IAFF Fire Ground Survival Program
FGS Candidate Information Guide
The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Fire Ground Survival (FGS) Program.
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 through the Assistance to Firefighters 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 International Association of Fire Fighters, the International Association of Fire chiefs and NIOSH.
FGS Certification Process
IAFF Fire Ground Survival Awareness
This program is suitable for all rank 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 NIST, NIOSH, IAFF, IAFC, UL, USFA, 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, and 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 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.
IAFF Fire Ground Survival Program Delivery Methods
IAFF Fire Ground Survival Operations Course - Direct and Indirect
There are two options in providing IAFF FGS Operations Courses to a fire department. The training can be provided directly by IAFF Master Instructors or by IAFF-Certified FGS Instructors.
Direct Delivery Operations Course
This option is hosted by a fire department for its own members, utilizing IAFF Master Instructors.
Indirect Delivery Operations Course
This option is hosted by a fire department for its own members, utilizing their department's IAFF-Certified FGS Instructors and where needed and so trained, FGS Assistant Instructors.
IAFF Fire Ground Survival Train-the-Assistant Instructor Course
IAFF FGS Train-the-Assistant Instructor Course is hosted by a fire department utilizing IAFF-Certified FGS Instructors and is designed to train selected members from within IAFF-affiliated fire departments from the ranks of fire fighters, company officers, and chief officers to become FGS Assistant Instructors. These Assistant Instructors are permitted to provide training to the FGS Operations Level Course within their fire department and only under the supervision of the IAFF-Certified FGS Instructors. The FGS Assistant Instructor position is an option for a fire department that has at least two IAFF-Certified FGS Instructors. This position is created by the fire department's IAFF-Certified FGS Instructors after identifying individuals that have mastered their skills and are capable of assisting the IAFF-Certified FGS Instructor. Local-affiliated fire departments can host a four-day FGS Train-the-Assistant Instructor Course at anytime; but must register and pay the required per student fee with the IAFF prior to the commencement of training.
IAFF Fire Ground Survival Train-the-Trainer Course
Host Site Requirements
Click here for Fire Ground Survival License Information.
Contact the IAFF and inform them of your desire to become a host FGS workshop and examination site. Workshop and administration sites affiliated with the IAFF will be given preferential treatment as host sites.
Host Site Costs
A fire department may be a host site for up to 30 candidates at a fixed fee of $45,000. As part of this fee, the IAFF will provide durable, fabricated props for the Upper Floor Egress, Disentanglement, and Reduced/Low Profile Wall Breach. Durable signage for all props and training stations will also be provided. These props and signage will remain the property of the host site and the IAFF will provide vendor information for the purchase of additional or replacement props. The IAFF will provide all the required training manuals and resource materials. Each student for the IAFF-Certified FGS Instructor Program will be required to have these teaching aids. As part of this fee, the IAFF-Certified FGS Instructor will be registered with the IAFF and will receive all updated training materials and continued information regarding the FGS Program. Payment must be received 90 days prior to the start of the workshop. If payment is not received prior to the start of the workshop candidates will not be authorized to attend.
If you do not have a minimum of 30 candidates, you may also consider:
All registered candidates, as part of the fee, will receive the FGS manuals, including Instructor Guides, PowerPoint Presentations, FGS Instructional Videos, Plans for Prop Construction, Practical Skill, Evaluation Sheets. All materials will be sent immediately after registering with a valid credit card, verifiable fire department purchase order number, or department check. If a credit card payment is declined, the individual or department will be notified and their slots will be removed and study guides will not be sent until a valid payment is received by the IAFF.
Payment must be received prior to the start of the workshop. If payment is not received prior to the start of the workshop candidates will not be authorized to attend.
The host site fee provides for six IAFF FGS Master instructors.
FGS Workshop Cancellation Policy
Once a workshop date is scheduled, the class cannot be postponed due to a lack of registrants and the only cancellation exception would be due to an "Act of God." If a workshop is postponed the host site can reschedule a future date. The IAFF will not be responsible for refunding airline or train tickets associated to the fire department, IAFF Local affiliate, or individual should a cancellation occur due to an "Act of God."
FGS Workshop Locations/Date
The dates and locations of workshops and examinations will be posted on the IAFF web site, FGS_schedule.htm. For additional information you may contact the IAFF at (202) 824-1572.
Payment of Fees and Purchases
Workshop Fee - Train-the-Trainer - $45,000; Operations Course - $35,000
All workshop and/or examination fees and purchase costs are in US funds.
We accept checks, money orders and credit cards (VISA or MasterCard only).
Checks or money orders, in US funds, shall be made payable to: IAFF - Health and Safety Department/FGS Program
There will be no refunds of the workshop, examination fees, or study materials. Emergency medical situations prior to or during a workshop may be reviewed by the IAFF but it will be up to the discretion of the IAFF to determine if a refund is warranted. All medical emergency reporting must include valid documentation or paperwork, otherwise possible consideration of a refund will not be granted.
Content of Workshop
The four-day Train-the-Trainer workshop has three main purposes. First, to review the online materials so as to increase the candidates’ knowledge related to fire ground survival. Second, to improve the candidates’ ability to deliver the prepared classroom lessons to fire fighters from their department, and lastly, to improve the candidates’ ability to demonstrate and teach the practical survival skills that are part of the FGS curriculum.
The workshop will focus on Preventing the Mayday, Being Ready for the Mayday, Self-Survival Procedures, Self-Survival Skills and Fire Fighter's Expectations of Command.
Workshops will be taught by IAFF Fire Ground Survival Master Instructors.
The workshop will begin at 8:00 am and end at 5:00 pm on most days provided that all of the learning objectives for that day are covered. One hour will be given for lunch.
Workshops will be taught using small group learning methods, which encourages student participation.
Students will spend part of the time in a classroom setting and the rest of the time performing practical self-survival skills while wearing full protective equipment (PPE), including SCBA.
Becoming a Certified IAFF FGS Master Instructor
The IAFF currently has 25 IAFF certified FGS Master Instructors. Prospective instructors for the four-day FGS Train-the-Trainer and three-day FGS Operations Training Courses must meet the following qualifications. If you are unsure if you meet the following criteria, please describe any / all fire service, survival training, and instruction-based experiences in two or three detailed paragraphs.
Interested individuals who meet the above criteria must provide the IAFF with the following:
FGS Certification Program Contact Information
International Association of