1. #1
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    Question Certification reciprocity

    I know that this question has been asked before, but I was just wondering if anyone had any newer information. I am currently FF I IMS Level 1 (ICS 100 & 200, 3 yrs as a FF) and HazMat Ops certified by NJ. I am going to be moving to PA in the next 6-8 months, and have heard varying reports of what is required in PA, and what level of reciprocity they will grant me. My FF I course was 120 hours long, and since I will be living in PA and commuting to NJ for work, I have neither the time nor the inclination to take another full FF I course. And it seems that NJ reciprocity is a sticky issue.... Thanks for any input...
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    I did the same thing a few years back. Your best bet is to get the outlines of both states. Show where youíre Cert, matches their Cert, on paper. Hour per Hour & NFPA Standard to NFPA Standard. Itís a big pain in the rump but it benefited me. Most states donít want to give up anything because you wonít attend their school and spend money at their facilities. They have to pay for all these facilities.
    What needs to happen is the introduction of a National certification system that all states recognize. At the world Trade center site they did'nt have people checking your certifications at the door. There we 100ís of dept from Dozens of States represented and it seems they all accomplished a task no matter what State you we trained in.
    ďJust when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better IdiotĒ

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    If your certificates have seals from either IFSAC or NPQ on them they will give you reciprocity. If not, you can challenge the tests. I live and work in Michigan, which has no reciprocity, and I needed it for the DoD for my Reserve job. I challenged the FF I and FF II at the Buck's County Public Safety Training Center. Just study the IFSTA manual and you'll breeze through it. Took 3 days and $180.

    30+ states will accept the IFSAC or NPQ. Why not all of them? In Michigan's case, I believe it is bureaucracy. The people at the State Fire Training Council have to justify their jobs by "customizing" everything, and I don't think they want an outside agency looking at their operations.

  4. #4
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    Maryland uses and follows the NFPA Training and the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications standards. I am not aware of any jurisdiction that will not accept National Pro Board Certificates for whatever course you may have. If, in fact, there are states that will not accept these, maybe it is time to work on legislation to correct this. Sure, I realize that there are "local" issues to be addressed in training (my recent Wildland FFI didn't mention Fire Ants or Rattlesnakes) and an excellent course in surf rescue from New Jersey won't do much for you in Wyoming. But Training to the NFPA 1001 standard for FFI should be good everywhere. The gentleman (yes there are some in the Fire Service) who mentioned that some states are opposed to accepting training from other states ONLY because of financial reasons is very close to the mark. Time to call your congressman ?? Probably. If anyone is close to a congressman who is active in the Fire Caucus, drop a hint. Stay Safe....
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  5. #5
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    Default pa fire card

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Mattox View Post
    I know that this question has been asked before, but I was just wondering if anyone had any newer information. I am currently FF I IMS Level 1 (ICS 100 & 200, 3 yrs as a FF) and HazMat Ops certified by NJ. I am going to be moving to PA in the next 6-8 months, and have heard varying reports of what is required in PA, and what level of reciprocity they will grant me. My FF I course was 120 hours long, and since I will be living in PA and commuting to NJ for work, I have neither the time nor the inclination to take another full FF I course. And it seems that NJ reciprocity is a sticky issue.... Thanks for any input...

    i moved from ohio to pa and i joined a vol fire dept and i showed them all my certs and they told me they will accept them and i didnt do threw any academy if your dept accepts it than u are fine

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Mattox View Post
    I know that this question has been asked before, but I was just wondering if anyone had any newer information. I am currently FF I IMS Level 1 (ICS 100 & 200, 3 yrs as a FF) and HazMat Ops certified by NJ. I am going to be moving to PA in the next 6-8 months, and have heard varying reports of what is required in PA, and what level of reciprocity they will grant me. My FF I course was 120 hours long, and since I will be living in PA and commuting to NJ for work, I have neither the time nor the inclination to take another full FF I course. And it seems that NJ reciprocity is a sticky issue.... Thanks for any input...
    As was kind of eluded to, the state of PA does not have any sort of mandatory minumum training/certification requirements to be a firefighter in the Commonwealth. So from that standpoint, you have no problem.

    Any training/certification requirements will be a local level issue, so you'd definately want to check with whatever department you will be with in order to know what their requirements are.

    Regardless, in PA, FF1 isn't exactly a "class". It's pretty much strictly a challenge test type situation. Some places may have a "prepatory" class available, but you don't have to specifically take a class in order to test.

    If you want some solid answers on the reciprocity issue, then check out this link. You should be able to find the contact info for the State Fire Academy and they'd be able to give you the info you're looking for.

    http://www.osfc.state.pa.us/osfc/site/default.asp

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    In my old department, we really didn't care what cert's you have or had. If you were hired, you were going to take the complete recruit course, and be trained to Virginia and Richmond standards! Then we knew that you were certifiable to be a probationary firefighter.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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