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Basic fire suppression certification - Step 2

To work in Texas as a paid fire fighter, you have to earn a Texas "basic structure fire suppression" certificate. To earn the certificate, you must:

  1. Finish a basic fire fighter training program.
  2. Show that you can perform basic fire fighting skills.
  3. Pass the state certification test.
  4. Finish your emergency medical responder training.
  5. Get fingerprints and pass a criminal history background check.
  6. Apply for your certification.


Step 2. Show that you can perform basic fire fighting skills.

Many of the skills you will learn in the basic fire suppression course are "hands on" skills. These skills include tasks such as:

  • Rolling a hose.
  • Operating a fire extinguisher.
  • Raising a ladder.
  • Donning and doffing a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
  • Choosing the right tool to gain entry to a building.

The basic fire suppression training includes several dozen skills. An important part of your training is learning how to perform all of these tasks safely. For the state performance evaluation, you won't know ahead of time which of the skills you'll have to perform. We will randomly select several to test you on.

If you attend a commission-certified training program, the program will include an official, formal evaluation of your performance of these randomly selected skills. A commission-approved field examiner will conduct the evaluation. (If you're not sure your program includes this evaluation, ask your training coordinator or give us a call.)

If you got your training through the SFFMA or an out-of-state program, an approved field examiner will have to evaluate your skills. A field examiner is a commission-certified instructor who has taken the commission's field examiner course within the last two years, and who holds a fire fighter certification.

You will have to find a commission-certified field examiner and make the arrangements for the evaluation yourself. To find a field examiner, contact the basic fire suppression training facilities in your area, or give our testing and training approval staff a call at (512) 936-3811. The facility may arrange to evaluate your skills one-on-one, or they may test you along with a group or class in progress.

When you find a field examiner who is willing to evaluate your skills, he or she must contact the commission's training approval and testing program staff in writing and send us:

  • Your name.
  • His or her contact information and qualifications.
  • The name of the certified training facility where the evaluation will take place.

We will randomly select the skills for your evaluation and send them directly to the field examiner. When you're done with your evaluation, the field examiner will sign and send us a Performance Skill Verification Form, TCFP-047.

The field examiner will give you two chances to perform each skill. If you don't perform the skill correctly in two tries, you will have to get some remedial training in the skill before you get a third attempt. (If you fail a third time, you will have to start your entire training course over, from the beginning.)


Have you finished your performance skills evaluation? Go to Step 3.

Certification and professional development

Certification and professional development

A brief introduction to the commission's certification and professional development program.

Certification requirements

The commission offers 40 certifications or certification "levels" (i.e., basic, intermediate, advanced, etc.). This chart provides links to the requirements for each certification and each level.

Certification verification

A form to verify a certified individual's certification status.

Basic fire suppression

Overview of the requirements to become certified as an entry-level fire fighter in the State of Texas.

CE - required hours

How to determine how many hours of continuing education are required to renew.

Individual renewals

Information and FAQs for individual certificate holders. (Individual certificate holders are those who are not affiliated with a regulated department.)

Transferring to Texas

Guidelines for transferring out-of-state or military fire protection certifications to Texas.

A-list and B-list courses

A-list and B-list courses for higher levels of certification.

CE sources

Sources of continuing education.

Courage to Be Safe resources

Resources and links to more information about the Courage to Be Safe program.

Traffic safety course resources

Resources and links to more information about the required traffic safety program.