New IAFC online courses for fire service company officers now available

February 13, 2024

Partnership between IAFC and CSU brings new educational opportunities

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and Columbia Southern University (CSU) have jointly announced the launch of the first series of online courses designed for Company Officers, levels I, II, and III.

This initiative is part of the Officer Development Program (ODP) – Leadership Development Certification Series (LDCS), aimed at fostering leadership qualities among fire service professionals.

The program represents a synergistic effort to blend IAFC’s industry knowledge with CSU’s educational prowess, providing a curriculum that merges academic theory with practical application.

The LDCS is characterized by its flexibility in learning modes, offering both completely online and hybrid (online and onsite) course options.

Upon completion, participants are awarded 1.3 continuing education units (CEUs) or an undergraduate college credit hour that can be utilized towards any degree program at CSU.

The comprehensive nature of the program necessitates the completion of eight units and the successful passing of an online examination with a minimum score of 70%.

Flexible and comprehensive training options

The courses, accessible through IAFC Fire-Rescue International (FRI) and various IAFC division and state regional delivery programs, cater to the modern demands of fire service leadership.

This innovative approach not only aims to enhance leadership and strategic decision-making skills but also provides an avenue for professional development through the acquisition of CEUs.

The LDCS for Company Officers encompasses three distinct courses, each contributing to the cumulative academic credit hours.

Prospective students are encouraged to enroll via CSU’s website, with IAFC members eligible for a $100 tuition discount by using the promotional code “IAFC” during the registration process.

Transformative partnership for fire service education

This collaboration underscores Columbia Southern University’s commitment to supporting the fire service community by serving as the official educational partner for IAFC’s Officer Development Program.

The partnership is designed to equip fire service professionals with the necessary tools to excel in leadership roles, reflecting a mutual dedication to advancing the sector’s educational standards.

IAFC and CSU express their enthusiasm for the positive impact this program is expected to have on the fire service industry.

“This collaboration between IAFC and CSU marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to provide top-tier educational opportunities to fire service professionals,” said a spokesperson for the IAFC.

“We are confident that the Leadership Development Certification Series will play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of leaders within the fire service.”

FSJA Comment

The collaboration between the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Columbia Southern University represents a noteworthy advancement in fire service education and professional development.

By launching the first series of online courses specifically tailored for Company Officers, this partnership addresses the critical need for accessible, high-quality leadership training within the fire service community.

The flexibility of the course delivery methods, coupled with the potential for academic credit, signifies a comprehensive approach to fostering the skills necessary for effective leadership in complex emergency response scenarios.

As the fire service faces evolving challenges, the importance of such educational initiatives cannot be overstated.

They offer a pathway for current and aspiring company officers to enhance their leadership capabilities, decision-making skills, and strategic thinking, thereby contributing to the overall efficacy and resilience of fire service operations.

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