Structural Fire Training

The National Park Service Structural Fire program is committed to protecting all structures entrusted to its care, and the people and collections within. Program staff work to meet and exceed requirements through consistent ongoing education and training with an emphasis on prevention.

NPS firefighters extinguish a car fire at a fire training workshop.
Classes at the Structural Fire Academy at the NPS national training site in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area give park firefighters the basic skills and knowledge to respond using a park’s fire engine.


woman using a fire extinguisher during a training exercise
Fire extinguisher training at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

NPS Photo

Structural fire protection is an important part of the NPS mission. To meet this mission the NPS maintains a structural fire capability intended to meet the diversity and complexity of the parks within its administration. The Service’s primary means of addressing structural fire management is a well-designed and implemented prevention program, which is supported by mutual aid agreements, and in critical cases, the necessity for park-operated suppression programs. One way this is achieved is by coordinating a multi-faceted, needs-based training program available to NPS employees.

Fire Extinguisher Training
Fire extinguisher training is one of the most basic ways to extend the network of those who can respond to a small fire before it becomes large, requiring response by firefighters. Many national park units conduct annual fire extinguisher training for some or all employees.

Firefighting Academy
Each year, the National Park Service sponsors training courses in structural fire suppression, Firefighter 1 and 2, at an academy hosted in Boise, Idaho. The 88-hour course teaches the basic skills to fight fires safely and effectively as a member of an engine company.

National Park Service structural fire courses have been accredited through the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications, more commonly known as Pro Board. This certification means that NPS employees and partners who have successfully completed agency training classes have been found to meet or exceed the standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)—standards which have undergone rigorous review by a third-party organization. Get the inside look from the article series: Structural Firefighting Academy as it follows two trainees completing the NPS national structural fire training.

Park Structural Fire Coordinators
In addition, each national park unit has a designated park’s structural fire coordinator (PSFC). An online training course has been created to provide all PSFCs fundamental knowledge, skills, abilities, and resources to fulfill their duties to sustain an effective structural fire program intended to protect life safety and park resources.

One of the goals of the structural fire program is to ensure that NPS employees, partners, and concessionaires are properly educated and trained to carry out their structural fire duties and responsibilities. Program staff support and deliver existing training programs, assess the Service's structural fire training needs and develop training as needed, and they identify and apply emerging and cost-effective technologies to facilitate/deliver training and education programs.

Last updated: November 1, 2022