The Administrator of FEMA shall establish, at the earliest practicable date, a National Academy for Fire Prevention and Control. The purpose of the Academy shall be to advance the professional development of fire service personnel and of other persons engaged in fire prevention and control activities.
Of the sums authorized to be appropriated for the purpose of implementing the programs of the Administration, not more than $9,000,000 shall be available for the construction of facilities of the Academy on the site selected under subsection (g) of this section. Such sums for such construction shall remain available until expended.
Upon establishment of the Academy, the Administrator of FEMA shall establish a procedure for the selection of professionals in the field of fire safety, fire prevention, fire control, research and development in fire protection, treatment and rehabilitation of fire victims, or local government services management to serve as members of a Board of Visitors for the Academy. Pursuant to such procedure, the Administrator of FEMA shall select eight such persons to serve as members of such Board of Visitors to serve such terms as the Administrator of FEMA may prescribe. The function of such Board shall be to review annually the program of the Academy and to make comments and recommendations to the Administrator of FEMA regarding the operation of the Academy and any improvements therein which such Board deems appropriate. Each member of such Board shall be reimbursed for any expenses actually incurred by him in the performance of his duties as a member of such Board.
The Superintendent is authorized to establish a Committee on Fire Training and Education which shall inquire into and make recommendations regarding the desirability of establishing a mechanism for accreditation of fire training and education programs and courses, and the role which the Academy should play if such a mechanism is recommended. The Committee shall consist of the Superintendent as Chairman and eighteen other members appointed by the Administrator from among individuals and organizations possessing special knowledge and experience in the field of fire training and education or related fields. The Committee shall submit to the Administrator within two years after its appointment, a full and complete report of its findings and recommendations. Upon the submission of such report, the Committee shall cease to exist. Each appointed member of the Committee shall be reimbursed for expenses actually incurred in the performance of his duties as a member.
The Superintendent is authorized to admit to the courses and programs of the Academy individuals who are members of the firefighting, rescue, and civil defense forces of the Nation and such other individuals, including candidates for membership in these forces, as he determines can benefit from attendance. Students shall be admitted from any State, with due regard to adequate representation in the student body of all geographic regions of the Nation. In selecting students, the Superintendent may seek nominations and advice from the fire services and other organizations which wish to send students to the Academy. The Superintendent shall offer, at the Academy and at other sites, courses and training assistance as necessary to accommodate all geographic regions and needs of career and volunteer firefighters.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Administrator may enter into a contract with nationally recognized organizations that have established on-site training programs that comply with national voluntary consensus standards for fire service personnel to facilitate the delivery of the education and training programs outlined in subsection (d)(1) directly to fire service personnel.
The Administrator may consider the fact that an organization has provided a satisfactory fire service training program pursuant to a cooperative agreement with a Federal agency as evidence that such program is of equivalent quality to a fire service training program described by subparagraph (A)(i).