Firefighter Training & Education


Training Philosophy

·        Assure our services are consistent with the Department Mission, Vision and Strategic Goals.
·        Embrace diversity and provide all members with equal opportunity, respect and fairness.
·        Ensure an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and the exchange of ideas.
·        Provide training and education opportunities that are up-to-date, and relevant.
·        Align programs and delivery of services to meet the needs of the users.
Integrated Programs - It is the goal, where possible, to create programs that use the various delivery methods simultaneously to present lessons, concepts, and subject material. The use of themed curricula that builds upon itself progressively with each training outlet can begin with a Computer Based Training (CBT) course, which is followed up with classroom or Field Training Officer presentations, and is then incorporated into single and multi-company drill orders for the given period.
Schedule - The Department’s training activities will be collectively scheduled through the use of a two-year planning period where the stakeholders will collaborate on the timing and programs offered. There is consideration for weather and competing events as well as flexibility given to operational needs. The Calendar is set by the Training Committee and approved by the Fire Chief. The Training and Event Calendar is in electronic format kept current and available to all users. 
Assessments -The Training Bureau is tasked with assessing department training needs using requirements established by regulatory agencies, the City of Gainesville, and the Gainesville Fire Rescue Department. The results of assessments are integrated into the Training Plan. Department members will be able to provide input to the Training Plan through feedback surveys and the Training Committee.
Resources -Training Staff will coordinate the development and maintenance of department training resources including Officer Development program, Driver-Operator Courses, Work Required Training, Task Standards, and Online Resources. Adjunct Instructors and Subject Matter Experts are identified and maintained as instructors. Training Staff will participate with the development of Standard Operating Procedures by participating on department committees and producing lesson plans for each SOG. The Training Division regularly reviews programs and identifies new programs or processes requiring additional development.
Delivery – How information is delivered is an important factor in its effectiveness. The Bureau facilitates effective and consistent training delivery throughout all levels of the department in multiple media. Training methods include use of computer and a live web-based platforms, as well as traditional classroom courses and field exercises. The use of planned scenario training and tactical simulation also plays an important role in preparing our leaders and command staff.
Certification Programs -The Training Staff coordinates and monitors fire‐service and promotional related certification programs. The Training Plan defines these programs, their initial certification requirements, and the procedures for obtaining and maintaining certification.
Recruitment and Promotion - Training and Operations personnel are very important in assisting in the development and delivery of recruitment and promotional processes. This collaboration includes outreach, scenario development, candidate orientation, testing, and feedback sessions.
Documentation -Documentation of training is a critical role of the Bureau. Training documentation is subject to periodic review by several outside organizations and gives confidence to our peers and citizens of the quality and commitment of our Department to achieve its mission. Training documentation is accomplished using the Department’s custom designed Training Database. These entries are required for all training activities and are entered, verified and authenticated regularly.

Fire College Courses Offered

Gainesville Fire Rescue regularly hosts Florida State Fire College courses offered to firefighters both internally and externally.  Non-GFR fire service personnel are welcome and encouraged to take all offered courses. These include Driver-Operator, Pump-Operator, Fire Inspector Series, Fire Officer Series and Instructor/Inspector renewals.  A web-based calendar is being developed that will provide course schedules. 
To inquire or sign up for classes contact the GFR Training Bureau at 352-334-5075.


GFR constantly works toward compliance with recognized requirements in regards to fire training including NFPA and ISO.  Crews are regularly scheduled for single company and multi-company training drills. The documentation of Company activities and training is a important part of meeting compliance. By working with our IT section, training records and databases are updated constantly and reports generated to note and correct any deficiencies.

Drills and Live Burns

GFR benefits from the support of the community through the donation of structures used to enhance the training opportunities to our firefighters. All live fire training is conducted in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association Standard 1403, Florida Statutes, City policies and procedures and GFR operational guidelines.  Live fire training is conducted using certified live fire instructors, incident commanders, team leaders and safety officers.