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August 12, 2014

Update on ISO certification

It has come to our attention that the reference book listed in the commission's Incident Safety Officer curriculum (Certification Curriculum Manual, Chapter 10), Fire Department Incident Safety Officer, 2nd ed., 2007, by David Dodson, is no longer being printed and is available only in very limited quantities. If your training facility intends to submit a course approval request for Incident Safety Officer, please note the limited availability of this required reference.


July 15, 2014

Notice to training coordinators: minor changes to several skills

On July 8-10, 2014, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection had a site visit by a reaccreditation team from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC), which occurs on a five-year rotation. The IFSAC team reviewed the commission's policies, procedures, test banks and skill sheets, and observed a written and skill evaluation process. The team did not find any deficiencies with the commission's testing and certification processes, but did recommend a few minor changes to test questions and skill sheets. Commission staff members corrected these items during the site visit.

The changes and additions appear in the Fire Fighter I, Hazardous Materials Technician, and Driver/Operator – Pumper skills manuals. To ensure that the commission's testing processes meet 100 percent of the applicable NFPA standards, the changes required immediate implementation. The staff has updated the applicable curriculum and skills manual chapters and has prepared a packet highlighting the changes Link to PDF file.

UPDATE - July 17, 2014
Driver/Operator – Pumper training coordinators, please note: Several training coordinators pointed out that the recommended changes to Driver/Operator – Pumper skill sheets 11 and 13 were not feasible. Based on these findings, and through verification with our IFSAC site team, the area that they considered deficient will instead be addressed in skill sheet 10. With the IFSAC site team's approval, skill sheets 11 and 13 will remain unchanged and will contain no reference to drafting. The only change that will occur to the Driver/Operator – Pumper skill sheets is an update to skill sheet 10, adding 5.2.2 and 5.2.4 to the NFPA 1002 reference. We have updated the packet linked above to incorporate this correction. We apologize for the inconvenience - and we'd like to thank our stakeholders for their input.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact Mollie Clakley, testing and course approval supervisor, at (512) 936-3815 or Grace Wilson, curriculum specialist, at (512) 936-3855.


June 27, 2014

Important notice regarding Incident Safety Officer certification

At its Aug. 7, 2014 meeting, the commission will consider a proposed rule revision to §457.3 that, if adopted, will remove the following courses from the list of approved training programs for Incident Safety Officer (ISO) certification:

It has been determined that the National Fire Academy ISO course does not address all the requirements of NFPA 1521, Standard for Fire Department Safety Officer, and therefore does not adequately prepare students to take the commission's certification exam. Both of these courses were included in the initial adoption of the ISO certification rules to provide several avenues for training in the absence of a commission-approved ISO curriculum. However, since the commission has now published an ISO curriculum, these courses are no longer necessary.

If the commission approves the proposed rule change at its August meeting, the proposed change will be published in the Texas Register for public comment. The commission will accept comments until its next quarterly meeting (which will take place in November or December), at which time the rule will be considered for final adoption. If adopted, the change will go into effect approximately 30 days following the meeting.

During this interim period, both courses may continue to be used to qualify for the Incident Safety Officer certification exam. However, individuals currently attending either course are strongly encouraged to thoroughly review Link to PDF file Chapter 10 of the commission's curriculum manual and the listed reference materials before taking the exam.


April 28, 2014

Commission seeks applicants for hazardous materials ad hoc curriculum committee

The commission is seeking applicants for a hazardous materials ad hoc committee. This committee will meet four to six times per year at commission headquarters in Austin. Committee members will be actively involved in intense review and development of fire fighter training issues. Meetings typically last two to three days. Committee members are not reimbursed for their travel expenses.

Applicants must hold, as a minimum, an Instructor I certification and a Hazardous Materials Technician certification from the commission. Active participation in training programs is also required.

Please submit a completed committee membership application by Friday, May 16, 2014. Applications can be faxed to Grace Wilson, FAX (512) 936-3808, or via e-mail to grace.wilson@tcfp.texas.gov.

The first meeting of the hazardous materials ad hoc curriculum committee will be June 9-10, 2014.


February 24, 2014

Commission to begin accepting TEEX-issued ProBoard certificates

On March 3, 2014, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection will begin accepting certain ProBoard certificates issued by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) as a new avenue toward state certification. Qualifying certificates include those issued for TEEX classes taught to the following editions of the applicable NFPA Standards:

Certification DisciplineNFPA StandardEarliest Edition
Allowed
Basic Fire Suppression - requires Fire Fighter I & II, HazMat Awareness and Operations1001, 4722008
Aircraft Rescue Fire Suppression10032010
Fire Instructor I & II10412007
Fire Inspector - requires Inspector I, Inspector II and Plans Examiner I10312009
Driver/Operator - Pumper10022009
Fire Officer I, II, III & IV10212009
Hazardous Materials Technician & Incident Commander4722008


Before applying for a commission certification in one of the above disciplines using a TEEX ProBoard certificate, please verify the following to ensure that you qualify:

  1. Check your TEEX ProBoard certificates against the above table. Your class must have been taught to the listed (or later) edition. The certificate must show the edition.
  2. Verify with TEEX that the training course for which you earned a TEEX ProBoard certificate has a "training prior approval" (TPA) number. (Note: Fire Officer III, Fire Officer IV and HazMat Incident Commander certificates are exempt from this requirement until Feb. 28, 2015. All other certificates must include this information.)
  3. If your TEEX ProBoard certificate does not show the "TPA number," contact TEEX. (TEEX must provide verification that a training prior approval number was issued for the course and that the course was taught to a commission-approved NFPA edition. This applies for all TEEX ProBoard certificates except for FO III, FO IV and HazMat IC - see Item 2.)
  4. Review all the requirements for the commission certification for which you are applying. (These may include passing a criminal history check, completing medical training, etc.) Make sure you have completed ALL the requirements for the certification - holding a TEEX ProBoard certificate is only one step in the process of earning a commission certification.
  5. Complete TCFP-002, Application for Certification Link to PDF file. Complete all the required fields and check all the appropriate boxes on the form. Review the instructions provided with the form to ensure your application is complete.
  6. Submit the application with copies of any required documentation, along with a check for $85 for each certificate for which you are applying, to the address listed on the form.

For more information or assistance, please call the commission's certification section at (512) 936-3829.


February 7, 2014

Commission appoints Tim Rutland as executive director

Executive Director Tim Rutland

Following a second round of interviews on Feb. 6, 2014, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection selected Tim Rutland as its new executive director. The commission interviewed nine candidates, in September 2013 and February 2014, and expressed its appreciation for all of the candidates.

Prior to his career with the commission, Rutland served 25 years with the Corpus Christi Fire Department, with responsibilities including fire suppression, emergency medical services, hazardous materials response, emergency management, and training.

Rutland began his service with the commission in July 2007 with the training approval and testing staff, and shortly thereafter became the certification and professional development supervisor. He was appointed as interim executive director in April 2013.

Upon the announcement, Rutland stated that the ten months he served in the interim position had been a great privilege, and that he was grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve.


December 12, 2013

Reminder: test application processing fee and skill testing requirements for Hazardous Materials Incident Commander, Fire Officer III, and Fire Officer IV are waived through Feb. 27, 2014

We would like to remind Texas fire protection personnel that the commission has waived the initial test application processing fee requirement for those individuals who meet the certification training and or "special temporary provisions" requirement for the following voluntary certifications:

After Feb. 27, 2014, applicants who wish to test for these voluntary certifications will be required to complete a commission-approved training program, meet the commission designated skill testing requirement, and pay the required test application processing fee.

Please note that commission rule External link §453.205 requires an individual to document completion of NFPA 472 Awareness and Operations level training before applying for the Hazardous Materials Incident Commander examination. Commission rule External link §451.305(b) requires that an individual hold Structure, Instructor II or higher, and Fire Officer II certifications (or the equivalent IFSAC seals) before applying for the Fire Officer III exam. Commission rule External link §451.405(b) requires that an individual hold Fire Officer III certification (or the equivalent IFSAC seal) before applying for the Fire Officer IV exam.

For more information, please contact the commission's training approval and testing section at (512) 936-3819.


September 9, 2013

Changes for this year's renewal period

The Texas Commission on Fire Protection has launched several new features in its FIDO system for this year's renewals. (FIDO is the commission's online account management tool.) Please note: beginning Sept. 1, the FIDO login page has changed; there are now several login options. Please be sure to login as a department administrator (dFIDO) for departmental renewal options, or as an individual (iFIDO) if you are maintaining your own certification.

New for this renewal season:

Departments and individuals still have the option of paying with check or money order, but we encourage you to take advantage of the new online payment options.

For more information about certification renewals, please contact our certification section at (512) 936-3829.


June 28, 2013

Continuing education (CE) requirements for upcoming renewal period

The commission would like to remind departments that the continuing education (CE) requirements have changed. These changes will be in effect during the upcoming renewal period (departments can begin renewing their personnel's certificates on Sept. 1, 2013). Under the new CE requirements, employed certificate holders must earn a minimum of 18 hours of CE, with two additional hours of CE for each discipline to which the individual is appointed.

The annual CE requirement for "individual" certificate holders is unchanged – 20 hours will renew all certificates an individual holds (with the exception of HazMat Tech, which requires an additional eight hours). An "individual" certificate holder is someone who is not currently employed, but holds his or her own certifications.

The key to these changes is the "appointment." An "appointment" is NOT the same thing as a "duty assignment," and it's important to understand the difference as it applies to the new CE rules. If you are "appointed" by your department to a regulated discipline, you must have two additional hours in the discipline. (An appointment to a discipline is a formal acknowledgement that fire protection personnel are performing the duties of a regulated discipline, based on commission rules and regulations. The "appointment" occurs in the commission's FIDO system.)

The following disciplines require an "appointment" by the employer:

Currently, all other certification disciplines are assignments. (The commission defines an "assignment" as making "a particular type of fire protection duty part of an individual's regular and ongoing responsibilities." The commission considers an "assignment" to duties as a local decision.)

So, how many CE hours do you need? To determine the hours, follow these steps:

  1. Start with the minimum requirement of 18 hours.
  2. Determine whether you are appointed to a regulated discipline. (Your department may have appointed you to more than one discipline).
  3. Add two hours of discipline-specific CE for each discipline to which you are appointed.
  4. If you hold a Hazardous Materials Technician certificate, add eight hours of technician-level CE.
  5. If you are appointed to ARFF duties, add CE that meets current FAA regulations.

A wildland certification also requires four hours of discipline-specific CE; however, these four hours can be counted toward the 18 "core" hours. With regard to the "core" hours, External link §441.5 states, "The head of a fire department may select subject matter for continuing education appropriate for a particular discipline." This means that the head of your department decides what to include in the 18 core hours based on your department's needs.

Examples:

  1. An individual is appointed to Structure Fire Protection only:

    +
    18
    2
    core hours
    hours of structure CE
    20hours total

  2. An individual is appointed to Structure Fire Protection and Fire Inspection:


    +
    18
    2
    2
    core hours
    hours of structure CE
    hours of fire inspection CE
    22hours total

  3. An individual is appointed to Structure Fire Protection, Fire Inspection and holds a HazMat Technician certification:



    +
    18
    2
    2
    8
    core hours
    hours of structure CE
    hours of fire inspection CE
    hours of hazmat technician-level CE
    30hours total

One other minor note about the Chapter 441 CE revisions: The commission has renamed the former "Track A" and "Track B" as "Level 1" and "Level 2" (see External link §441.3). This was simply a "name change" for clarification:

Level 1 – Training intended to maintain previously learned skills as stated in the commission certification curriculum manual for the certifications held.

Level 2 – Fire service training or education intended to develop new skills that are not contained in the commission's certification curriculum manual for certifications held.

If you have any questions about the new CE requirements, please contact the commission's certification section at (512) 936-3829 or Send e-mail certifications@tcfp.texas.gov.


May 30, 2013

Reminder: exam requirements for ISO and wildland are waived through Aug. 31, 2013

We would like to remind Texas fire protection personnel that the commission has waived the exam requirement for the commission's voluntary incident safety officer (ISO) and wildland certifications through Aug. 31, 2013 (please see External link §457.3 for ISO, External link §455.3 for basic wildland, and External link §455.5 for intermediate wildland requirements). If you have completed the required training, you can apply for these certifications by submitting TCFP-002 Link to PDF file, along with any required documentation and the $85 certification fee. After Aug. 31, 2013, applicants for these certifications will be required to pass the commission exam. For more information, please contact the commission's certification section at (512) 936-3829.


May 1, 2013

Commission appoints Swindle to fire fighter advisory committee

At its April 25, 2013 meeting, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection appointed Chief Ken Swindle of the Krum Fire Department to the fire fighter advisory committee. Chief Swindle has over 35 years of fire service experience in a variety of roles. The commission noted that 52 people applied for the committee's position, and selected Swindle from seven finalists invited to address the commission at its April meeting. The commission thanked all of the applicants for their ongoing commitment to the Texas fire service.

The commission also welcomed its newest member, Commissioner Joseph Gutheinz, who replaced Commissioner Art Pertile. The commission also elected Commissioner Jody Gonzalez as assistant presiding officer, and appointed Commissioner John Green as chair of its strategic planning subcommittee. The commission also re-appointed Mike Hunt of Duncanville to serve as its liaison to the Texas Fire School Advisory Board.

The commission reviewed the 2012 Fire Fighter Injury Report and approved a motion to send the report to the State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO) for inclusion in the SFMO's annual report. (The report is also available on this website.)

The commission scheduled its next quarterly meeting for July 11, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.


April 26, 2013

Commission dismisses executive director

At its April 25, 2013 meeting, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection dismissed Executive Director Don Wilson and appointed Tim Rutland as Interim Executive Director. Rutland has served as the commission's certification program manager since July 2007; prior to coming to the commission he served 25 years with the Corpus Christi Fire Department.


April 22, 2013

Commission will meet on Thursday, 4/25

The commission's April 25, 2013 meeting is scheduled for the same day as the West, Texas memorial (see the next article below); although we cannot reschedule the meeting, Presiding Officer Steve Tull has stated that the commission will make every effort to expedite its business so that those who wish to attend the memorial can do so.


April 19, 2013

West, Texas: helpful information

Our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens and first responders of West, Texas. The Office of the Governor's Disaster Center has published a list of resources for those seeking to help with the recovery effort. Thank you.

Update, 4/22: The Texas Line of Duty Death Task Force has announced a joint memorial service on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Ferrell Center on the Baylor University campus. (Please see the Texas LODD Task Force's Facebook page for more information.)


March 28, 2013

Governor appoints one new commissioner, reappoints three current members

Governor Rick Perry has reappointed Commissioner Jody Gonzalez, Commissioner John McMakin and Commissioner Lenny Perez for terms ending February 2019. The Governor also appointed Joseph Gutheinz of Pearland to replace Commissioner Art Pertile, who did not seek reappointment when his term ended. For more information about the new and reappointed commissioners, please see the appointment release External link from the Governor's Office.

We wish Commissioner Pertile a fond farewell, and congratulations to our new and re-appointed commissioners!


March 28, 2013

Commission to close early on March 29

The Texas Commission on Fire Protection offices will close at noon on Friday, March 29. Normal business hours will resume on Monday, April 1, 2013.


Archived articles (news and notices more than six months old):

2013

February 20, 2013 - Commission seeks applicants for new head of department ad hoc committee

February 15, 2013 - Update on new certifications - Fire Officer III and IV, and Hazmat Incident Commander

February 11, 2013 - Commission to appear before Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees

January 2, 2013 - New curricula and skills available

2012

December 11, 2012 - Governor Perry appoints Moore, Poynter to the commission

December 4, 2012 - December fire fighter advisory committee meeting cancelled

November 20, 2012 - Commission seeks applicants for curriculum and testing committee

November 15, 2012 - New Director's Corner article - HB 3866: TCFP's interpretation

November 15, 2012 - Agency holiday schedule notice

November 14, 2012 - New structural fire fighter skills coming January 1, 2013

October 31, 2012 - Commission seeks applicants for fire fighter advisory committee

October 30, 2012 - October 2012 commission meeting highlights

October 29, 2012 - Renewal time means busy phones

October 24, 2012 - Certification wallet cards are now available

October 9, 2012 - Commission seeks applicants for fire investigator ad hoc committee

September 17, 2012 - Governor Perry appoints Ekiss to Texas Commission on Fire Protection

September 7, 2012 - Note regarding signatures on department renewal invoices

August 23, 2012 - Changes in the works for fiscal year 2013

August 20, 2012 - 2011 injury report now available

August 1, 2012 - TDEM offers hazardous material emergency preparedness training

July 18, 2012 - Highlights from the July 2012 commission meeting

June 22, 2012 - New online payment program for departmental renewals

June 22, 2012 - Fire Officer I skills update published

June 8, 2012 - New website page: 'Director's corner'

June 4, 2012 - New 'no injuries' reporting feature in FIDO

May 29, 2012 - Connealy appointed as State Fire Marshal

May 2, 2012 - TFSC announces forensic science conference, June 4-5

Apr. 20, 2012 - State and local initiatives enhance fire fighter safety

Mar. 30, 2012 - April commission meeting notebook posted

Mar. 12, 2012 - Commission seeks applicants for wildland fire fighter ad hoc committee

Mar. 7, 2012 - Texas Commission on Fire Protection fills two leadership positions

Mar. 2, 2012 - Advisory committee to consider new voluntary certifications

Feb. 23, 2012 - Advisory committee meeting time change

Jan. 13, 2012 - Commission seeks fire school liaison

2011

Nov. 3, 2011 - Commission appoints Don Wilson as executive director

Sept. 26, 2011 - New CTBS reporting module available

Sept. 21, 2011 - Comptroller highlights Texas emergency response efforts

Sept. 15, 2011 - Lawmakers provide additional funding for volunteer fire departments

Sept. 12, 2011 - Recent changes to the state requirements for inspectors

Sept. 7, 2011 - Attention: Chief training officers and coordinators - new TCFP-030 form

Sept. 1, 2011 - Commission seeks applicants for two new ad hoc committees

Aug. 3, 2011 - Executive director retires; standards director to serve as interim director

Aug. 2, 2011 - Commission sets fees at $85

July 20, 2011 - August 1 commission meeting materials posted

July 1, 2011 - Commission rolls out new public website and FIDO application

June 7, 2011 - Continuing education (CE) requirements for October 31, 2011 renewals

May 27, 2011 - Commission votes to publish fee increase proposal

May 20, 2011 - Commission to hold special meeting on fee increases

May 6, 2011 - Commission approves renewal fee increase of 'up to' $65

Mar. 23, 2011 - Commission library receives $3,500 grant from State Farm Insurance

Mar. 14, 2011 - Commission approves proposal to increase fees

Feb. 9, 2011 - Governor and legislature recommend changes to the commission

Feb. 8, 2011 - Safety notice regarding Blaze-Fighter gloves

Feb. 1, 2011 - Attention individual certificate holders - important

Jan. 11, 2011 - Governor Perry appoints McMakin to Texas Commission on Fire Protection

Jan. 7, 2011 - Online certificate printing now available

2010

Dec. 3, 2010 - Duty change process available in FIDO

Dec. 1, 2010 - Training facilities renewal available in FIDO

Nov. 10, 2010 - Attention ARFF training facilities: rule change

Oct. 22, 2010 - Commission welcomes two new members

Aug. 24, 2010 - Appropriations process for next session begins

July 29, 2010 - Important notice: New certification renewal procedures for departments

July 6, 2010 - Attention training facilities: performance skills changes

June 1, 2010 - Governor appoints Cortes to commission

Feb. 26, 2010 - Attention fire chiefs and heads of departments: Please assign an 'online account owner'

Feb. 16, 2010 - Commission passes mandatory fire protection personnel injury reporting rules

Jan. 6, 2010 - Important notice regarding criminal history checks

2009

Oct. 30, 2009 - Former commissioners honored

June 8, 2009 - Governor appoints four new commissioners, re-appoints two

Jan. 20, 2009 - Governor appoints new presiding officer

2008

Dec. 4, 2008 - Governor appoints three to Texas Commission on Fire Protection

Oct. 20, 2008 - Commission ends wallet cards

May 1, 2008 - Texas Forest Service launches fire department directory

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