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Basic fire suppression certification - Step 4

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 4. Finish your emergency medical responder training

When you have passed the skills evaluation and written test, the next step toward getting your certification is to show us that you have had emergency medical response training. The training must be equal to one of the following:

  • Texas Department of State Health Service's (DSHS) emergency care attendant (ECA).
  • American Red Cross Emergency Responder (with optional lessons and enrichment sections).

This is the minimum requirement for the state certification. Many departments require more medical training, such as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or paramedic certification. That's up to each department. For the state certification, you just need to show us that you have finished the training.

Some fire training facilities include medical training as part of their basic fire course. If so, they will coordinate the medical training and testing with the certifying entity (i.e., DSHS or the Red Cross).

If your training provider does not offer emergency medical training, you have other options. Many colleges, fire departments and private trainers conduct emergency medical response training.

More information about ECA, EMT and paramedic training is available at the DSHS website. For more information about the American Red Cross program, contact your local Red Cross chapter or visit the American Red Cross website.


Have you finished your emergency medical training? Go to Step 5.

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.