- Can I have an outside instructor come to my department and instruct, if he/she is not an Instructor I with SFFMA?
Yes. These individuals would fall under the umbrella of the Certification Coordinator for that department.
- How does the certification coordinator transfer training attained within the department for participating members prior to 2015 and as far back as 1976, to the current program in order to obtain credit for those years of training?
Utilize Certification Program guidelines “Revised January 2015” or later in regard to objectives for each subject area. If all objectives have been met, you may give credit for them.
- How do individuals or departments wanting copies of records receive them from the Austin office?
It is the responsibility of the individual departments to maintain and track their own training. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the individual to keep a personal copy of all of his/her certificates—regardless of whether they believe the department or the coordinator are keeping copies on file for them. As much as we would like to help all departments requesting this information, the association office has neither the manpower nor the time to research records which should be on file at the specific departments. The association office should be considered as a “last-ditch effort” in obtaining documentation. This is another prime example of how important and how careful departments must be when selecting their coordinator.
All requests MUST be made in writing. Be sure to provide your full legal name, last four digits of SSN, birth date, and all departments that may have submitted records for you with dates (at least years) served. While we will process requests for copies of training, please note that there is no guarantee as to when copies will be forwarded. These are time-consuming requests and as turnaround time for applications is one of our priorities, records requests will be processed as time allows. Research fees are collected to pay for the act of doing the research, therefore, if no information is found, fees will not be refunded.
- If individual dues are not maintained as “current” what, if anything, would happen to the status of certification as it applies to SFFMA?
Nothing. Once an individual has acquired certification through SFFMA, their status as certified is for life.
- My department has elected not to test. Can I test anyway?
As of January 1, 2015 all certifications issued by SFFMA require a comprehensive third-party examination if it was not included as part of the course of study and clearly documented.
- I previously received my certificate and I have verified my eligibility to test. If I take the test and fail, will I be required to start over?
No. If you hold any level of certification or document of training completion issued by SFFMA and take the Firefighter I or II-level tests and fail, you do not lose your training completion validation or have your training negated.
- If I have obtained my Module 1, 2, 3, and 4 certificates, can I test at the Firefighter II level only?
No. You must take and pass the Firefighter I written and skills tests before testing at the Firefighter II level.
- Do I get a “Firefighter II” certificate if I have taken the Commission’s (TCFP) test?
Yes. The certification board will accept anyone who has passed the TCFP exam at the Firefighter II level provided fully-completed applications (Introductory, Firefighter I and Firefighter II), fees and documentation have been submitted. These individuals are not required to retest with SFFMA.
- If I hold a TCFP Basic Firefighter certification, can I apply for the Firefighter II certification only?
No. You must submit an application through your department for all three levels of certification – Introductory, Firefighter I and Firefighter II. The TCFP Structural Basic certificate can accompany the application to report training status and document completion of an examination.
- My department is new and just getting started or has not been training for several years and we do not have an SFFMA-certified instructor. Can our department still do fire training and get credit for it with SFFMA?
Acceptable training includes any course taught by a local fire department, an accredited college, university, or other agency provided that the certification coordinator and the fire chief attest that the course meets the minimum requirements as set forth by the certification board. IN NO CASE SHALL FIRE SCENE OR RESPONSE TO ACTUAL ALARMS APPLY TOWARD VOLUNTEER CERTIFICATION. All training shall be in a controlled environment.