Course Firefighter I. Unit IV Rules and Regulations

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1 Course Firefighter I Unit IV Rules and Regulations Essential Question How do individuals gain the certifications and knowledge needed to become certified firefighters in the state of Texas? TEKS (c) (4)(A)(B)(C) Prior Student Learning None Estimated Time 3 hours Firefighter Certification Rationale To become a firefighter, applicants must have multiple certifications, meet strict personal-history requirements, exhibit high physical conditioning with academic competency, and pass civil-service exams and panel interviews. The hiring process is very different from other occupations and can be difficult to understand. Having a clear understanding of this process helps candidates prepare themselves to gain employment in the fire service and to build a resume with skills that fire departments desire in new cadets. Objectives The students will be able to: 1. Identify the correct laws and rules applicable to basic firefighter certification by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection 2. Review the requirements for certification as a basic firefighter as stated in the Standards Manual for Fire Protection Personnel 3. Identify the various levels of firefighter certifications as stated in the Standards Manual for Fire Protection Personnel 4. Identify the levels of instructor certification by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) and in the Standards Manual for Fire Protection Personnel 5. Describe the responsibilities of a firefighter as required by the National Fire Protection Agency 1500: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program Engage Engage the students in a discussion about the qualifications that they feel a firefighter should possess. The following questions may be used: What do you think are the proper interview techniques you need to know to become a firefighter? What are the proper resume writing skills? What does it mean to hold a state certification in structural firefighting? How would you get certified? Use the Discussion Rubric for assessment. (Note: If students have no prior knowledge of certifications, lead a conversation introducing what the following terms mean in fire service: Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT), Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF), Urban Search and Rescue (US&R), Wildland, and Swift Water. The information in the Key Points section may be used as a resource.) Key Points I. The basic steps to becoming a licensed firefighter in Texas (TCFP, 2014) A. Finish a basic firefighter training program 1

2 B. Show that you can perform basic firefighting skills C. Pass the state certification test D. Finish your emergency-medical-responder training E. Have your fingerprints taken and pass a criminal history background check F. Apply for your certification G. Gain employment (or volunteer) within the fire service II. Basic firefighter training programs A. A basic structure-fire-suppression-training program is a school, course, or academy that teaches everything in the commission s curriculum B. Texas requires a lot of training for its paid firefighters C. The Texas basic curriculum includes 468 hours of training D. The curriculum covers 1. Firefighter I/II Curriculum Outline (TCFP, 2010) a) General introduction b) Fire department communications c) Foreground operations d) Rescue operations e) Prevention, preparedness, and maintenance f) Hazardous-materials awareness and operations 2. Hazmat Awareness Curriculum Outline (TCFP, 2010) a) General HAZMAT introduction b) Analyzing the incident hazmat c) Planning the response d) Implementing the planned response e) Evaluating progress f) Terminating the incident 3. Hazmat Materials Curriculum Outline (TCFP, 2010) a) General hazmat introductions b) Analyzing the incident c) Planning the response d) Implementing the planned response e) Evaluating progress f) Terminating the incident g) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and product control 4. US Department of Homeland Security Courses (FEMA, 2013) a) Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS) b) ICS for single resources and initial action incidents c) National Incident Management System (NIMS) d) National Response Framework, an introduction III. Qualifications for Texas Firefighters stated in the Standards Manual for Fire Protection Personnel (Title 37, part 13, chapter 421, rule in the Texas Administrative Code) 2

3 A. Complete a commission-approved course successfully and achieve a passing score on the written and the performance certification examinations B. Must be at least 18 years of age C. Must have at least a high school diploma (most departments require some college) D. Have the ability to communicate verbally, via telephone and radio equipment E. Have the ability to lift, carry, drag, and balance the weight equivalent of the average human F. Have the ability to interpret in English, written, and oral instructions G. Have the ability to work effectively in high-stress situations H. Have the ability to work effectively in an environment with loud noises and flashing lights I. Have the ability to function through an entire work shift (which is usually 24 hours) J. Have the ability to calculate weight and volume ratios K. Have the ability to read and understand English-language manuals, including chemical, medical, and technical terms, and road maps L. Have the ability to discern accurately street signs and address numbers M. Have the ability to document in English all relevant information in a prescribed format in light of legal ramifications N. Have the ability to converse in English with coworkers and other emergency response personnel O. Have good manual dexterity with the ability to perform all tasks related to the protection of life and property P. Have the ability to bend, stoop, and crawl on uneven surfaces Q. Have the ability to withstand varied environmental conditions such as extreme heat, cold, and moisture R. Have the ability to work in low or no light, confined spaces, elevated heights and other dangerous environments IV. Various Levels of Firefighting Certifications A. Structural firefighter (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master) 1. The following are needed to advance in the levels of certification (for all of the specialties listed below) a) Amount of time with current certification in the field b) Educational hours in the content/specialty area c) Application submitted (with transcripts) d) $85.00 B. Aircraft (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master) C. Marine (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master) D. Fire-Service Instructor (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master) E. Fire Inspector F. Fire Investigator 3

4 G. Driver Operator/Pumper H. Fire Officer I, II, III, IV I. HAZMAT (Tech and Incident Commander) J. Wildland K. Incident Safety Officer V. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program A. This standard was developed to provide a consensus standard for an occupational safety and health program for the fire service B. The intent of this standard is to provide the framework for a safety and health program for a fire department or any type of organization providing similar services 1. The fire department shall actively attempt to identify and limit or prevent the exposure of members to infectious and contagious diseases in the performance of their assigned duties 2. The fire department shall operate an infection control program that meets the requirements of NFPA standards. When appropriate, inoculations, vaccinations, and other treatment shall be made available 3. When fire department members routinely respond to emergency medical incidents, the fire department should consult with medical professionals and agencies on measures to limit the exposure of members to infectious and contagious diseases. This should include the provision and maintenance of equipment to avoid or limit direct physical contact with patients, when feasible 4. Members who perform emergency medical care or otherwise may be exposed to blood or other body fluids shall be provided with emergency medical garments, emergency medical face protection devices, and emergency medical gloves that meet the applicable requirements of NFPA standards VI. Training Facilities A. Several of the state's large fire departments run their own fire academies B. These academies are typically open only to the departments recruits C. There are also public and private fire academies put on by community colleges and private institutions throughout the state D. Every fire department has its own hiring process. In general, hiring processes include: 1. A civil-service test 2. A physical-ability test: Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) 3. A series of interviews 4. A criminal background check E. Some departments will not accept your application unless you already have emergency responder medical training, such as a National 4

5 Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians - Basic certificate (NREMT-B) or National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians - Paramedic (NREMT-P) certificate F. The competition for these jobs can be fierce. Some of the state's larger departments have several hundred applicants for each open position (i.e. In 2012 the Dallas Fire Department had 1600 applicants for 60 positions) G. If you have your heart set on working at a specific department, learn everything you can about the department and keep an eye on its human resources website. In general, these departments only hire once a year, have prerequisites, and clearly state their hiring process VII. Basic Fire Suppression Written Exam (Administered by the State) A. You must pass the commission's basic structure-fire suppression examination, which contains a written section and a performance skills section B. In order to pass the exam you must receive a grade of at least 70 percent on the written portion and a pass on the performance skills test C. No one can be a firefighter in Texas without this certificate D. In order to schedule the exam you must contact the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, and they will mail a packet with a study guide and the examination schedule VIII. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Requirement A. All firefighters in Texas must show proof that they have completed the Department of State Health Service's (DSHS) emergency care attendant (ECA) or the American Red Cross Emergency Responder training B. Most community colleges, fire departments, and other for-profit sources provide this training C. The Department of State Health Service has a list of providers D. The most common form of required certification is a NREMT-B or NREMT-P 1. Those departments requiring their firefighters to ride on a Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and to provide Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and advanced medical care need the higher NREMT-P designation IX. Governing Body for Credentials, Curriculum, and Accreditation A. Texas Commission of Fire Protection 1. Phone number: (512) Fax number: (512) Address: Texas Commission on Fire Protection, PO Box 2286, Austin, TX Physical Address: 1701 N. Congress, Suite 105, Austin, TX

6 Activities 1. Fire Department Hiring Requirements Research Reiterate to students the difficulty of becoming a professional firefighter in Texas and emphasize the importance of applicants knowing the state requirements and the requirements specific to the department that is hiring. Have the students select a fire department in the location of their choice (i.e. city, county, etc.) and conduct research about the specific qualifications required for a position at that fire department. Have the students use the Internet to conduct research about the department and answer the questions in the Fire Department Hiring Requirements Research handout. (Note: Students should visit/utilize the fire department s web page AND the city/county human resources web page.) Use the Individual Work Rubric for assessment. 2. Texas Firefighter Specialty Certification Paper and Presentation Have students select the Texas Firefighter Certifications that most interest them: HAZMAT, Wildland, Instructor, ARFF, Marine, Fire Investigator, or Incident Safety Officer. Then have the students conduct research using the to find the information in the Firefighter Certification Specialties Paper/Presentation handout. (Note: Students may use additional sources, as long as the sources are reliable and accurate.) Have students write a 1-2 page, double-spaced paper summarizing their research. The paper must include the information on the Firefighter Certification Specialties Paper/Presentation handout and may include any additional information that the students find interesting or important. After the papers are complete have the students create short computer-based presentations about the specialty certifications. (Note: The presentations may be changed to a group activity by grouping the students according to their selected certification.) Use the Writing Rubric and the Presentation Rubric for assessment. Assessments Firefighter Certification Quiz and Key Firefighter Certification Research Questions and Key Discussion Rubric Individual Work Rubric Interview Rubric Presentation Rubric Writing Rubric Materials Firefighter Certification computer-based presentation Fire Department Hiring Requirements Research handout Firefighter Certification Specialties Paper/Presentation handout 6

7 Firefighter Certification Research Questions and Key Computers with Internet access Resources Texas Commission on Fire Protection Certification Curriculum Manual, Basic Fire Suppression Curriculum, NFPA 1001, 2008 Edition National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards Manual for Fire Protection NFPA: Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications NFPA 1500: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) , Essentials of Firefighting (5 th Edition), International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) Accommodations for Learning Differences For reinforcement, have the students conduct research and answer the Firefighter Certification Research Questions. Use the Firefighter Certification Research Questions Key for assessment. For enrichment, have the students conduct mock interviews with one another (or the instructor) for positions in fire departments. Use the Interview Rubric for assessment. State Education Standards Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Career and Technical Education Firefighter I (One to Two Credits). (4) The student applies laws, ordinances, regulations, and rules as defined by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Certification Curriculum Manual to perform duties within a set of rules or protocols. The student is expected to: (A) identify the correct laws and rules applicable to basic firefighter certification by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection; (B) review the requirements for certification as a basic firefighter as stated in the Standards Manual for Fire Protection Personnel; (C) identify the various levels of firefighter certifications as stated in the Standards Manual for Fire Protection Personnel; 7

8 College and Career Readiness Standards Cross-Disciplinary Standards II. Foundational Skills E. Technology 1. Use technology to gather information. 2. Use technology to organize, manage, and analyze information. 3. Use technology to communicate and display findings in a clear and coherent manner. 4. Use technology appropriately. 8

9 Name Date Firefighter Certification Quiz 1. What is the minimum number of hours required for certification as a firefighter in Texas? A. 684 B. 468 C. 486 D True or False: Hazmat is a required component of every firefighter curriculum in Texas. A. True B. False 3. How many college hours are required to gain employment in the fire service? A. 0 B. 30 C. 60 D True or False: Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) is a required component of all Firefighter I/II curriculums. A. True B. False 5. What is the age minimum for obtaining a state certification as a firefighter? A. 16 B. 17 C. 18 D True or False: 30 college hours are required in order to obtain certification as a firefighter in Texas. A. True B. False 7. How long is the traditional fire service work day? A. 8 hours B. 12 hours C. 24 hours D. 48 hours 9

10 8. How much does it cost to apply for a certification? A. $75.00 B. $85.00 C. $95.00 D. None of the above 9. In which city is the Texas Commission on Firefighting located? A. Dallas B. Houston C. Austin D. San Antonio 10. What NFPA standard was developed to provide a consensus standard for an occupational safety and health program for the fire service? A B C D What is the abbreviation used for the fire service exam that recruits are given to test their physical rigor? A. CPAP B. CTAT C. PTAC D. CPAT 12. What is the lowest passing grade for the firefighter certification written test? A. 90% B. 80% C. 70% D. 60% 10

11 Firefighter Certification Quiz Key 1. B 2. A 3. A 4. B 5. C 6. B 7. C 8. B 9. C 10. D 11. D 12. C 11

12 Fire Department Requirements Research Directions: Pick a city, county, or location that has its own fire department. Use the Internet to research the fire department and answer the questions below. (Note: Visit/utilize the fire department s web page AND the city/county human resources web page.) What is the name of the location (city/county)? What is the minimum age requirement? What are the education requirements? Does the fire department require a specific work history? Does the fire department require firefighter certification before applying? If yes, which certifications do they require? Does the fire department have its own in-house fire academy? If not, where do they conduct training? Does the fire department have special services (i.e. HAZMAT)? When does the fire department conduct the hiring process? What are the physical requirements? Is there a physical agility test? Is there a civil-service or other written test required? If so, provide information about the test. Does the application require a background check? Do candidates have to undergo a polygraph test? What is the work schedule? What is the starting pay? What are the benefits of the position (i.e. vacation, insurance, etc.)? Are candidates required to live within a certain distance of the job? Do you feel like this position would be a good fit for you? Why or why not? What are the websites used as resources? Please provide the URL(s). 12

13 Firefighter Certification Specialties Paper/Presentation Directions: Select one of the following Texas Firefighter Certifications that most interests you: HAZMAT, Wildland, Instructor, ARFF, Marine, Fire Investigator, or Incident Safety Officer. Then conduct research about the certification using the list below. After you have conducted your research, write a 1-2 page, double-spaced, paper summarizing the information. The information in the list below must be included along with any additional information that you find important or interesting. Use your final paper to create a short computer-based presentation about how the certification you selected is obtained. All of the information below may be found on the Texas Commission of Fire Protection website: (Note: You may use additional sources, but please be sure that they are reliable and accurate.) Information guide: The name of the certification chosen The reason why this field interests you The duties of the job The Texas certification prerequisites The education/training/classes required The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and/or uniform used The schools in the area that offer the required training The duration of the training The cost of the training The components of the state test Other interesting information 13

14 Name Date Firefighter Certification Research Questions 1. What is the minimum number of hours required to be a certified firefighter in Texas? 2. Name 4 of the 6 standard requirements needed to gain employment in the fire service. 3. Name 4 of the 6 components (or sections) of the Firefighter I/II curriculum. 4. What is the minimum age required to obtain a state certification as a firefighter? 5. Are 30 college hours required to obtain certification as a firefighter in Texas? 6. How long is the traditional fire-service workday? 7. How much does it cost to apply for a certification? 8. In which city is the Texas Commission on Firefighting located? 9. What NFPA standard was developed to provide a consensus standard for an occupational safety and health program for the fire service? 10. What is CPAT? 14

15 Firefighter Certification Research Questions Key 1. What is the minimum number of hours required to be a certified firefighter in Texas? 468 hours 2. Name 4 of the 6 standard requirements needed to gain employment in the fire service. Finish a basic firefighter training program Demonstrate an ability to perform basic firefighting skills Pass the state certification skills exam Finish the emergency medical responder training Apply for certification Gain employment (or volunteer) within the fire service 3. Name 4 of the 6 components (or sections) of the Firefighter I/II curriculum. General introduction Fire department communications Foreground operations Rescue operations Prevention, preparedness, and maintenance Hazardous materials awareness and operations 4. What is the minimum age required to obtain a state certification as a firefighter? 18 years of age 5. Are 30 college hours required to obtain certification as a firefighter in Texas? No 6. How long is the traditional fire-service workday? 24 hours 7. How much does it cost to apply for a certification? $ In which city is the Texas Commission on Firefighting located? Austin 9. Which NFPA standard was developed to provide a consensus standard for an occupational safety and health program for the fire service? NFPA What is CPAT? Candidate Physical Ability Test, a physical agility test used to asses a candidate s ability to handle the physical rigor of the fire service. This test usually happens during the application phase. 15

16 Name Date Objectives 4 pts. Excellent Discussion Rubric 3 pts. 2 pts. Needs Some Good Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. Participates in group discussion Encourages others to join the conversation Keeps the discussion progressing to achieve goals Shares thoughts actively while offering helpful recommendations to others Gives credit to others for their ideas Respects the opinions of others Involves others by asking questions or requesting input Expresses thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively Total Points (32 pts.) Comments: 16

17 Name Date Objectives Follows directions Student completed the work as directed, following the directions given, in order and to the level of quality indicated Individual Work Rubric 4 pts. Excellent 3 pts. Good 2 pts. Needs Some Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. Time management Student used time wisely and remained on task 100% of the time Organization Student kept notes and materials in a neat, legible, and organized manner. Information was readily retrieved Evidence of learning Student documented information in his or her own words and can accurately answer questions related to the information retrieved *Research/Gathering information (if relevant) Student used a variety of methods and sources to gather information. Student took notes while gathering information Total Points (20 pts.) Comments: 17

18 Name Date Interview Rubric Objectives 4 pts. Excellent 3 pts. Good 2 pts. Needs Some Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. On time, or 5 to 10 minutes early Displays confidence with body language and eye contact; smiles, and introduces self Firm, dry hand extended willingly Dressed appropriately for interview Responds in a clear, concise, grammatical, and appropriate manner to all questions Prepared to ask questions Demonstrates awareness of background of company to which applying Picks up interviewer s closure cues and responds appropriately Total Points (32 pts.) Comments: 18

19 Name: Date: Presentation Rubric Objectives Topic/Content Topic discussed completely and in-depth Includes properly cited sources (if used) Creativity/Neatness Integrates a variety of multimedia effects to create a professional presentation (transition and graphics) or appropriate visual aid used Title slide, table of contents, bibliography are included, using acceptable format Mechanics Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization are correct Image and font size are legible to the entire audience Oral Presentation Communicates with enthusiasm and eye contact Voice delivery and projection are dynamic and audible Audience Interaction Presentation holds audience s attention and relates a clear message Clearly and effectively communicates the content throughout the presentation 4 pts. Excellent 3 pts. Good 2 pts. Needs Some Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. Total Points (20 pts.) Comments: 19

20 Name: Date: Writing Rubric Objectives The writing has all required parts from introduction to conclusion in smooth transition. The writing is interesting, supportive, and complete. The writing demonstrates that the writer comprehends the writing process. Accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation 4 pts. Excellent 3 pts. Good 2 pts. Needs Some Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. The content of paragraphs emphasizes appropriate points. The writer shows an understanding of sentence structure, paragraphing, and punctuation. All sources and references are clearly and accurately documented. Total Points (28 pts.) Comments: 20

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