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Fire and Rescue Commission


Certification and Training - NC Fire Fighter Certification


The North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission approved in July 2013, changes that are associated with the recent release of the NFPA 1001 Firefighter Standard, 2013 edition.

The Firefighter 1 and 2 program will become one certification. In anticipation of these changes the Commission approved the following:

  1. Stop conducting individual Firefighter Level 1 classes after December 31, 2013.
  2. Stop conducting individual Firefighter Level 2 classes after December 31, 2014.
  3. Firefighter Level 1 and 2 combo classes should be conducted instead of individual Level 1 or Level 2 classes immediately when possible.

The goal is to allow students who started out taking individual classes time to complete them individually if possible. The student still has the option to take the combo classes to complete certification.

These time frame will coincide with the release of the Firefighter Rewrite and Requalification. We don’t have an exact date on the release but the goal is to try and run the requalfications June – December 2014 and implement the changes January 1, 2015.

North Carolina Firefighter Certification

In a continued effort to reduce fire loss in the State of North Carolina, the State Legislature established General Statute 58-78-5.14b, which requires the State Fire and Rescue Commission to establish voluntary minimum professional qualifications for all levels of fire and rescue service personnel.

The standard for Firefighter Certification is considered to be a minimum standard and the Fire & Rescue Commission fully recognizes that, due to differing requirements, many fire departments may set forth standards much higher than these for their personnel. It is the intent, however, that through a voluntary program, personnel who provide firefighting services to the communities of our state, will meet or exceed this standard.

Performance Standard

The NFPA 1001 Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications, Current Edition, will be the performance standard used for Firefighter certification.

Entrance Requirements

The Firefighter candidate must meet the entrance requirements listed below before certification can be issued.

Age / Education Requirements:

The candidate must be at least 18 years of age. Training and course work may be completed in advance, but certification cannot be issued until the candidate’s 18th birthday. Moreover, the candidate must meet the requirements of the standard in place at the time of his/her birthday even though he/she may have been working toward a previous standard.

The candidate must have a high school diploma or equivalent recognized by the State Department of Public Instruction (i.e., GED). This requirement may be waived for an individual who completed certification objectives prior to October 1, 1990.

Physical Recommendations

The candidate should undergo a thorough physical examination prior to any activity to ensure his/her ability to perform the required tasks. This examination should be conducted by a qualified physician or recognized medical practitioner using a recommended medical standard, such as NFPA 1582 Standard for Medical Requirements for Fire Service Personnel, Current Edition. The submission of a medical approval form is not required for certification.

Firefighter Certification Levels I and II

Program Requirements

The instruction and evaluation given a Firefighter who achieves certification is critical to ensuring a quality program. Training and evaluation of students must be accomplished by qualified individuals, working in conjunction with approved delivery agencies.

Student Evaluation

Evaluation of the student for certification is a critical link in the total pr eparedness of the individual. Student evaluations must be accomplished by qualified Level II Instructors serving as proctors. The evaluation itself must be separate and distinct from the training process.

Practical Examination

Practical examinations are intended to measure the manipulative skills of the Firefighter and will follow guidelines set forth under the Policy for Testing manual. Although capable of testing 100% of the practical objectives, the examination will only test a pre-selected percentage based on testing scenarios provided to the proctor. A score of 70% or above shall constitute a passing grade for the candidate.

Written Examination

The written exam measures the cognitive skills of the Firefighter and must follow the guidelines set forth under the Policy for Testing manual. The examination will be randomly generated and provided to the evaluator by the deliver y agency. A score of 70% or above shall constitute a passing grade for the candidate.


Any Firefighter certified by another state or agency whose program is accredited by the International Fire Ser vice Accreditation Congress (IFSAC), or the National Board of Fire Service Professional Qualifications, and is a member of a fire/rescue agency in North Carolina may be granted equivalent certification provided the agency was accredited at the time of his/her certification. For more information on Transfer/Recprocity please click here.

Recertification Requirements

No recertification required as of October 2002.

Prerequisite Classes:

Haz Mat Awareness and Haz Mat Operations are both required to receive Firefighter Level 1 certification.