Firefighter Certification

Minimum Required Firefighter Certification
Firefighter I and II Certification
Firefighter I Challenge Exam
Firefighter II Challenge Exam
Firefighter Certification Renewal
Certification Reciprocity

Minimum Required Firefighter Certification

Minimum basic firefighter certification requirements for volunteer and call firefighters who work less than 32 hours per week are set by the local authority having jurisdiction, which in most cases is the local fire chief.  While many volunteer and paid on-call fire departments require Firefighter I or II certification, there is currently no statutory requirement that sets a minimum level of training.  The minimum basic certification for a full-time firefighter in accordance with 20 V.S.A. § 3153(a)(2)(A) is Firefighter I.  This certification shall be obtained within 12 months of a firefighter meeting the definition of full-time by working greater than 32 hours per week.   Upon written request from a chief of a fire department, the Chief Fire Service Training Officer may waive the time required to receive certification up to 24 months.  Refer to the Vermont Fire Service Training Council Rules, Section 5.4.2 for additional information.

Firefighter I and II Certification

Individuals who have successfully completed an approved Vermont Fire Academy sanctioned Firefighter I or II Course can gain certification by passing the Firefighter I or II Certification Exam.  The certification exam is a two part process consisting of a written exam and a practical skills exam.

Certification Exam Part 1:  Written Exam

The written exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions based on the knowledge requirements outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Students who complete a Firefighter I/II Combined Course will have a written exam consisting of 150 questions.  Candidates must achieve a minimum passing score of 70.  Candidates are permitted two attempts at passing the written exam.  A second attempt may take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.

Certification Exam Part 2:  Practical Skills Exam

The practical skills exam consists of 5 practical skill stations based on the requisite skills outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Students who complete a Firefighter I/II Combined Course will have a practical skills exam consisting of 10 practical skill stations.  Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory skill performance in each of these skill stations.  Two attempts per skill station are permitted at the initial skills exam.  Candidates are permitted one retest opportunity consisting of two additional attempts for stations that are failed plus two attempts at an additional randomly selected skill station.  The retest opportunity must take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.  If the candidate fails to pass either the previously failed skill station or the additional random skill station, then the exam process ends and the candidate must re-take the course and begin the certification exam process from the beginning.

Firefighter I or II Certification is granted once a candidate passes both the written and practical skills exams.

 Firefighter I Challenge Exam

Individuals who have not completed an approved Vermont Fire Academy sanctioned Firefighter I Course, but who feel they have obtained the necessary training by some other means; or whose previous certifications are more than 2 editions in arrears of the current NFPA 1001 standard, may challenge the Firefighter I Exam.  The challenge exam process is available to candidates as a one-time opportunity per certification level.  To be eligible to take the Firefighter I Challenge Exam, the candidate must be at least 18 years of age at the test date and submit proof of the following training with their challenge exam application:

  • Current Adult and Child CPR with AED Certification
  • Current First Aid with Environmental Emergencies Certifications
  • Hazardous Materials Operations that qualifies as current with NFPA 472.
  • Highway Safety
  • Wildland Firefighter (9 hours)
  • ICS100: Introduction to Incident Command System

Challenge Exam Part 1:  Written Exam

The written exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions based on the knowledge requirements outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Candidates must achieve a minimum passing score of 70.  Candidates are permitted two attempts at passing the written exam.  A second attempt may take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.

Challenge Exam Part 2:  Practical Skills Exam

The practical skills exam consists of 10 practical skill stations based on the requisite skills outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory skill performance in each of these skill stations.  Two attempts per skill station are permitted at the initial skills exam.  Candidates are permitted one retest opportunity consisting of two additional attempts for stations that are failed plus an additional randomly selected skill station.  The retest opportunity must take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.  If the candidate fails to pass either the previously failed skill station or the additional random skill station, then the challenge process ends.

Firefighter I Certification is granted once a candidate passes both the written and practical skills exams.

Download the Challenge Exam Application

 Firefighter II Challenge Exam

Individuals who have not completed an approved Vermont Fire Academy sanctioned Firefighter II Course, but who feel they have obtained the necessary training by some other means; or whose previous certifications are more than 2 editions in arrears of the current NFPA 1001 standard, may challenge the Firefighter II Exam.  The challenge exam process is available to candidates as a one-time opportunity per certification level.  To be eligible to take the Firefighter II Challenge Exam, the candidate must be at least 18 years of age at the test date and submit proof of the following training with their challenge exam application:

  • Proof of valid Vermont Firefighter I Certification or certification that is recognized as equivalent to Vermont standards.
  • Current Adult and Child CPR with AED Certification
  • Hazardous Materials Operations Certification that qualifies as current with NFPA 472.
  • ICS200: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

Challenge Exam Part 1:  Written Exam

The written exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions based on the knowledge requirements outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Candidates must achieve a minimum passing score of 70.  Candidates are permitted two attempts at passing the written exam.  A second attempt may take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.

Challenge Exam Part 2:  Practical Skills Exam

The practical skills exam consists of 10 practical skill stations based on the requisite skills outlined in the current edition of NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications.  Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory skill performance in each of these skill stations.  Two attempts per skill station are permitted at the initial skills exam.  Candidates are permitted one retest opportunity consisting of two additional attempts for stations that are failed plus an additional randomly selected skill station.  The retest opportunity must take place after 14 days but before 60 days of the first attempt and will be conducted at the Vermont Fire Academy in Pittsford.  If the candidate fails to pass either the previously failed skill station or the additional random skill station, then the challenge process ends.

Firefighter II Certification is granted once a candidate passes both the written and practical skills exams.

Download the Challenge Exam Application

Firefighter Certification Renewal

Firefighter Certification is valid for 1 year and all certifications expire on December 31st.  Renewal of your certification is achieved by completing 24 hours of continued training.  Prior to your certification expiring, a recertification form will be sent to the Chief of your Department of record for verification of your continued training. The following is required on an annual basis. 

Firefighter I, II, and Fire Officer Recertification Requirements

  • Complete a hazardous materials refresher on an annual basis to maintain your current level of Hazardous Materials Certification.
  • Complete a CPR/AED refresher to maintain a minimum of a valid American Red Cross, American Heart Association or equivalent CPR/AED card.
  • Complete necessary SCBA training to maintain competence in respirator operation, donning, and use.
  • Additional training in other subjects commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of your certification level consistent with Training Council curriculum, NFPA 1001 knowledge and skill requirements, and with an emphasis on structural firefighting.

Certification Reciprocity 

The process and requirements for recognizing certifications from other states has recently been revised by the Vermont Fire Service Training Council.  This information is being updated to reflect those changes, which became effective on July 1, 2017.  Pleaes contact the Vermont Fire Academy with any questions pertaining to reciprocity requests until such time as the updates can be published.

Firefighter Certification from other states may be recognized as reciprocal for current in-state Vermont firefighters in some cases.  Upon request, training experiences from outside the State of Vermont are evaluated for compliance with the NFPA Standards for firefighter qualifications and equivalency with Vermont's training programs to determine if they qualify for reciprocity.

Receiving reciprocity allows you to enter our system in advanced standing for prerequisite purposes.  You will not be issued a Vermont certificate as we are recognizing your certifications as equivalent to current Vermont Fire Service Training Council requirements.

At this time, applications for reciprocity are entertained for those who are currently Vermont firefighters and under special circumstances, those who are relocating to Vermont from another state.  We do not entertain applications for reciprocity for any other reason.

To apply for reciprocity, an individual must complete the Certification Reciprocity Application in it's entirety and submit it with detailed documentation of previous training experience.  Once a completed application is received, it will be reviewed for compliance with applicable training standards. 

Download a Certification Reciprocity Application - Temporarily Unavailable

Vermont Fire Academy
93 Davison Drive
Pittsford, VT 05763

Phone:  802-483-2755
Toll free:  800-615-3473
Fax:  802-483-2464