Compact with Texans

The Texas Commission on Fire Protection, a state government agency, is one of many state and local agencies that make up the Texas fire protection community. The commission's statutory authority and role within this community is to serve Texas fire departments by:

  • providing training guidelines and assistance to the fire service, and
  • enforcing statewide fire service standards.

For fire protection matters that fall outside the Texas Commission on Fire Protection's jurisdiction, the commission serves as a resource by providing contacts to appropriate state and local authorities.

The direct recipients of the commission's services, the members of the Texas fire service, are often called on to risk their personal safety to serve their fellow Texans. We consider it an honor to serve these people. We recognize their dedication, skill and courage, and we are committed to performing our mission in a manner that enhances their knowledge and safety.

The ultimate recipients of the services we provide are all the citizens of Texas. Texans deserve that the people who respond to fires and related hazards have the best training, the sharpest skills, and the safest equipment. To that end, we are committed to enforcing the regulations within our authority fairly, honestly, and objectively.

Agency Services and Customer Service Standards

The commission's services fall into two broad categories: providing resources to Texas fire departments and establishing and enforcing standards for fire protection personnel training and protective gear.

Providing Fire Protection Resources

Fire Protection Resource Library

The Ernest A. Emerson Fire Protection Resource Library provides fire protection research and educational materials to Texas fire departments, schools and the general public. The library's collection of audiovisual materials is available for circulation to the public. The library also provides research assistance on fire protection issues.

Customer Service Standards

Customers who request the loan of audiovisual materials will be mailed a confirmation within one week of the agency's receipt of the request. The agency sends requested materials via Priority Mail in the week prior to the confirmed "show date." The agency asks borrowers to return the items by the designated due date (typically one week following the "show date"). Borrowers are responsible for return postage. The library responds to requests for information (i.e., reference requests) within three working days.

More Information

The library's audiovisual catalog and an online request form are available on this web site's library page, or by contacting Sammie Penrod, (512) 936-3817.

Establishing and Enforcing Fire Protection Standards

Fire Protection Personnel Certification

The commission's certification section certifies approximately 32,000 fire protection personnel in Texas. Paid fire protection personnel are required by state law to be certified by this commission; volunteers and individuals not affiliated with a paid or volunteer department can choose to be certified by the commission on a voluntary basis. The commission certifies fire protection personnel to multiple levels (basic, intermediate, advanced and master) in several different disciplines, including but not limited to: structure fire protection, aircraft rescue fire protection, marine fire protection, fire inspector, fire and arson investigation, hazardous materials technician, driver-operator/pumper, fire instructor, fire officer and head of department. Additionally, the commission certifies training facilities.

Customer Service Standards

Certificates are issued within 30 days upon receipt of complete application information. Training facility certificates are also issued within 30 days upon receipt of complete information. Notices of employment and changes of discipline are acknowledged within 14 days of receipt. Annual renewals are issued within 90 days upon receipt of complete information. Detailed, specific processing periods are covered in the commission rules. Please see 401.125 for more information.

More Information

Links to detailed certification procedures and requirements are available from the certification section section of this web site, or by contacting the certification supervisor at (512) 936-3812.

Examination and Training Standards

The commission's training approval and testing program administers the written and performance examinations for fire service personnel certification. The testing and training approval program staff evaluates prior training completed by individuals to determine whether the individuals are eligible to sit for the commission examination. The testing and training approval program staff also evaluates and approves training academy certification classes.

Customer Service Standards

Training record reviews are completed and reported back to the individual requesting the review within 14 days. Examination scores are reported to academies and are published to individual's FIDO accounts within seven working days. Course approvals are issued within 14 days upon receipt of complete information.

More Information

More information about the testing and training approval program is available from the training approval and testing overview page of this web site, or by contacting Joyce Guinn, training approval and testing program supervisor, (512) 936-3816.

Standards Compliance

The goal of the commission's compliance program is to ensure the safety of the state's fire protection personnel by inspecting fire departments and other regulated entities to confirm that they are in compliance with state laws and rules. The compliance inspectors also inspect training records to ensure that fire protection personnel are in compliance with the appropriate certification rules for their disciplines.

The commission's compliance officers travel to every regulated entity at least once every two years to inspect fire protection personnel certifications, training records, breathing air test records, protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus. If a department is found to be in violation of a state law or commission rule, the compliance section compels the department to correct the violation immediately or works with the entity to develop a plan that will lead to compliance.

Customer Service Standards

Although by statute the agency cannot provide advanced notice of a compliance inspection, the commission's compliance officers are required to conduct inspections "in such manner as to minimize interference with the operations of the entity." Compliance officers deliver completed inspection reports to the head of the department during the exit interview, and a written follow-up is mailed to the head of the department within 14 days.

Upon receipt of a written complaint alleging a violation of commission regulations, the compliance section acts upon the complaint, including notification to the complainant as to whether the agency will conduct an investigation. If an investigation is initiated, the compliance section will inform the complainant regarding the status and final disposition of the case within 30 days.

More Information

More information about the compliance program is available from the compliance overview page of this web site, or by contacting Rick Wallace, compliance program manager, (512) 936-3830.

Contacting the Commission

Contacting Agency Staff

The commission's main phone number is (512) 936-3838. E-mail links and phone numbers for all agency staff members are on this web site's contact us page. The commission's mailing address is Texas Commission on Fire Protection, PO Box 2286, Austin, TX 78768-2286. The commission's main e-mail address is

Contacting Commissioners and Advisory Board Members

The names and brief biographical information about the commissioners and advisory committee members is listed on this web site's commission and advisory committees page. E-mail messages to commissioners or advisory committee members may be mailed to the commission's "info" mailbox at i Staff will forward e-mail to commissioners and advisory committee members. For direct address and telephone information for commissioners or advisory committee members, please contact the agency's executive office.

Requests for Items to be Placed on Future Meeting Agendas

Items for future commission or advisory committee meetings should be submitted in writing to the agency at least 30 days before the meeting. In no event should items be submitted later than 15 days prior to the meeting. If the item requested is a petition for new rules, the agency recommends that the submitter review 401.19.

Open Records Requests

Requests for records under the Texas Open Records Act should be submitted in writing. Please see our open records requests page.

Complaints about Entities Regulated by the Commission

Complaints about a violation of a rule within the agency's jurisdiction should be made in writing to the agency's standards compliance section at the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, Compliance Section, PO Box 2286, Austin, TX 78768-2286. (See the standards compliance section above for more information.) Please see our file a complaint page.

Complaints About the Agency

Persons with complaints about a staff member or about the agency's service should contact the agency's customer relations representative at (512) 936-3838, or by writing in care of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, Customer Relations Representative, PO Box 2286, Austin, TX 78768-2286. Please see our file a complaint page.

Appeals of Agency Decisions or Actions

Appeals of agency decisions or actions should be submitted to the agency in accordance with 401.63.

Employee Standards of Conduct

Excerpts from the agency's employee guide regarding Standards of Conduct (PDF).