The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has been for the last 15 years, a leader in vocational training in fire safety in Latin America, where I had the responsibility, and why not say, the privilege, to administer these professional development programs in Spanish.
By Jaime A. Moncada
NFPA has decided, from 2016, assume direct control of professional development programs in Latin America. I want to summarize very briefly then fifteen years, but I think much more interesting for the audience that reads us through this magazine, describe what is coming in the near future regarding new training options fire safety.
Professional development programs NFPA born in 1999, on a trip through Latin America CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NFPA at the time, who traveled with me. In each country we visited we heard the same "we need training in Spanish". is optionally idea became a reality and from the 2002 through International Fire Safety Training (IFST), assume the administration of these training programs on behalf of the NFPA.
The first years of this program were quite complicated, specifically because we had no channels to reach users in the region, because we did not have enough courses that will interest our customers, and because we had very high prices estimated for this type of training. But after necessary changes to the 2005 we were exceeding our business plan.
10 recent years have been extraordinary and demonstrate the need and interest that exists in the region on fire safety training. The growth of these programs has been, on average, 15 2002% per annum from and through different seminars almost 28 30.000 people have been trained in more than 1.000 20 countries courses.
This prerogative, that of being a standard bearer of NFPA through its educational programs in Spanish, has been one of my most satisfying professional privileges. They say that education is the noblest profession. After 15 years, I have no doubt. I excuse me if this sounds presumptuous, but through this work, with instructors and operators who have joined us, we had the opportunity to exert a positive influence on seminal and fire safety in Latin America.
I appreciate the words and feelings of many, including President of the NFPA, James Pauley, who said "IFST substantially improved the level of knowledge about the codes and NFPA standards in the region ... We are very grateful for the work that IFST by many years later I took the name of the NFPA ".
However, the most important thing is that the success of these training programs in Latin America shows that we are ready for bigger challenges. The user of fire safety is hungry for more, as well as to deepen already received training, especially in a region where fire safety is not formally taught technical or university level.
In 2016 they enter the training market in the Spanish Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) and Fire Protection Institute (FPI), with more specialized most advanced and / or topics courses courses NFPA. These courses are not intended to compete with traditional courses NFPA, but rather deepen and expand the level of training that NFPA has established. I understand that other organizations based in the United States, with interest also in training in Spanish would be entering the Latin American market.
In a region where there are no universities that train engineers fire protection, these courses, further, are excellent news for all of us, because the more training options we have, we can be much more professional in what we do .
* Jaime A. Moncada, PE is director of International Fire Safety Consulting (IFSC), a consulting firm in fire protection engineering based in Washington, DC. and offices in Latin America. He is an engineer fire protection graduate of the University of Maryland, co-editor of the Handbook of Fire Protection NFPA, Vice President of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). E-mail Ing. Moncada is email@example.com