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Open Fire Academy, International Takes Firefighter Education Mobile

The Open Fire Academy, International launched it's new mobile site. Now students and instructors can access their classes and participate using their web-enabled cell phone or pda, as if they were at a computer. For the first time, a fire and emergency services education institution will make training and information available from practically anywhere. The new feature can be accessed at

Eagle River, WI, November 23, 2008 --( The need for emergency responders to access information in a timely manner is critical. When seconds count, being able to find what is important can make significant differences in how an incident concludes. The Open Fire Academy, International ( in it's effort to ensure information is available in times of crisis, has made available its training materials from web-enabled mobile devices. All of it's courses, student materials, and information can now be accessed from any web-enabled cell phone or pda. Consider some examples.

A fire chief is on a scene of a house fire. He recalls some information from a class that he recently took that could assist him with the operations. Using his cell phone he can now go onto the class site and review the needed information.

A firefighter is taking a needed class. She unfortunately does not have access to her course when she is away from the station. Now she can access the course and participate using her web-enabled pda from anywhere. Now she is not tied to the station or another computer.

An instructor is an observer of a hazardous materials incident response. He is seeing that the incident would be a great learning opportunity for the students of his online class. He is able to take pictures and video, then upload them to his class site. He then IMs and emails his students from their personal pages, to go out and review the photos and video. He then launches a discussion through the chatroom. To further things along, he also starts a discussion board for those that missed the training opportunity.

These are just a few examples of how the system can be used. The key element is that training and education has greater availability and convenience for all. This creates an opportunity for such to become more ongoing and less tied to a specific location. Education does not only take place in a formal environment. Students should be given the opportunity to be flexible in their courses. One firefighter student of the OFA said, "I enjoy being able to access my classes anytime... when I am waiting at a resturant or store, I can follow up on my reading assignments and homework. I don't have to wait until I get home."

To visit the new mobile location go to:

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Open Fire Academy
Michael Finney

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