Logout Login | Contact Us

IAFF Fire Ground Survival Program

Candidate Information Guide

Program Name

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Fire Ground Survival (FGS) Training Program.

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Fire Ground Survival program is to ensure that training for Mayday prevention and Mayday operations are consistent between all fire fighters, company officers and chief officers. Fire fighters must be trained to perform potentially life-saving actions if they become lost, disoriented, injured, low on air or trapped. These training exercises must be consistent throughout the fire service. Funded by the IAFF and assisted by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) grant program, our comprehensive Fire Ground Survival training program applies the lessons learned from fire fighter fatality investigations conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and has been developed by a committee of subject matter experts from the IAFF, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and NIOSH.

FGS Certification Process

IAFF Fire Ground Survival Awareness


This program is suitable for all ranks and experience levels. The Fire Ground Survival course is a comprehensive curriculum developed using near misses, close calls and fire fighter fatalities to address the critical elements of fire ground survival.


Information from the IAFF, IAFC, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NIOSH,  Underwriters Laboratories (UL), United States Fire Administration (USFA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the military was used to develop the five-part curriculum consisting of:


1. Mayday Prevention.

2. Being Ready for the Mayday.

3. Self-Survival Procedures.

4. Self-Survival Skills.

5. Fire Fighter Expectations of Command During a Mayday.


Successful completion of this course requires the study of actual near misses and fatalities to reinforce the learning of each of the five parts. Students will listen to presentations, view videos of simulated Mayday incidents and read documentation supporting how best to prevent a Mayday, as well as how best to prepare for, and handle an actual Mayday. Students will learn the specific actions a fire fighter must perform to assure the highest degree of survivability when things on the fire ground go wrong.


Students will also learn the specific actions the incident commander, dispatchers and others on the fire ground must take to assist in the fire fighter’s rescue. Mastery of the concepts will be evaluated using a post-test for each section.


This FGS awareness course is a pre-requisite for participation in the FGS Instructor Training (Train-the-Trainer/TtT) Course. Information regarding the FGS TtT course will be available in the near future.


Click here to begin the IAFF Fire Ground Survival Awareness Course


© 2018 - IAFF