Thread: Reciprocity

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    I was wondering about California and reciprocity. I am going to be FF2 in a few months using the Jones and Bartlett curiculum and i am wondering if i will be able to get reciprocity when i move back to CA.
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    When you get your FFI Certificate, apply for a National Pro Board Certificate. Those are (unlike American Express) accepted everywhere, as far as I know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    When you get your FFI Certificate, apply for a National Pro Board Certificate. Those are (unlike American Express) accepted everywhere, as far as I know.
    As far as I know, they're not accepted in NJ. But that should not surprise anyone.

    If I am mistaken, someone please let me know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    As far as I know, they're not accepted in NJ. But that should not surprise anyone.

    If I am mistaken, someone please let me know.

    George I believe you are correct which leads me to another thought. I think it is high time that the federal government in the name of "interoperability" withhold funding and grants from states that do not except or require pro-board certification at all levels and disciplines.

    When I look at the way things are done in Maryland I am embarrassed and ashamed. The fire service in New Jersey is a mess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckSkipper View Post
    George I believe you are correct which leads me to another thought. I think it is high time that the federal government in the name of "interoperability" withhold funding and grants from states that do not except or require pro-board certification at all levels and disciplines.

    When I look at the way things are done in Maryland I am embarrassed and ashamed. The fire service in New Jersey is a mess.
    I think you are 100% correct on all counts.

    I have said here 100 times that Maryland is years ahead of NJ in every aspect of the fire service and should be used as a model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    When you get your FFI Certificate, apply for a National Pro Board Certificate. Those are (unlike American Express) accepted everywhere, as far as I know.
    Chief--California doesn't reciprocate any certs...State, Federal, or otherwise. If the OP wants a California State Fire Marshal FF1, FF2, or even VFF certificate, he'll have to complete the corresponding CSFM training record, which can be handled within the department (for VFF and FF1 certs anyways--it'll take forever, but it can be done)...however the "preferred" way to obtain the FF1 cert is via a CSFM-accredited Fire Academy.
    If he can find a dept that will put him through their own (or a local community college's) academy, that'll take care of the whole issue. Minus being hired as a "recruit", though, he's going to have to fork over his own cash (to the tune of a couple grand) to attend a community college's academy.
    Last edited by the1141man; 03-31-2007 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Spelling...I need coffee!!!!
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    1141 is correct, California does not have reciprocity with anyone for fire certs. EMS and hazmat have seen the light as California is now a National Registry state for EMS, and OES (who over sees hazmat certification) is Proboard.

    You have to wonder about a state though when the State FD (CDF) over sees the State Fire Marshal Office, yet does not use the State Fire Marshal certs used by the rest of the fire departments in the state.

    Also as mentioned by comparing your training records to the California FF1 sign off sheet, you can kind of back door the system, but only after you have a FF job in the state.



    As far as Proboard, they do not cover the nation. There are 2 "national" cert systems that combined cover about 30 of the 50 states. However I do believe IFSAC and Proboard have reciprocity with each other. The states listed do not neccessarily mean they are accredited for all fire certs, some only recognize certain levels.

    Proboard
    Alabama, California (hazmat only), Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Masachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming.
    Also parts of Canada.
    Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.

    IFSAC
    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
    Also parts of Canada and some other nations.
    Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, South Africa, Oman.


    California claims to exceed the standards of these organizations, and at the officer level I agree however at the firefighter level and various technician classes they do not. I've taken classes through both systems and I've found FF1&2 there is little difference, Fire officer California is way ahead, rescue systems 1 (California) is poorly organized compared to the various rescue certs of Proboard / IFSAC.

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    The above it true. CA does not accept any other state's or federal certs. In a nut shell- You need to start from ground zero here.

    On a posititive note, if youre a career Federal Firefighter, you could transfer into a Federal FD in CA and they will work with you. I cant give a solid answer how because every Fed FD is different.

    Want the official word? Click on this link and scroll down to page 97.
    http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/pdf/training...uresmanual.pdf

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    On a posititive note, if youre a career Federal Firefighter, you could transfer into a Federal FD in CA and they will work with you. I cant give a solid answer how because every Fed FD is different.
    As far as I understand, if you're talking about Navy, Air Force, etc Federal Civilian FDs (not USFS, BLM, or NPS)...once you're finished with your FF1 and FF2 from them (Federal academy), they basically sign you off on a CSFM FF1 training record using your documentation from Goodfellow (assuming that's where you went for Fed FA) as supporting evidence. Once you have your 6 mos of full-time experience, you apply to CSFM for an FF1 cert, and voila, there ya go.

    As for FF2 from that point, you'd probably have to go to the "regular" FF2 academy--if I understood right, you can't do FF2 through departmental sign-offs as you can with FF1.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    When you get your FFI Certificate, apply for a National Pro Board Certificate. Those are (unlike American Express) accepted everywhere, as far as I know.
    Florida will not take any outside certs flat out. There are a couple states that if you have their cert, Florida will let you challenge its test. If you hold a national cert in EMT or paramedic you can challenge Floridas test as well.

    I was at a semminar just last week put on by ICC, and the rep said they are trying to get Florida to take the ICC fire and building inspector certs. So far no luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    Minus being hired as a "recruit", though, he's going to have to fork over his own cash (to the tune of a couple grand) to attend a community college's academy.

    THAT is flat out WRONG. NO ONE should ever have to put up a penny of their own money to take Firefighter Training. Ever. Anywhere.

    Every bit of Training that I have taken to get the 11 National Pro Board Certificates that I hold has been FREE, thru County and State Training Academies. My current Training Resume' covers about 2,275 Hours of Training, and I have not spent a penny of my money to get those hours. My VFD paid a total of about $300.00 for me to take a total of 4 courses where there was a fee charged. These 4 classes were provided thru Contractors, all others were County and State funded.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    THAT is flat out WRONG. NO ONE should ever have to put up a penny of their own money to take Firefighter Training. Ever. Anywhere.

    Every bit of Training that I have taken to get the 11 National Pro Board Certificates that I hold has been FREE, thru County and State Training Academies. My current Training Resume' covers about 2,275 Hours of Training, and I have not spent a penny of my money to get those hours. My VFD paid a total of about $300.00 for me to take a total of 4 courses where there was a fee charged. These 4 classes were provided thru Contractors, all others were County and State funded.
    Don't shoot the messenger, Chief...I'm just explaining how it is here:

    Excepting certain department-run Academies (CDF @ Ione, LACity/LACo have their own in LA I believe, etc), the Academy programs in CA are run by the community colleges in the state as a "vocational ed" course, therefore full tuition and fees apply...the tuition at least is set by the state government, and is non-negotiable. Getting on as a "recruit" somewhere usually means the department "sponsors" you to the local comm college Academy (gets you a seat, issues protective gear, and pays all fees and tuition), so you don't pay out-of-pocket for the training...unless you hit a contractual stipulation: failing or dropping out of the academy, or failing to complete the probationary employment period, or a certain contracted period of time. Then you're required to pay back the tuition and fees in full to the department, usually.

    Not "defending" the system, just saying that that's how it is... if it's any consolation, the cops face the same screwed-up system, and every Paramedic school is out to make $$$$$$$$$$ (the cheapest one within 200 miles of me is $5000) for a license that'll get you a $35k a year job if you're lucky...

    I wish we had free schooling for basic POST and CSFM courses (like FF1)...that'd make my day. Can I move to MD and join up with you guys???
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    THAT is flat out WRONG. NO ONE should ever have to put up a penny of their own money to take Firefighter Training. Ever. Anywhere.

    Every bit of Training that I have taken to get the 11 National Pro Board Certificates that I hold has been FREE, thru County and State Training Academies. My current Training Resume' covers about 2,275 Hours of Training, and I have not spent a penny of my money to get those hours. My VFD paid a total of about $300.00 for me to take a total of 4 courses where there was a fee charged. These 4 classes were provided thru Contractors, all others were County and State funded.
    Thats not how it works in Fla. You pay for your FF cert, unless you have a medic cert and an FD hires you and sends you to the academy. Thats rare, but it does happen. Most times though FDs only hire folks who have their fire cert.

    Same goes for any other FF training. Instructor, Inspector, Investigator, FO 1 & 2. If your not on an FD, you pay your own way.

    And thats only if your FD has the money. We only budget a certain amount each year and if a class comes up after its all been spent, your on your own.

    Now Im talking paid FDs. Volly FDs may pay for their members.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    As far as I know, they're not accepted in NJ. But that should not surprise anyone.

    If I am mistaken, someone please let me know.

    I have pro board and I am in NJ and its all good. Fort Monmouth runs a fire academy to get it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    A
    As for FF2 from that point, you'd probably have to go to the "regular" FF2 academy--if I understood right, you can't do FF2 through departmental sign-offs as you can with FF1.
    Actually there is no FF2 academy. FF2 in California is department specific. Your training record gets completed and have one year of experience fulltime or 2 years parttime your chief or designee signs a statement saying you've met the requirements. This gets sent to CSFM and they issue a FF2 certificate.

    Check page 90 of CSFM training guide

    http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/pdf/training...uresmanual.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    :
    Excepting certain department-run Academies (CDF @ Ione, LACity/LACo have their own in LA I believe, etc), the Academy programs in CA are run by the community colleges in the state as a "vocational ed" course, therefore full tuition and fees apply...the tuition at least is set by the state government, and is non-negotiable. Getting on as a "recruit" somewhere usually means the department "sponsors" you to the local comm college Academy (gets you a seat, issues protective gear, and pays all fees and tuition), so you don't pay out-of-pocket for the training...unless you hit a contractual stipulation: failing or dropping out of the academy, or failing to complete the probationary employment period, or a certain contracted period of time. Then you're required to pay back the tuition and fees in full to the department, usually.

    Not "defending" the system, just saying that that's how it is... if it's any consolation, the cops face the same screwed-up system, and every Paramedic school is out to make $$$$$$$$$$ (the cheapest one within 200 miles of me is $5000) for a license that'll get you a $35k a year job if you're lucky...

    I wish we had free schooling for basic POST and CSFM courses (like FF1)...that'd make my day. Can I move to MD and join up with you guys???

    Where do you live? In Sacramento area, Sac city and Sac Metro both have fire academies we put our new hire through. There are two community college FF1 academies here. Cost is under $600. American River College teaches paramedic. Cost is less than $1000. Company officer class are about $150 each, most of which is the charge the state fire marshall charges.

    Starting pay for a firefighter/paramedic at my dept is $60,000 plus incentives. We will be hiring at least 20 people a year for the foreseeable future.

    I wish we had Maryland's system but that would require taxing someone. In California, all new taxes must be voted on by the citizens with a 2/3 majority to get it approved. Most people in the state don't care about fire dept. They certainly aren't going to pay a surcharge on the fire insurance to help us out.

    So, we pay to the state fire marshal the development of courses and maintenance of records. The community colleges provide the training. Community college tuitition is $20 a credit hour. This is a bargain compared to most states.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjteague View Post
    I wish we had Maryland's system but that would require taxing someone. In California, all new taxes must be voted on by the citizens with a 2/3 majority to get it approved. Most people in the state don't care about fire dept. They certainly aren't going to pay a surcharge on the fire insurance to help us out.

    So, we pay to the state fire marshal the development of courses and maintenance of records. The community colleges provide the training. Community college tuitition is $20 a credit hour. This is a bargain compared to most states.
    I think that is the thing right there, it might not be free but community college is so much cheaper than most states. Even at $20 a unit EMT is well under $200 (IIRC EMT is 6 units so $120 + books), a fire academy is around $200 and when I did Paramedic school I think I paid about $500 total. I have taken a couple of classes through MFRI though and I was impressed with their program. Besides I think its cool to have a D/O cert from the University of Maryland, from a distance it looks like I actually have a real edumacation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    Don't shoot the messenger, Chief...I'm just explaining how it is here.

    I wish we had free schooling for basic POST and CSFM courses (like FF1)...that'd make my day. Can I move to MD and join up with you guys???

    Sorry, What I typed didn't come out as what I meant. Or something like that. "Flat Out Wrong" was in reference to the system, not you. My apoligies.


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    Gee. and I thought Fairfax was the only "state" that didn't accept anyone else's certification requirements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjteague View Post
    Where do you live? In Sacramento area, Sac city and Sac Metro both have fire academies we put our new hire through. There are two community college FF1 academies here. Cost is under $600. American River College teaches paramedic. Cost is less than $1000. Company officer class are about $150 each, most of which is the charge the state fire marshall charges.

    ....
    So, we pay to the state fire marshal the development of courses and maintenance of records. The community colleges provide the training. Community college tuitition is $20 a credit hour. This is a bargain compared to most states.
    See, that's what I was talking about--big cities like Sac, LA, SF, have their own academies and hire people as "Fire Recruits"... out here in the sticks departments can't afford to have their own academy nor can they afford to pay tuition fees.

    Here's a breakdown taken from one of our local community college's academy page:
    24 units @ $20 per unit
    $480.00
    Health Fee
    $14.00
    Text Books
    $150.00
    Total
    $644.00

    Estimated Additional Costs:

    Approved safety boots
    $150.00
    Uniforms
    $300.00
    Protective clothing
    $1,500.00
    Physical examination
    $150.00
    CSFM Certificates $50.00
    Now, if one is a volunteer for a local department, they can skirt the cost of boots and turnouts because the department will OK you to use their gear for the academy... however, the other $1,000+ (tuition, fees, uniforms, etc) still applies. In my area, $1,000 is a lot of money (all of it in advance), not to mention you're basically going to school on a full-time basis... I suppose it's no problem if you're 18 and have no bills, and mom & pop pay the tuition... otherwise you're going to have a really tough go of things. Just saying.

    Actually there is no FF2 academy. FF2 in California is department specific. Your training record gets completed and have one year of experience fulltime or 2 years parttime your chief or designee signs a statement saying you've met the requirements. This gets sent to CSFM and they issue a FF2 certificate.
    Funny, I just saw an announcement for an "FF2 Academy" being put on by another local community college... open registration to anyone possessing a current FF1 cert. So I guess you can do it as department training, or if you have a local CC willing to put it on as a full class, there ya go, too. *shrug*

    Sorry, What I typed didn't come out as what I meant. Or something like that. "Flat Out Wrong" was in reference to the system, not you. My apoligies.


    And Yes, you're welcome in Maryland any time. Be glad to have you aboard.
    Hey, it's cool Chief. I re-read what you wrote and kinda figured that's what you were talking about. The way you guys run things over there seems pretty damn squared away...and I'd probably see more fire in a month there than I have in the past 2 yrs with my current dept. *LOL* Sign me up.

    PS--as regards the $5k for paramedic school for a job that gets you $35k a year, I was referring to strictly working as a private ambulance medic, not FF/P.
    Last edited by the1141man; 04-04-2007 at 07:06 AM.
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    Well i will take this in a different direction then what is the minimum training necesary to be a interior firefighter in ca (vollie). I am a FF2 in maine so i am not worried about not knowing what i am doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swfire42 View Post
    Well i will take this in a different direction then what is the minimum training necesary to be a interior firefighter in ca (vollie). I am a FF2 in maine so i am not worried about not knowing what i am doing.
    I'm sure that someone will cite either a CSFM document, or an OSHA reg that says the min standard for interior firefighter in CA is FF1.
    If that's the case, I can tell you just about every pure-vollie and probably at least 75% of the combination departments in this state are in violation of said rule, law, or regulation.

    Then again, lots of departments are hiring and promoting guys to Engineer without their FF2, or Driver/Operator 1A & 1B certs... *shrug*

    Personally, if all you're looking for is just to be a volunteer, show you can do all the skills in the Certified Volunteer Firefighter Training Record, and have your volunteer/combination dept send that in (must have The Chief's signature). You might want to "update" your HAZMAT FRO and CSR Operations to "California Standard", too, just to cover all the bases.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

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    Quote Originally Posted by swfire42 View Post
    Well i will take this in a different direction then what is the minimum training necesary to be a interior firefighter in ca (vollie). I am a FF2 in maine so i am not worried about not knowing what i am doing.
    The volunteer department I belonged to prior to be hired full time required a 32 hour class that was taught on two consecutive weekends plus you wore a Large red "R" on your helmet for a year. FF1 was never required but was recommended.
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    Sorry I upset you. That was not my goal. California is a big state and I forget that things aren't always the same everywhere.

    There are other community colleges that are cheaper and supply PPE. There are also colleges that do a part time program for those who must work during the academy.


    Funny, I just saw an announcement for an "FF2 Academy" being put on by another local community college... open registration to anyone possessing a current FF1 cert. So I guess you can do it as department training, or if you have a local CC willing to put it on as a full class, there ya go, too. *shrug*
    First time I heard of this. I stand corrected.
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    swfire42 private message me with your email if you have any more questions.
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