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    Default NFPA Firefighter 1+2 Tests

    Hi... I am 18 years old and have been on a volunteer station for the past 2 months. We are now starting to do our FF 1+2 training and he is insisting that the test is pretty hard. I was just wondering other people's opinions on how hard the test is... Thanks

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    I don't remember the tests' for FF1&2 being so difficult, certainly not physically. It is a lot of information to remember, so it would be wise for you to pay close attention and continually review the material and your skills throughout the course. The biggest problem I see is students tend to foget the skills they learn early on in the course and find themselves cramming to remember to prepare for the test at the end. This is not a problem if you continually practice and review to keep it fresh. Pay attention, and ask questions if you don't understand something, you'll do fine.

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    A lot depends on where you are and under what accreditation the test is run. Does your state have its own system? Is your testing run under the auspices of NPQS or IFSAC? The form of the test, how "hard" it is, etc. all depend on who runs the show in your state.

    If you're taking FF-I in an IFSAC or NPQS accredited system, then you'll have a 100-question written test, followed by a 12-station practical. The written test will be multiple choice and can be drawn from anything in the FF-I level sections of the IFSTA Essentials manual. The practical will be a long day, but very doable if you pay attention to proper technique and safety issues. The FF-I practicals may involve some live fire, but probably won't (the vast majority of the random stations do not). The FF-II written will be harder, in the sense that it covers things many of us don't see every day, but the practicals are much shorter and (in my opinion) much easier...and they involve at least some live fire (at least one mandatory station requires it). I found FF-I much more challenging than FF-II, simply because it covers a lot more material and takes most of a day to complete the practical. The fact I took the practical in a cold northern Pennsylvania monsoon didn't help, either.

    Now, if your state has its own system, I can't help you and it's possible that none of what I've said above applies.
    Last edited by bobsnyder; 04-13-2007 at 10:57 AM.

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    To further what bobsnyder said, in the state of PA, NFPA FF1 and FF2 are achieved by the challange method. As mentioned, each state is different. Even though PA has NFPA guidelines, your actual certification is NPQS here, which means that your certification is recongnised nationally. Over in NJ, their FF1 program is not NPQS so a fire fighter certified in NJ who moves to PA will not be certified FF1.

    OK, so, in this state (PA), you have to finish the following classes to prepare for FF1

    1. HazMat Awareness (4 hours)
    2. Basic First Aid (6 hours)
    3. CPR Infant-Child Adult (4 hours)
    4. Structural Burn Session -live burn class (16 hours)
    You need to provide certificates for the above to attach to your FF1 application. So now you have 30 hours of class, but wait! Structural Burn Session has a pre-requsite class which is PA Essentials of Firefighting. When I took it, this class was 88 hours, now it is 160 hours. Also, not required but recommended is FF1 review class, which is another 32 hours.

    Using me as an example, I put in 150 hours class time (actually more) to get the application in for FF1 challange. This did not include practice on my own for the skills practical or review on my own for the 100 question written test. When I took the challange, the written was scored after we left so I don't know how many passed or failed but I do know that out of 28 taking the FF1 practical with me, 14 failed...50%. As previously mentioned, there are 12 skills stations but you have to know 26 stations as some of them are picked at ramdom. So, is it easy? To me it was ok, but I really studied and worked hard to prepare, but I'm sure the 14 who failed thought it was hard.

    PA FF2
    The pre-requsites for this are:
    1. FF1
    2. HazMat operations (24 hours)
    3. Basic Vehicle rescue tech (48 hours)

    There are 5 skills stations for the practical, out of 7 possible stations. Another 100 question written test.

    So, getting FF1 under the conditions in this state in 1 year is possible but you have to have your nose to the grind stone. It took me 1.5 years to get it and I don't know anyone (volunteer) who has done it faster but it depends on your desire and your ability to schedule classes when you need them. From beginner to FF2 in PA in 1 year would be impossible for a volunteer.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas15 View Post
    From beginner to FF2 in PA in 1 year would be impossible for a volunteer.

    Tom

    In my humble opinion, I think that one should be a FF1 for a set amount of time (year +). Regardless of what FF1 it is, local, IFSTA/NPQS etc.. I was a "ABCDE" IFSTA firefighter for 8 years before I challenged the IFSTA level 1 exam. I passed, but I wished I had taken the whole course again. I am just about finished the FF2 course (burn building this weekend!) I think some sections of FF2 is a bit to advanced for "rookies". ICS, Advanced vehicle rescue? Get some dirt under your nails before jumping into the more critical stuff......

    again just my opinion.
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    Well...I'm in NW Indiana and i am doing both fire 1+2 at the same time. And that is right after mandatory

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    I totally agree with you.

    Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by WaterbryVTfire View Post
    In my humble opinion, I think that one should be a FF1 for a set amount of time (year +). Regardless of what FF1 it is, local, IFSTA/NPQS etc.. I was a "ABCDE" IFSTA firefighter for 8 years before I challenged the IFSTA level 1 exam. I passed, but I wished I had taken the whole course again. I am just about finished the FF2 course (burn building this weekend!) I think some sections of FF2 is a bit to advanced for "rookies". ICS, Advanced vehicle rescue? Get some dirt under your nails before jumping into the more critical stuff......

    again just my opinion.

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    Last I checked NPQ FF1 was 100 question written and 18 hands on practicals. Quick dress being one, so basicly you have 17 others to study for.
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    My NPQ FF1 was a 100 question test, and 12 stations, quick dress not being one of them. The only "dressing" scenario was donning the SCBA, and having it operational in less than 1 minute.

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    Default wow 1 min

    I am taking my FF1 right now. Our midterm is this Thursday and we have a skills night on Tuesday. We had 1:30 to get in full ppe and breathing air. But as for the main posters question so far the class has not been to hard. It is alot of confidence. Don't go into the class thinking you can't do the stuff they are asking or you will fail. Just listen to what the instructor says and do it. I know the first few skills nights were a real beating but so far everything else has not been bad at all.

    But good luck with your class man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongLost View Post
    I am taking my FF1 right now. Our midterm is this Thursday and we have a skills night on Tuesday. We had 1:30 to get in full ppe and breathing air. But as for the main posters question so far the class has not been to hard. It is alot of confidence. Don't go into the class thinking you can't do the stuff they are asking or you will fail. Just listen to what the instructor says and do it. I know the first few skills nights were a real beating but so far everything else has not been bad at all.

    But good luck with your class man.

    See for me the skills are not my problem what so ever. I'm just a little bit worried about the written part of the test cuz im doing emt schooling at the same time and i don't wanna make myself look like a jackass or my instructor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by proby77 View Post
    Hi... I am 18 years old and have been on a volunteer station for the past 2 months. We are now starting to do our FF 1+2 training and he is insisting that the test is pretty hard. I was just wondering other people's opinions on how hard the test is... Thanks
    I am currently in a firefighting class in NE Indiana. My class just took the Firefighting 1 & 2 test about two weeks ago. We just found out that out of about 30 students, only ten people actually passed the test. Our instructors are awesome, and I don't think that it had anything to do with them. I think that it was the students not putting in enough effort, along with not studying enough. I have yet to get my test scores back, so I do not know if I am one who passed or not. So to answer your question I think that the test is extremely hard if you don't put any effort into the class or material. Now if you do put effort in, you should be fine.

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    i am 18 and i just completed my ff1+2. i am actually a "live-in" student through my college which means while studying fire science i actually live at a local fire department and get paid for running calls. as to your ff1+2. dont stress too hard. it is not physically challenging just memorizations. the things that will kill you on your end test will be ladders, donning, and knots. also salvage covers. alot of people seemed to fail that. as for the written test..do not worry about all the NFPA standards. on my test i had one question about that. for ff1 it will mostly be about equiptment, types of knots, scba, etc. ff2, atleast on my test, was alot about vehicle extrication, foam, interior attack, and IC (incident command) just make sure you study and review those key things. in my oppinion really focus on the actual practical test. when i took it, if you failed the practical you couldnt take it again till june. but with the written you can just keep taking it. the practical they let you fail up to 3 stations, and at the end you got to repeat those stations. i hope this helps and good luck

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    Well I would be lying if I said the test (or any firefighter exam, really) is "easy". But anything that's difficult can be made easier with the right preparation. Don't go into this blind - get yourself informed with what the exam entails, and maybe get some practice exams from http://www.fireservicebooks.com/ to give you a full idea of what you're in for.

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    Pay attention in your practicals in class and you should do all right. For the written test READ THE BOOK, read each chapter before the class on it, and after. In my FFI&FFII class the ones who read the book passed and the ones who didn't failed (on the written anyway), its just that simple.

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    Good tips guys, but since this thread was started back in 2007, I sure hope he has passed by now

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