Learning by experience alone is a slow process, and one that can never give a firefighter the knowledge he needs to work efficiently. It will certainly never give a firefighter insight into the wide range of possibilities that are likely to be encountered during an emergency incident.
The function of a training program is to be effective in creating competent firefighters. These firefighters after training must not only be efficient, but have the self-confidence in their individual ability to perform under stressful and hostile conditions. Training programs must be systematic, planned and validated. Training must be comprehensive for the individual as well as for the organization . It must provide feedback to the trainee and geared to achieve the desired results.
Training programs should have at least three basic goals:
The first is about ensuring the system, composed of people, apparatus, and equipment, is capable of handling emergencies.
The second is to meet community obligations. These are the expectations as expressed by a utilization of services and the demand for new services within the community as it grows. The community has certain expectations of its fire department. These expectations must be met.
The third is to satisfy the training needs of individual firefighters. The firefighters are customers of the training program and as such have needs and desires that must be taken into consideration when developing the training program.