FF Certification Delivery Options
NFPA 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications – 2019 Edition
NC Fire and Rescue Commission (FRC) – The FRC was transferred to the North Carolina Department of Insurance in October 1985. At that time, the Commissioner of Insurance vowed support of this agency and has since that time supported it with personnel, budget, etc. In July 1989, the Legislature passed a Bill which changed the makeup of the FRC. The Fire Commission became the FRC, with duplicate responsibilities in the area of rescue as was previously held for fire. The Office of State Fire Marshal serves as staff to the FRC.
The areas of responsibility for the FRC lie in numerous areas. The General Statutes (G.S.) that control the operation, selection, and duties of the FRC are found in G.S. 58-78-1; 58-78-5; 58-78-10; 58-78-15; 58-78-20. G.S. 58-78-5 (14b) specifies the following duty of the FRC: “To establish voluntary minimum professional qualifications for all levels of fire service and rescue service personnel, and to issue, deny, suspend, revoke or take similar actions with respect to certifications issued by the Commission ofminimum professional qualifications established under this subdivision.”
To fulfill the duty specified in G.S. 58-78-5 (14b), the FRC must maintain all North Carolina’s certification programs in accordance with the most current professional qualification standards. The FRC manages the state’s voluntary certification system comprised of 32 subjects, in which more than 100,000 fire and rescue personnel participate. Fourteen certification programs are active including: Fire Fighter, Instructor, Technical Rescuer, Fire and Life Safety Educator, Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator, Emergency Vehicle Driver, Hazardous Materials Responder, Fire/Arson Investigator, Fire Officer, Marine Shipboard Fire Fighter, Airport Fire Fighter, Chief 101, Rapid Intervention Crews, and Wildland.
Effective July 01, 2020, the following programs will be updated as approved by the FRC on October 08, 2019:
- NFPA 1001 (2019) – Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications
- NFPA 1002 (2017) – Standard for Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator Professional Qualifications
- NFPA 1003 (2019) – Standard for Airport Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications
- NFPA 1005 (2019) – Standard for Professional Qualifications for Marine Fire Fighting for Land-Based Fire Fighters
- NFPA 1041 (2019) – Standard for Fire and Emergency Services Instructor ProfessionalQualifications
- NFPA 1072 (2017) – Standard for Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction EmergencyResponse Personnel Professional Qualifications
- NFPA 1407 (2020) – Standard for Training Fire Service Rapid Intervention CrewsThere have been a few inquiries regarding the changes to the NFPA 1001 (2019) – Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications program, so additional information is provided below pertaining to this referenced standard.
NFPA 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications identifies the minimum job performance requirements for career and volunteer firefighters whose duties are primarily structural in nature. Provisions address entrance requirements, Fire Fighter I, and Fire Fighter II.
Revisions make the standard more relevant to today’s field. This edition:
- Consolidates general requirements for firefighters into one chapter.
- Adds a new chapter recognizing the role of firefighters in providing emergency medical servicesat various levels.
- Defines and requires the concept of “field reduction of contaminants” to address chronicexposure to carcinogens.
- Adds defining language and a Job Performance Requirement (JPR) for the behavioral healthchallenges faced by firefighters — including recognition of “critical incident stress”.
Annex information helps department leaders and trainers understand and apply requirements. This edition:
- A new matrix provides a comprehensive overview of JPRs.
- A new annex section recognizes the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives of the National FallenFirefighters Foundation.
To provide clear and accurate information on changes to the NFPA 1001 (2019) – Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications program, the FRC’s Certification Board has complied the attached document titled: “FF Certification Delivery Options”. This document provides a detailed explanation of the program changes, various delivery options, important dates, and the transition option from the old program to the new program. The Certification Board has also created a course crosswalk to assist firefighters with their personal migration from the old program to the new program.
Program adjustments, to all the above referenced programs, will allow more time to concentrate on the application and mastery of the skills. This will provide a better trained firefighter. This is achieved by the firefighter experiencing life-long training and education opportunities within these important accredited certification programs. At the end of a day, the FRC seeks to provide effective and solid accredited certification programs which provide for the safety and well-being of our emergency responders and the citizens they serve.
This format has taken 21 classes to 13 classes and follows the NFPA 1001 (Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications) 2019 edition. The total amount of hours for this program has increased 46 hours which includes all of Fire Fighter, Emergency Medical Care, Traffic Incident Management Systems (TIMS), Haz-Mat Awareness, Haz-Mat Operations, Haz-Mat Mission Specific Personal Protective Equipment, and Haz-Mat Mission Specific Product Control.
Instructors and students are allotted more instructional time by combining some of the courses. We have begun to require 100% skills testing in all accredited certification programs since the 2013 re-writes of the Fire Fighter Program (NFPA 1001-2013). With that, the amount of time needed to teach the programs has increased across all accredited certification program areas. However, most of the accredited certification programs have not yet seen any increases in course hours as we planned to allocate the new hour requirements upon the next re-write cycle instead of changing all accredited certification programs mid-cycle.
The 100% skill testing is imperative to maximize the learning experience while presenting a creditable program for North Carolina’s emergency responders. The current focus is geared towards passing the test and getting the students through the skills within the allotted time. Tremendous resources are afforded to this effort across all accredited certification programs. Most departments, however, would prefer the students be able to learn the hands-on applications. Application skills are crucial in life and death situations faced by our emergency responders, not just passing a written test. The 2019 Fire Fighter program adjustments will allow more time to concentrate on the application and mastery of the skills. This will provide a better trained firefighter. This is achieved by the firefighter experiencing life-long training and education opportunities within this important accredited certification program.
The combining of courses allows students to become more engaged in the subject matter rather than rapidly moving through topics to meet the target hours; all while allowing the instructor the most flexibility within these various courses. Furthermore, we can keep the hours more manageable than if we continue to maintain individual subjects in the FF program area. The 2019 Firefighter program must adjust to remain compliant with the current version of NFPA 1001. The program design exceeds the standard requirements while keeping the contact hours as low as possible. Other options of program design were researched; however, those options would increase the total contact hours to the Fire Fighter programs by well over 100-hours.
Finally, changes were also needed/required to match up with the textbook and skills testing. This helps both the student’s and the program’s credibility. At the end of a day, the NC Fire and Rescue Commission seeks to provide effective and solid accredited certification programs which provide for the safety and well-being of our emergency responders and the citizens they serve.
Click this link to see the FF certification delivery options and other important information: NCFRC Information Bulletin_12-10-2019