Firefighter Certification

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 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.

Obtaining Certification

Certification is obtained by completing a Vermont Fire Academy program of instruction and training and then passing the applicable certification exam.  Candidates who receive training outside of  Vermont Fire Academy programs, may be able to gain certification by passing a certification challenge exam. 

Click here for more information on certification testing.

Certification Reciprocity

A person may apply for reciprocal recognition of a fire service certification that has been issued by an entity other than the Vermont Fire Academy if the applicant is currently affiliated with a Vermont Fire Department or is applying to take a course or program from the Vermont Fire Academy that requires recognition of prerequisite certification(s).  A Vermont certification can only be issued for certification levels that are authorized by the Vermont Fire Service Training Council and the granting of reciprocity will not lead to the issuance of a Pro Board certificate.  Recognition of certifications as an equivalency for course prerequisite purposes depends upon compliance with the applicable NFPA standard and when the certification was earned.  When applying for a Vermont Firefighter Certification through reciprocity, an assessment of continued training since earning the certification must also be evaluated.

Download a Certification Reciprocity Application

Download the complete Standard Operating Guideline for Reciprocity

Vermont Fire Academy
93 Davison Drive
Pittsford, VT 05763

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