1. #1
    Member

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    May 2002
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    Default Training & Certifications

    I am writing to find out opinions, ideas and view points with respect to state administered fire certifications. It seems, from initial analysis, that each state is doing there own thing, with some that are legitimized by national accrediation bodies. The problem seems to be that when viewing training, and subsequent certifications, that the variance between taught-administration-qualification is minimal at best. For those that have received certification it is a difficult experience going from state to another state. Often you are asked to retest (written & practical) even when your certs are under 5 years old.

    Unless we are a fairly non-mobile society (which we aren't) you will face this problem if you move from the state in which you have received your certs. This sitation requires alot of anguish and effort for all who have worked hard to get certified and for whatever reason must move out of state. At the present you have only a couple of solutions; 1. don't move, 2. move but don't pursue reciprocity, 3. move and retest. From the states that I have dealt with option 3 is the only one that will be discussed. What isn't discussed is the pass/fail rate for those going down this road. Yet, often these same states do not require those receiving certs in their state to maintain a level of continuing education or physical capability. Is this a bit of an irony?

    Thanks for listening to the vent. Hope that something can be done to influence states, accreditation bodies and others to make the system more flexible for those who are mobile.

  2. #2
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    gunnyv's Avatar
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    I feel your pain. I had 6+ yrs as a career firefighter when I switched MOS in the Marine Reserve to Crash Crew. The DoD has a Dept wide certification program that accepts IFSAC and NPQ certs, but Michigan doesn't meet those. To avoid 70 days away from my family and job I had to drive to PA and challenge the FF I and II to get the IFSAC certs. Of course the test was a joke. I have other Marines in the same boat.
    It's all about politics. The superintendant of my old academy wanted to get IFSAC accreditation to expand their program, and the Michigan Firefighter's Training Council threatened to remove his state accreditation. They use the same IFSTA and NFPA books and standards, but they have to justify their jobs by making the program 'state specific'.
    I know more about this crap than I ever wanted to. Feel free to e-mail me for more info.

  3. #3
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    One thing nice with the newer training system in NY is the idea of training certs that are transferrable. Although NY fire training is often not recogized in other states, I can take National Equivalence Tests. In NY, a firefighter needs our Basic and Intermediate Essentials class, with the addition of HazMat, EMS, and a one or two more in order to take the NFPA firefighter Level 1 exam. After that, take the Advanced Essentials class and Vehicle Extrication and you can take the NFPA Level 2 exam. As far as I know, those are recognized across the country. For myself, I have taken all classes need to be and NFPA Level 2 firefighter. If I decide to move out of NY, I can sign up for the Level 1 and 2 tests and then if I move I don't have to start from scratch.

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