Iowa Firefighter certifications
Hello...I am currently on a volunteer fire dept and have my firefighter 1 certification. I have family in michigan and the town they live in has a full time fire dept. Well I had to stop by and get a tour of their station and talked with the captain there. Well I went back there again and asked about getting on the dept and told them I was a volunteer in iowa and FF 1 certified ..He told me that they would not honor iowa's certifications and would have to be retested. Now I thought that we were nationally certified and was told that any state would honor our certs. Do we fight fire differently in each state now or what?..I was venting to some other people and I guess EMS is the same way...nationally certified but have to be retested to have it transferred. I guess we must have different kinds of people in each state too...lol..Someone please set me straight on this
Fire & EMS Responder from out of State
I was a Firefighter/EMT that moved to Iowa from the Pacific Northwest. Our training standards in the area I moved from followed the NFPA training models. Fire training crossed easily, FSTB was very helpful, and although it took awhile to receive the Certificates I did receive them. EMS on the other hand was a nightmare. When I first asked I was told by EMS Bureau that things would go easy, and that the process would be short. However when I was here in Iowa the process took almost 2 full years and ended up including taking the I-85 course so I would not drop in skill level.
I have responded nation wide on disasters and have been alowed to practice EMS in other states however the one pointer I can give is KEEP YOUR NATIONAL REGISTRY. No matter what level you are certified in this is the only National Standard in EMS. This being said Fire is not the same, it depends on when you were certified, and what curriculum you were certified under. Pointer here, keep all your certificates, training records, drill records, as they may show that you have attained the same level in the state you are applying for, by combining all your training.
Everyone look towards the National Wildfire Coordinating Group for how to set things up. They have a catalog of courses everyone must take, a sign off book you must complete, and a review process prior to being able to call yourself a Firefighter. It really helps bring a professional image to all firefighters when we each have the same training.
I wish you all well and hope that your transision goes well, just keep in mind we are all here to help those in need, in the end it makes no difference what we go through to be certified when someone in need looks into your eyes an you know you helped them in their time of need. God Bless, and stay safe!