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Initial Certification

Firefighters & Fire Inspectors

Firefighter

“Firefighter” means an individual who holds a certificate as a volunteer firefighter, firefighter I, or firefighter II, issued by the chief executive officer of the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services pursuant to section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code and Chapter 4765-20 of the Ohio Administrative Code.

Certification is required by section 3737.66 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Course Entrance Requirements

Chartered fire training programs may admit only individuals who are at least eighteen years of age, except that a chartered program may admit a student who is seventeen years old provided that the student has graduated or is enrolled in the twelfth or final grade in a secondary school program. Other firefighter course entrance requirements vary depending on the level of certification sought. For example, applicants for a Firefighter II transition course are required to hold a certification as a Firefighter I for admission. In addition, chartered fire training programs may have minimum requirements for admission into firefighter training courses. For further information please reference Chapter 4765-24 and Chapter 4765-20 of the Ohio Administrative Code or contact an Ohio chartered fire training program(select Fire Charter as Facility Type) to discuss firefighter course admission requirements.

Application Requirements

  • Successfully complete a firefighter training course through a chartered fire training program and receive a document of course completion at the level for which the certification is sought
  • Pass the knowledge and practical examinations as set forth in rule 4765-20-06 of the Ohio Administrative Code
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have not been convicted of any felony, a misdemeanor committed in the course of practice or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
  • Have not committed fraud, misrepresentation, or material deception in applying for or obtaining a certificate issued under section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code
  • Successfully complete the following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training courses:
    • National incident management system course IS-700
    • Incident command system course IS-100 or online equivalent
  • Firefighter I and Firefighter II applicants shall have completed training on NFPA standard 1072 related to professional core competencies for hazardous materials awareness and operations

Ohio Administrative Code: 4765-20-02

To Apply

An initial Firefighter application may not be submitted until you have completed all course requirements and have been approved to take the state certification examination. Upon successful completion of the certification examination conducted at an Ohio chartered fire training program, you will automatically be directed to the application for certification. Do not close out of the examination site until you have completed and submitted the application.

Fire Safety Inspector

“Fire safety inspector” means an individual certified by the chief executive officer of the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire and Transportation Services pursuant to section 4765.55 of the Revised Code and Chapter 4765-20 of the Administrative Code to perform fire safety inspector duties as set forth in Chapter 3737 of the Revised Code.

Certification is required by section 3737.34 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Course Entrance Requirements

Prior to admission into a fire safety inspector course, an individual shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • Possess a current firefighter certificate issued under section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code and 4765-20 of the Ohio Administrative Code that is in good standing
  • Shall be employed by one of the following:
    • The office of the state fire marshal
    • A firefighting agency as defined in division (A)(3) of section 9.60 of the Revised Code
    • A private fire company as defined in division (A)(5) of section 9.60 of the Revised Code that is providing fire protection in accordance with division (B), (C), or (D) of section 9.60 of the Revised Code

Application Requirements

  • Successfully complete a fire safety inspector training course through a chartered fire training program and receive a document of course completion for a certificate of fire safety inspector training
  • Pass the knowledge and practical examinations as set forth in rule 4765-20-06 of the Ohio Administrative Code
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have not been convicted of any felony, a misdemeanor committed in the course of practice or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
  • Have not committed fraud, misrepresentation, or material deception in applying for or obtaining a certificate issued under section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code
  • Successfully complete the following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training courses:
    • National incident management system course IS-700
    • Incident command system course ICS-100 or online equivalent

Ohio Administrative Code: 4765-20-03

To Apply

An initial Fire Safety Inspector application may not be submitted until you have completed all course requirements and have been approved to take the state certification examination. Upon successful completion of the certification examination conducted at an Ohio chartered fire training program, you will automatically be directed to the application for certification. Do not close out of the examination site until you have completed and submitted the application.

Hazard Recognition Officer

"Hazard Recognition Officer" means an individual certified by the chief executive officer of the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services pursuant to section section 4765.55 of the Revised Code and Chapter Chapter 4765-20 of the Administrative Code to perform limited fire safety inspections. The Hazard Recognition Officer certification provides certificate holders with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to conduct fire and life safety inspections in Ohio. The certification is optional and meets the minimum requirements set forth in the nationally recognized standard, NFPA 1031: "Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Inspector and Plan Examiner" for Fire Inspector I.

To be eligible for certification, students shall successfully complete the forty-hour Hazard Recognition Officer course through an Ohio chartered fire training program. Course participants gain an understanding of the fire inspector's role in code enforcement, general fire prevention practices, fire safety requirements related to HAZ MAT, electrical systems and fire protection systems, as well as learning the skills necessary to properly conduct fire safety inspections.

The certification must be renewed every three years, with six hours of continuing education required during each three-year cycle.

NOTE: The title "Hazard Recognition Officer" was chosen to eliminate confusion regarding the ability to write fire code violation citations. The Hazard Recognition Officer is equivalent to NFPA Fire Inspector I. Only an Ohio certified Fire Safety Inspector (NFPA Fire Inspector II) is permitted to write citations as set forth in Chapter 3737 of the Revised Code. Hazard Recognition Officers do not have authority to write citations and must forward all fire safety code violations to a certified Fire Safety Inspector for follow up.

Course Entrance Requirements

Prior to admission into a Hazard Recognition Officer course, an individual shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • Possess a current firefighter certificate issued under section section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code and 4765-20 of the Ohio Administrative Code that is in good standing
  • Shall be employed by one of the following:
    • The office of the state fire marshal
    • A firefighting agency as defined in division (A)(3) of section section 9.60 of the Revised Code
    • A private fire company as defined in division (A)(5) of section section 9.60 of the Revised Code that is providing fire protection in accordance with division (B), (C), or (D) of section section 9.60 of the Revised Code

Qualifications

An applicant for a Hazard Recognition Officer certificate shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • Successfully complete a Hazard Recognition Officer training course through an Ohio chartered fire training program and receive a certificate of course completion
  • Pass the knowledge and practical examinations as set forth in rule 4765-20-06 of the Ohio Administrative Code
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have not been convicted of any felony, a misdemeanor committed in the course of practice or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
  • Have not committee fraud, misrepresentation, or material deception in applying for or obtaining a certificate issued under section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code
  • Successfully complete the following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training courses:
    • National incident management system course IS-700
    • Incident command system course ICS-100 or online equivalent

Ohio Administrative Code: 4765-20-03

To Apply

An initial Hazard Recognition Officer application may not be submitted until you have completed all course requirements and have been approved to take the state certification examination. Upon successful completion of the certification examination conducted at an Ohio chartered fire training program, you will automatically be directed to the application for certification. Do not close out of the examination site until you have completed and submitted the application.

Drop-Back

Current Fire Safety Inspector certificate holders may drop-back to the Hazard Recognition Officer certification through one of the following actions:

  • A Fire Safety Inspector (FSI) who wishes to "drop back" in the middle of his/her certification period will be required to submit a signed written request to the Division of EMS.
  • A Fire Safety Inspector (FSI) who waits until his/her certification renewal date will be able to "drop back" electronically when they renew his/her fire certifications online.

Fire Instructors

Fire Instructor

“Fire instructor” means an individual who holds a certificate to teach firefighter (Volunteer Firefighter, Firefighter I, and/or Firefighter II) Ohio training courses issued by the chief executive officer of the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services pursuant to section 4765.55 of the Revised Code and Chapter 4765-21 of the Administrative Code. Fire instructors may only teach courses at or below the level of their fire training certificate.

Course Entrance Requirements

Prior to admission into an Ohio fire instructor course, an individual shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • In the preceding seven years, have at least five years of experience as an Ohio-certified firefighter;
  • Possess a current and valid Ohio firefighter certificate issued under section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code and 4765-20-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code that is in good standing;
  • Successfully pass the Ohio instructor knowledge examination as set forth in rule 4765-21-05 of the Ohio Administrative Code at the firefighter II level, within one year prior to admission into a fire instructor course.

Ohio Administrative Code: 4765-21-03

Qualifications

An applicant for an Ohio fire instructor certificate shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • In the preceding seven years, have been certified for at least five years as a firefighter (Ohio certification);
  • Possess a current and valid Ohio firefighter certificate that is in good standing;
  • Successfully pass the Ohio instructor knowledge examination as set forth in rule 4765-21-05 of the Administrative Code at the firefighter II level within one year prior to admission into a fire instructor course;
  • Successfully complete an Ohio fire instructor training course as set forth in paragraph (A) of rule 4765-24-15 of the Ohio Administrative Code;
  • Successfully pass the Ohio instructional methods examination, as set forth in rule 4765-21-05 of the Ohio Administrative Code;
  • Comply with the requirements for an Ohio firefighter certificate as set forth in paragraph (F) of 4765-20-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code;
  • Submit a completed Ohio Fire Instructor, Assistant Fire Instructor and/or Fire Safety Inspector Instructor Initial Application within two years of passing the Ohio knowledge examination.

NOTE: An applicant for an Ohio fire instructor certificate who wishes to provide instruction in any live fire training courses, shall successfully complete the “Live Fire Training Operations Course” through an Ohio chartered fire training program.

Ohio Administrative Code: 4765-21-03

Assistant Fire Instructor

“Assistant fire instructor” means an individual who holds a certificate to assist in the instruction of firefighter training courses (Volunteer Firefighter, Firefighter I, and/or Firefighter II) under the auspices of a fire instructor and through a chartered fire training program, issued by the chief executive officer of the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services pursuant to section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code and rule 4765-21-03 of the Ohio Administrative Code. Assistant fire instructors may only teach courses at or below the level of their fire training certificate.

Course Entrance Requirements

The Assistant Fire Instructor certification does not require completion of an instructor course. Qualifications for certification as an Assistant Fire Instructor are listed below.  

Qualifications

An applicant for an assistant fire instructor certificate shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • In the preceding seven years, have been certified for at least five years as a firefighter;
  • Possess a current and valid firefighter certificate that is in good standing;
  • Successfully pass the instructor knowledge examination as set forth in rule 4765-21-05 of the Administrative Code at the Firefighter I or Firefighter II level, depending on level of firefighter certification, within one year prior to completing all training and teaching requirements set forth in paragraphs (B)(5) to (B)(7) of rule 4765-21-03 of the Ohio Administrative Code;
  • Comply with the requirements for a firefighter certificate as set forth in paragraph (F) of rule 4765-20-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code;
  • Successfully complete the four hour “Fire Service Training Module;”
  • Successfully complete the four hour “Live Fire Training Awareness Course;”
  • Submit a completed “Fire Instructor, Assistant Fire Instructor and/or Fire Safety Inspector Instructor Initial Application.”

NOTE: An applicant for an assistant fire instructor certificate who wishes to provide instruction in any live fire training courses, shall successfully complete the “Live Fire Training Operations Course” through an Ohio chartered fire training program.

Ohio Administrative Code: 4765-21-03

Live Fire Instructor

The Live Fire Instructor certification provides certificate holders with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to safely conduct live fire training evolutions. The certification meets the minimum requirements set forth in the nationally recognized standard, NFPA 1403: “Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions.”

To be eligible for certification, students shall successfully complete the twenty-four hour Live Fire Training Operations course through an Ohio chartered fire training program and, subsequent to course completion, achieve competency in the four job performance requirements — Instructor-in-Charge (Incident Commander), Instructor, Safety Officer, Fire Control Team — through an Ohio chartered fire training program. The certification is optional, but required to instruct live burn evolutions in courses required for certification.

The Live Fire Training Operations course is designed to teach qualified fire instructors and assistant fire instructors the necessary skills, knowledge, and abilities to safely and successfully lead live fire training evolutions in accordance with their specific chartered fire training program's standard operating procedures. The NFPA 1403 standard serves as the guidance document from which all of the course materials are based. The standard was created to train firefighters to avoid injuries and fatalities during live fire training evolutions. Compliance with the standard can dramatically decrease the likelihood of firefighter injuries and deaths.

The certification must be renewed every three years, with the certificate holder required to participate as a certified instructor in at least one live burn training exercise approved by the applicant's fire chief or the program director of an Ohio chartered fire training program.

All of the course objectives in the Ohio Live Fire Training – Operations Level course are approved by the Executive Director, with advice and counsel of the Firefighter and Fire Safety Inspector Training Subcommittee.

Course entrance requirements and certificate qualifications

Fire Safety Inspector Instructor

“Fire safety inspector instructor” means an individual who holds a certificate to teach fire safety inspector courses issued by the chief executive officer of the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services pursuant to section 4765.55 of the Revised Code and Chapter 4765-21 of the Administrative Code. Fire instructors may only teach courses at or below the level of their fire training certificate.

Course Entrance Requirements

Prior to admission into a fire safety inspector instructor course, an individual shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • In the preceding seven years, have at least five years of experience as a certified fire safety inspector;
  • Possess a current and valid fire safety inspector certificate issued under section 4765.55 of the Ohio Revised Code and 4765-20-03 of the Ohio Administrative Code that is in good standing;
  • Successfully pass the knowledge examination as set forth in rule 4765-21-05 of the Ohio Administrative Code for fire safety inspector, within one year prior to admission into a fire safety inspector instructor course.

Ohio Administrative Code: 4765-21-03

Qualifications

An applicant for a fire safety inspector instructor certificate shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • In the preceding seven years, have been certified for at least five years as a fire safety inspector;
  • Possess a current and valid fire safety inspector certificate that is in good standing;
  • Successfully pass the instructor knowledge examination as set forth in rule 4765-21-05 of the Administrative Code at the fire safety inspector level, within one year prior to admission into a fire safety inspector instructor course;
  • Successfully complete a fire safety inspector instructor training course as set forth in paragraph (A) of rule 4765-24-16 of the Ohio Administrative Code;
  • Successfully pass the instructional methods examination, as set forth in rule 4765-21-05 of the Ohio Administrative Code;
  • Comply with the requirements for a fire safety inspector certificate as set forth in paragraph (D) of rule 4765-20-03 of the Ohio Administrative Code;
  • Submit a completed “Fire Instructor, Assistant Fire Instructor and/or Fire Safety Inspector Instructor Initial Application” within two years after passing the fire safety inspector knowledge examination.

Ohio Administrative Code: 4765-21-03