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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed training standards for those working in the fire service, and issues certificates for firefighters who pass the training. The Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 Certifications use job performance requirements to measure the knowledge and skills needed as a firefighter. The Firefighter 1 Certificate covers basic fire service qualifications, while the Firefighter 2 Certificate involves more specialized areas and command.
General Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Firefighter 1
The firefighter must know the organization of the fire department, how the department works with other agencies and all standard operating procedures. He must demonstrate the ability to don and remove protective clothing quickly, tie knots, mount/dismount fire apparatus. The firefighter must demonstrate ability to use telecommunications equipment including telephones and radios to receive emergency calls and take and relay information accurately.
Fireground Operations Requirements for Firefighter 1
The firefighter must know how to use Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and the conditions when it is required. She must know how to force entry into a building, set-up ground ladders, and attack a vehicle fire. The firefighter must demonstrate an understanding of fire streams, including water flow from various sizes of hoses and nozzles. She must also know how to conduct search and rescue inside a building, ventilate a building, and connect a pumper or tanker truck to a water supply.
General Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Firefighter 2
The firefighter must know how to assume and transfer command at a fire scene using the department's incident management system. He must demonstrate the ability to complete an incident report and communicate the needs of his team to command authority using the department's standard operating procedures.
Fireground Operations Requirements for Firefighter 2
The firefighter must demonstrate the ability to extinguish an ignitable liquid fire using foam and ensure that the fire does not reignite. She must show the ability to assemble a team and devise the attack technique for fighting various kinds of fires. The firefighter must be able to select tools to force entry into a building and how to provide proper ventilation in a building based on the structure and nature of the fire. She must know how to protect evidence in cases of arson and demonstrate the ability to rescue victims of motor vehicle accidents using extrication tools. The firefighter must also know how to conduct hazard inspections and how to properly document any hazards found.