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October 27, 2014

Commission overview and update, October 2014

On Oct. 27, 2014, Executive Director Tim Rutland provided an overview of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and its recent activities at the 16th Annual Texas Fire Marshal's Conference. A copy of the presentation is now available online.


October 20, 2014

Proposed rule revisions for inspections, head of department open for comment

Revisions to commission rules under Chapter 445, Administrative Inspections and Penalties Link to PDF file, were approved by the commission at its October 16 meeting for publication in the Texas Register.

Also at the October 16 meeting, following extensive discussion, the commissioners directed that proposed changes to Chapter 449, Head of a Fire Department Link to PDF file, be returned to the ad-hoc committee for more review and consideration.

The commission urges stakeholders to review and submit comments Send e-mail on the proposed changes prior to the January 29, 2015 commission meeting. (Please see the agency's rule revisions in progress page to review all current proposed changes to the commission rules.)


September 10, 2014

Notice to individual certificate holders

The commission recently mailed postcard reminders to all individuals who maintain their own certifications regarding the renewal period for 2015. Commission certificates expire on October 31 each year. However, if you recently applied for and received your initial certification, your certificate may not expire until October 2015.

To check your certificate's expiration date:

  • Login to iFido
  • Click the "My status" tab
  • Click on "My current status"

If you have any questions about when your certificate expires, please call the commission's certification section at (512) 936-3829.


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 Joyce Guinn, testing and course approval supervisor, at (512) 936-3816 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.


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

2013

December 12, 2013 - Reminder: test fee and skill testing for Hazardous Materials Incident Commander, Fire Officer III, and Fire Officer IV are waived through Feb. 27, 2014

June 28, 2013 - Continuing education (CE) requirements for upcoming renewal period

May 30, 2013 - Reminder: exam requirements for ISO and wildland are waived through Aug. 31, 2013

May 1, 2013 - Commission appoints Swindle to fire fighter advisory committee

April 26, 2013 - Commission dismisses executive director

April 22, 2013 - Commission will meet on Thursday, 4/25

April 19, 2013 - West, Texas: helpful information

March 28, 2013 - Governor appoints one new commissioner, reappoints three current members

March 28, 2013 - Commission to close early on March 29

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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