Firefighters approved for ‘virtual’ training

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Uncertainties over how long the coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings and interaction will be in place has prompted the Kentucky Fire Commission to allow fire departments and firefighters to conduct “virtual” training.

Virtual training is conducted in real time and differs from online training classes, which are pre-posted training sessions available at any time, executive director Larry Potter noted.

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The new regulations take effect Friday.

“The Kentucky Fire Commission recognizes that virtual classrooms/learning/meetings have become the norm due to the current COVID-19 state of emergency,” Potter wrote, listing several online platforms fire departments can use.

The new rules are in effect until the coronavirus state of emergency is lifted. But the new rules will allow departments to continue valuable training hours.

According to the Commission, all virtual learning classes and/or training shall meet the following criteria:

  1. All classes/training shall be instructor-led.
  2. All classes/training shall have a proctor/monitor, not required to be an instructor, to ensure student participation.
  3. All classes/training shall be by virtual platform which allows for an individual video viewing of each attendee.
  4. All classes/training shall have a roster completed by the lead instructor and shall be made available to all attendees or the attendees department within 24 hours of the completion of the class.
  5. The proctor/monitor shall be responsible to complete a check of roster to attendees at the mid-point and end of the class to ensure continued participation throughout the class.
  6. All curriculum requirements remain in effect and shall be adhered to.
  7. It is recommended that visual aides be utilized during virtual training sessions including but not limited to Powerpoint, pictures, and other documents approved and provided by curriculum and product manufacturers.
  8. The classes are considered classroom learning, not online, since they are instructor led. This will allow the virtual learning classes to be entered for initial certification.