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TCFP CE Requirements

Previously, Texas fire protection personnel could renew all of their certifications by completing 20 hours (with additional requirements for Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF - see §441.9 and Hazardous Materials Technician). The new requirements include a minimum of 18 hours of CE, with two additional hours of CE for each discipline to which the individual is appointed.

The key to understanding these changes is the term, "appointment." In the commission's rules, an "appointment" is NOT the same thing as an "assignment," and it's important to understand the difference as it applies to the new CE requirements.

The commission defines an appointment as "providing notice to the commission that fire protection personnel have been assigned to a regulated discipline." A fire protection entity "appoints" its fire protection personnel to a regulated discipline in the commission's FIDO system.

An appointment to a discipline is a formal acknowledgement that the fire protection personnel are performing the duties of a regulated discipline, based on commission rules and regulations. Individuals who are appointed to a position can earn time-in-service credit toward advanced certification levels.

The following disciplines require an "appointment" by the employer:

  1. Structure Fire Fighter (§441.7)
  2. Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter (§441.9)
  3. Marine Fire Fighter (§441.11)
  4. Inspector (§441.13)
  5. Investigator (§441.15)
  6. Head of Department (§441.19)
  7. Instructor (§441.21)

Currently, all other certification disciplines are assignments. The commission defines an "assignment" as making "a particular type of fire protection duty part of an individual's regular and ongoing responsibilities." The commission considers an "assignment" to duties as a local decision.

So, how many CE hours do Texas certified fire protection personnel need? To determine the hours, follow these steps:

Start with the minimum requirement of 18 hours for everyone.

Determine whether the individual is appointed to a regulated discipline. (The individual may be appointed to more than one discipline).

Add two hours of discipline-specific CE for each discipline to which the individual is appointed.

If the individual holds a Hazardous Materials Technician certificate, add eight hours of technician-level CE.

If the individual is appointed to ARFF duties, add CE that meets current FAA regulations.

(Please note, too, that the wildland certification will require four hours of discipline-specific CE; a rule change is currently under review by the commission.)

Example 1:

An individual is appointed to Structure Fire Protection only (which is the most common scenario among certified fire fighters in Texas):

18 Firefighting CE plus 2 core hours of Structure Fire Protection CE, which equals 20 CE hours total.

Example 2:

An individual is appointed to Structure Fire Protection and Fire Inspection:

18 Firefighting CE plus 2 core hours of Structure Fire Protection CE and 2 core hours of Fire Inspection CE, which equals 22 CE hours total.

Example 3

An individual is appointed to Structure Fire Protection, Fire Inspection and holds a HazMat Technician certification:

18 Firefighting CE plus 2 core hours of Structure Fire Protection CE, 2 core hours of Fire Inspection CE and 8 hours of hazmat technician-level CE, which equals 30 CE hours total.

Regarding the "core" hours, Section §441.5(g) states, "The head of a fire department may select subject matter for continuing education appropriate for a particular discipline." This means that the head of department decides what to include in the 18 core hours for his or her personnel based on the department's needs.

How do these changes impact "individual" certificate holders? (The commission uses this phrase to describe fire protection personnel who hold their own certificates; that is, individuals who are not currently employed and who maintain their own certifications.) The annual CE requirement for "individual" certificate holders is unchanged – 20 hours will renew all certificates the individual holds (with the exception of ARFF and HazMat Tech, which require additional hours).

One other minor note about the Chapter 441 CE revisions: The commission has renamed the former "Track A" and "Track B" as "Level 1" and "Level 2" (see §441.3). This is simply a "name change" for clarification:

Level 1 – Training intended to maintain previously learned skills as stated in the commission certification curriculum manual for the certifications held.

Level 2 – Fire service training or education intended to develop new skills that are not contained in the commission's certification curriculum manual for certifications held.

What courses do I need to take from CE Solutions course library to satisfy my appointment?

Structure Fire Fighter (§441.7)

Any CE Topic that deals with Structure Fire Fighter such as Building Search & Rescue, Fire Service Overhaul, Fire Streams or Ventilation.

Inspector (§441.13)

Choose any topic from our Fire Service > Fire Inspector category.

Head of Department (§441.19)

A minimum of twenty hours of continuing education in addition to the continuing education requirements in §441.will be required for personnel certified as head of a fire department and who are appointed as head of a department. The twenty hours of continuing education shall include:

  1. Ten hours in emergency operations subjects like Ambulance Safety Inside & Out, Helicopter Operations, Firefighter and EMS Line of Duty Deaths, Chemical Weapons Awareness, Mass Casualty Incidents, etc. and
  2. ten hours in fire administration subjects. These subjects may include emergency management, leadership, budget and finance, labor relations, human resources and personnel management, collective bargaining, conflict resolution, organizational and strategic planning, community relations and public education, intergovernmental relations, and personnel health, safety and wellness.Many of the topics listed in our Risk Management course library will satisfy the CE requirement regarding fire administration. Examples are Workplace Violence Prevention, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Introduction to OSHA and Stress in the Workplace under the EMS>Preparatory category.

Reference

Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter (§441.9)

Our Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting topic(s) can be found under the Fire Service > Level 2 category.

Marine Fire Fighter (§441.11)

Our Marine Fire Fighting topic(s) can be found under the Fire Service > Level 2 category.

Investigator (§441.15)

Our Investigator topic(s) (Basics of Arson Investigation & Origin and Cause Determination: Accidental Fires) can be found under the Fire Service > Level 2 category.

Instructor (§441.21)

Choose any topic from our Instructor Coordinator category.

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