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  1. #1
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    Question Rescue Technician certification requirements?

    Can someone shed some light, or point me in the right direction PLEASE?

    I have been researching what certification is required (if any) for rescue technicians. We are teaching our own classes, and I know about the NFPA Standards: 1670, 1006, 472 and, 1983 which address minimum skill sets and knowledge requirements, but what about CERTIFICATION? Does a class that meets the NFPA requirements have to be IFSAC certified or can it be as simple as a course completion certificate that is validated by an accredited (third party )institution and be OK.


    Any help appreciated!


  2. #2
    fmc204
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    Certification is not usually required unless your AHJ makes it part of your job. Most people go thru the process for personal satisfaction. The standards are there for the skill level your department chooses to follow(ie: tech, ops) and whether the individual chooses level 1 or level 2 for their own skills or as part of an organized team. In Mass, our fire academy uses National Pro Board cert, which is above and beyond the tech rescue classes we teach, if the student chooses to go thru the cert process he usually does it on his/her own. Hope this helps a little.

  3. #3
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    firelt03:

    First let me say this is not a sales job...

    I own a training company and get this question often. Most "certification" is done via accredidation. (IFSAC / ProBoard) To get accredidated, you have to have the legal authority to certify students given to you by the state legislature. That is why State fire Academy's and/or colleges are the only ones you see issueing certifications. Another thing to note is that some fire academy's and colleges will only give out certificates of completion. They say "...has successfully completed a course that meets whatever requirement."

    With that said, there are a lot of certifying agencies that do not offer all of the technical rescue certifications to meet technician levels in all disciplines. That is where department's train their own or have a 3rd party come in to do the training.

    First of all make sure you running classes that meet he newest NFPA standard. Many people do not know that there have been changes to NFPA 1006, 2008 edition. For my classes, I prepare taskbooks and practical assessment sheets that provide a verification for the AHJ that the student was actually given the information in the classroom and then practically tested. They are then signed off by an instructor as having meet the requirements for that level.

    I recommend that any department certifying their own people use a 3rd party to 1) evaluate the course for compliance, and 2) use a 3rd party to perform student skills evaluations. IFSAC and ProBoard require this as part of their accredidation process and you should require it as well.

    On a final note, the AHJ, in most states, has total authority to accept whatever training they want as the "certifying" course. I know at my old department we were not happy with state academy tech rescue training, so we hired a contractor to come in a deliver our courses. Obviously, the training has to be in line with the national standard and common work practices or you could leave yourself open to some liability.

  4. #4
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    Thank you.

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    I've been trying to post, but keep getting a review message.

  6. #6
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    I get this question quite often when I bid on training courses. IFSAC and Pro-Board cloud the certification waters because most end-users of the courses think they have to take that accredited course.

    First - IFSAC and Pro-Board only extend accredidation to agency's that have the legal authority to certify. 9 times out of 10 this will be the state fire academy or the fire colleges. This gives you a "state certification". When an agency receives accredidation they are evaluated against the standard and other teaching and evaluation criteria. The problem with IFSAC and Pro-Board is that they limit who they accredit. I have taken accredited classes and was extrememly disappointed with the course.

    Most states allow the AHJ to decide what course will certify their people. For instance when I worked in South Carolina, we decided to have a contractor come in for rope training as the state academy had a very limited course. You may choose to develop your own program as well. I would recommend having someone audit your course to ensure that it meets NFPA, OSHA...

    One word of caution, to really have a stand-up program you need to have an evalution system. It is in you best interest to have outside evaluators come in to conduct the evals. You may be interested to know that is generally a requirement of IFSAC and Pro-Board as well as nearly all certifying agencies. It will make your program better in the long run.

    If you need help with anything you can email me at jmatthews@technicalrc.com

  7. #7
    fmc204
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    Sounds like we are all in agreement on this one. I know in Mass we teach a 3 day operational class and a 4 day technician level class. For which they receive a course completion certificate for so many hours of class. If they so choose to get National Pro-Board certification they apply to the Mass Fire Training Council to sit for a written test first ,then should they pass, a day of practical skill evaluation. Of course any class you take involving that amount of time should meet the current standards, all one has to do is ask prior to the enrollment to make sure, you can have a third party validate it, if you so choose, but that doesn't give you certification.

  8. #8
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    Default Rescue Tech classes

    Thank you all to posted replies. I have a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve.

    Stay Safe!

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