Is the Fire Officer I & II Program being rewritten?
Yes. The Fire Officer State Certification Advisory Committee (SCAC) has been tasked with correlating the current Fire Officer Program with the 2014 edition of NFPA 1021 - Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications. The Fire Officer SCAC has found the objectives of existing Fire Officer Program are two NFPA revision cycles in arrears. The Fire Officer SCAC then identified opportunities for improvements based upon adult learning concepts and delivery models along with new job performance requirements (JPRs).
Why is the Fire Officer I & II Program being rewritten?
The program is being rewritten to apply modern adult education principles, job performance requirements and to reflect the changes in NFPA 1021 Fire Officer (2014).
Will my current Fire Officer certification still be valid?
Yes, in Illinois most certifications remain valid once they are received. (NFPA Professional Qualifications are requiring continuing education document by the AHJ).
Will my current Fire Officer provisional certification still be valid?
Yes, you will need to complete provisional certification requirements and will be certified as Fire Officer I or II under the old certification rules. The Fire Officer SCAC has recommended a grace period to complete this certification which is anticipated to expire June 30, 2019.
What do I do if I have completed any current Fire Officer, but have not completed the series of classes?
You should complete the remaining courses ASAP as teaching agencies may begin to reduce the number of offerings as the new program is introduced. The Fire Officer SCAC has recommended a grace period to complete this certification which is anticipated to expire June 30, 2019.
What is the deadline for completing my Fire Officer Certification under the existing system?
The Fire Officer SCAC has recommended a grace period to complete this certification which is anticipated to expire June 30, 2019.
How will I achieve / document experiential time?
A job task book will be issued in the course and will be completed within your own department to document proficiency and experience as a fire officer.
Who will evaluate my Task Book?
Task books are evaluated and the responsibility of your department that will be audited for completion by OSFM Field Staff representatives during site visits
Will an OSFM written exam be required to receive Fire Officer Certification?
Yes, upon completion of the course and job task book, an OSFM examination must be challenged and passed with a minimum score of 70%.
How can I complete elements of the job task book for actual emergency service delivery if we do not run that many calls?
Simulations and practice experience may be used for portions of the job task book that may not be able to be completed due to low call volume. Some publishers have developed and marketed fire service scenarios and simulations which can be utilized. Should the Fire Officer SCAC develop a set of sample scenarios and simulations they will be made available to approved agencies.
If our labor contract or promotional criteria require me to be a Provisional Fire Officer I or II to test or be promoted, how will I be able to get that status if it is going to be eliminated?
Course completion certificates will be issued by the agency with valid OSFM course approval and that is equivalent to the current "provisional status" which is granted upon course completion and other co-requisites.
Will there be a "Bridge Course" for my current Fire Officer certification?
No, there is no bridge course into the new curriculum as it is too different from the existing courses. The Fire Officer SCAC believes that a fire officer will be better served by moving his/her professional development forward, rather than adjusting an existing certification.
When will the new Fire Officer Program be available?
Pilot course offerings are expected in the early spring 2015.
Will I be required to obtain continuing education in order to maintain my Fire Officer certification?
The 2014 edition of NFPA 1021 states, "The fire officer at all levels of progression shall remain current with the general knowledge and skills and job performance requirements addressed in the level of qualification. Thus, the Fire Officer SCAC anticipates that Fire Officers will be required to complete and document continuing education to maintain their Fire Officer Certification.
Is the Fire Officer I & II certification going to undergo a name change?
The Fire Officer SCAC has recommended a name change in order to differentiate between to two educational models.
- Company Fire Officer (Fire Officer I)
- Advanced Fire Officer (Fire Officer II)