The Requirements for Being a Firefighter in Texas
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Many boys and girls dream of one day becoming a firefighter in their local town. The main goal of a firefighter according to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection is to secure fire scenes and ensure a safe working environment for all personnel. In order to become a firefighter in the state of Texas, you will have to meet the requirements of the state and go through a rigorous training program.
Basic Fire Suppression Curriculum
In order to become a firefighter in Texas, you must complete a commission approved basic structure fire suppression training program consisting of 468 hours of basic fire protection training. You can complete the program by enrolling at a commission certified basic fire suppression training facility or completing an out of state or military training program which is equivalent to the Basic Fire Suppression Curriculum. The most recognized program is the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress certificate. As of April 2010, there is a $35 fee to have your records reviewed for its equivalency to the basic training program. Another path of completing this requirement is if you hold an advanced certificate from the State’s Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas (SFFMA).
Basic Structure Fire Suppression Exam
You must then pass the commission’s basic structure fire suppression examination which contains a written portion as well as a performance skills sections. In order to pass you must receive a grade of at least a 70 percent on the written portion and a pass on the performance skills test. No one can be a firefighter in Texas without this certificate. In order to schedule the exam you must contact the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and they will mail a packet with a study guide and examination schedule.
Emergency Medical Training
The third requirement is to get emergency medical training. All firefighters in Texas must show proof that they have completed the Department of State Health Service’s (DSHS) emergency care attendant (ECA) or American Red Cross Emergency Responder training. If your academy does not offer ECA training, most community colleges, fire departments and other sources provide this training. Contact the Department of State Health Service for a list of providers.
Application for Certification
The last requirement is to submit form TCFP-002, Application for Certification, with a non-refundable $35 fee (as of April 2010). Once you pass a background check, and you have met all other requirements, you will be granted a certificate and will be able to become a firefighter in the state of Texas.
Vinise Weeks is a freelance writer from Washington, D.C. She received her Bachelor of Arts in economics at a small private liberal arts college. Since that time she has worked for Web publications such as Suite101 and Star Reviews as well as private clients. On her free time she enjoys volunteering in her community, jazz dancing, and tennis.