What is an ideal LMS for Fire & Emergency services?

Posted by Bruno Cozzi on 19/09/2019

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There are differences between a generic LMS platform and one that works effectively for Fire & Emergency Service (FES) agencies, for example: 
  • Organisation Structures 

FES agencies have specific organizational structures that dictate roles and functions. Regional, District, Brigade Groups, Brigades, Shifts. There are variations, and partner organisations can have different structures. 

  • Operational Areas
FES agencies divide each state into regions , districts and control centres that facilitate local management control that integrate with state and national networks. 
  • Diverse Workforce 

The workforce is generally a complex integration of career firefighters, volunteers, and partnerships with other agencies such as police, local fire services, interstate fire services and state emergency services (SES). 

  • Accreditation and Currency

The firefighter’s accreditation process follows many standard patterns and practices that are unique to the industry, but common to its member organisations. Accreditation is supported by a common set of professional development criteria leading to “currency” in the role. 

  • ICT Systems 
Learning management solutions need to integrate with industry-specific systems such as resource management, incident reporting, rostering, and AIIMS. But they also need to integrate with the more common business systems such as HR, Document, Financial management and reporting systems. 
  • Capability Framework
Most of the required capabilities, skills and competencies are common to all agencies providing the opportunity for an industry standard capability framework that can if necessary be customized and augmented for each agency and their partner organisations. 
  • Training Resources

 Resources, locations and terminology used for training tend to be standardised across the industry.  

  • Fire Season

Fires tend to be seasonal requiring crews to be available to fight fires during the high-risk periods throughout the summer months, the fire season. This leaves the winter months as the only time for training and preparation. 

  • Risk Management

Firefighting requires a highly trained workforce that can operate as effective teams under extreme danger and unpredictability. 

  • Fire Coverage

FES agencies have a legal obligations and commitment to the community to ensure adequate resources at all levels are trained and maintained across each state in which they operate. 

  • AVETMISS Compliance 

Most FES agencies in Australia are registered under ASQA and classed as Enterprise RTOs. They are required to report annually to NCVER. 

A generic off-the-shelf Learning Management System could theoretically be configured or integrated to cater for all those requirements, but history shows that no one has managed to do it successfully. Those organisations who have achieved some degree of success have spent millions of tax-payer dollars in isolated pockets of customisation. 

When you consider that firefighting is an industry whose importance and relevance can only increase exponentially with climate change, its high time your Fire and Emergency Service agency had access to a Learning Management System that can help you develop and maintain the competencies and capabilities of your workforce. 

About the Author


Bruno Cozzi and his team have been busy designing and developing effective workplace learning management systems for over 20 years. The focus for the past 6 years has been workforce training solutions for the Fire and Emergency sector. His diverse mix of skills, combined with a thorough understanding of the vocational education and training (VET) needs of the sector make him a respected leader in this field.

His corporate systems background adds the all-important dimension of business system integration, in a world that demands privacy, data protection, high performance, zero downtime, and user friendly interfaces that work across all devices. But perhaps his most important quality is his outstanding ability to distill complex concepts and technologies into highly accessible, user-friendly and functional solutions.

Cozzi and his team at Bluegem Software are experts in the design and delivery of cloud-based learning and development technologies, web applications and web services.They have extensive knowledge of eLearning, virtual classroom and blended learning technologies and standards for the workplace.

TOPICS Training Management Systems Emergency Services Learning Management System Fire and Emergency Services