Typically prices are around GBP £600 (approx. $945 / 830 EUROS) depending on the location and time of year you take the course. This can vary from school to school around the world so it's best to shop around.
Once you complete the STCW Fire Prevention and Fire fighting course you will have an internationally recognised certification in fire safety and fire fighting.
The International Maritime Organisation’s Standards for Training Certification for Watchkeeping is ratified by international treaty as the baseline standard for professional seafarers. With this certificate and a number of others, you will be on the path toward a full professional seafaring qualification.
This will qualify you to intervene in a situation of imminent fire (such as a hose in an engine block) and fight any fire you find at sea whilst calling on any specialist team the ship has. It is recognised for all merchant vessels of any size, but is limited to 5 years before compulsory renewal.
This is a combined practical and theory course.
Expect time in a fire tank tackling specially created blazes with a number of fuels. Expect to get wet! The course also has a theoretical element such as the ‘fire triangle’ and the latest understanding of how to tackle fires with different fuels. It covers the best practice as to what to do in a given situation.
You can take this course anywhere in the world that has ratified the IMO Convention.
There are no prerequisites, meaning that anyone can take the course regardless of skill levels or experience.
The course can take between 2.5 to 5 days to complete depending on which training centre you choose, and how long you are willing to spend learning each day.
The course and certification is valid for five years and covers the protocols of fire prevention and fire fighting. At sea you don’t phone the fire brigade! Everyone is supposed to get in there quick after calling for help, until relieved by a specialist team or ordered to get out of the compartment by a superior.
You will also be trained in spotting fire hazards, and dealing with them as soon as they are spotted. On a yacht this might be a gas stove that has been left on by the cook, or it could be a hose that has made contact with the engine block.
You will also cover the procedures and protocols for fire fighting. These are internationally agreed, and cover everything from command structure to the practical ways of tackling the fire.
This is part of a package of compulsory courses required to complete your professional, Maritime and Coastguard Agency certification to work on yachts and ships as an officer or crew. Have a look at this RYA page for more information as to what other qualifications you need to reach the standards required.
Yes, passing the course gives you an internationally recognised certification in fire safety/fighting.
Official Website; http://www.stcw.org/
Wikipedia Page; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STCW_Convention
Course Syllabus; http://www.marine-matters.co.uk/uploads/documents/34/original/STCW95%20Syllabus.pdf?1339535323