tool (e.g. hydraulic rescue tool, chainsaw, pumps, power generator, built-in pumps). The length of the courses depends on the particular tool, e.g.:
- hydraulic rescue tool: basic: 40 hours, extra: 22 hours
- chainsaw: 36 hours
- power generator: 28 hours
- pumps: 38 hours
A special role within the volunteer firefighters is the fire engine driver. Fire engine drivers should pass the same exams and get the same education in the case of volunteer firefighters and professional firefighters as well. To become a driver one should participate on a 34 hours course (20 hours theoretical and 14 hours practical) and should pass one theoretical and two practical exams. If you want to be a driver you have to get a driving license for trucks and for the blue lights. To use the blue lights you have to pass on 2 tests: Mental and Driving.
Training to get a higher position:
GermanyIn the FwDV 2 the further way of the voluntary comrades is divided into two directions. This is on the one hand the technical training and on the other hand the leadership training. The technical training includes the following qualifications: Engineer, equipment operator, respirator operator, NBC reconnaissance, NBC decontamination. These qualifications are partly carried out by the county and partly by the state fire brigade schools.
The leadership training is carried out exclusively by the state fire brigade schools. These include group leaders, tactical unit company leaders, unit leaders and also fire brigade leaders. Basis for all courses is the group leader course with an extent of approx. 70h (2 weeks). The tactical unit company leader with 70h and the unit leader with 35h training then build on this. These courses are also called F3 to F5.
For the professional fire brigade the courses B3 to B4(B5) are identical. The B3 course corresponds to the group leader (professional fire brigade) with a duration of approx. 12 weeks. In some federal states of Germany, the B1 and B3 form the basis for the training of firefighters depending on the federal state. Course B4 (advanced fire brigade technical service) is the introductory course for all civil servants entering the advanced service and tasks such as leader of tactical unit company, head of operations as well as tasks in preventive fire protection and administration. The last course is on the volunteer side of the F6 - fire brigade leader (35h). This is only carried out at the state fire brigade schools. The same applies to the B6 (higher fire brigade technical service) training course. Here only one school offers this course. That is the institute of the fire-brigade in North Rhine-Westphalia. The B6 as well as the B4 are a training period of 6 months. The entire training period of the service beginners of the professional fire-brigade no matter in which level amounts to approx. 2 years.
DenmarkA firefighter with basic and functional education does not have the competence to act as a leader or teacher. These competencies can be achieved by completing one of the Emergency Management Agency's education programs. The education is carried out at the Danish Emergency Management Agency Technical School or by other rescue services that has entered into a special agreement with the Emergency Management Agency on the implementation of these programs.
CroatiaTo achieve a higher rank it’s necessary to take further education and training. The higher ranks are:
First class firefighter
- minimum for application: at least 1 year of internship in a firefighter rank; medical exam
- duration: 8 hours of theory and exam
- minimum for application: at least 1 year of internship in a first class firefighter rank; medical exam
- duration: 83 hours, theoretical part: 39 hours, practical part: 44 hours
- minimum for application: at least 2 years of internship in a sub-officer rank; medical exam
- duration: 8 hours of theory and exam (Exception: those who completed Fire school - fire technician immediately get first class sub-officer rank)
- minimum for application: at least 2 years of internship in a first class sub-officer rank; High school education; medical exam
- duration: 100 hours, theoretical part 58 hours, practical part: 42 hours
- minimum for application: at least 2 years of internship in a first class officer rank; medical exam
- duration: 8 hours of theory and exam
- minimum for application: at least 4 years of internship in a first class officer rank; 1 st level of higher education and conferring 180 ECTS credits; medical exam
- exam is in two parts, written and verbal examination (Exception: those who completed undergraduate professional study programme of fire protection and have been active for at least 2 years as a volunteer firefighter get the senior officer rank)
- minimum for application: at least 4 years of internship in a senior officer rank; medical exam
- duration: 8 hours of theory and exam
EstoniaThere aren´t any higher positions or rank system nor training for that among volunteer fire fighters in Estonia. One step higher is being board member of volunteer fire brigade and the highest position is chairman of board. Both positions are elected by volunteer fire fighters every 3 years.
BulgariaVFB leaders training:
The aim is organization and management of voluntary formations, tactics for fire-fighting, rescue and restoration work. Duration – 80 hours, divided into 2 modules. Evaluation – theoretical and practical exam. The leader and deputy leader of the VF have to pass Additional training for their positions.