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Become a Vermont Fire Academy Instructor

The Vermont Fire Academy – Division of Fire Safety employs approximately 80-100 instructors assigned to outreach and on-site program delivery teams within all counties and regional areas across Vermont. The actual number varies by county depending on the population and demographics.  All fire instructors are active or retired members of a fire or emergency service organization.

Employment as an Instructor

State Fire Instructors  are part-time temporary employees of the State of Vermont, Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety.  Instructors are paid hourly for their instruction including travel time to and from assignments and they receive mileage reimbursement when travelling for assignments in their personal vehicles.  Assignments to programs and courses are based on the individual’s credentials and instructor qualifications. Instructors are supervised by full-time training coordinators in partnership with program lead instructors.  There are six job classifications for fire instructors that outline the duties, responsibilities and expectations of the positions.  Movement and promotion between these positions offers an opportunity for personal and professional growth.  Specialist Instructors are instructors who may not hold Firefighter or Instructor certifications, but posses special knowledge and skill that can be applied to fire service training and development. 

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualifications for a Vermont Fire Academy Fire Instructor are:

  • Fire (5) years of experience as an active structural firefighter.
  • Firefighter I certification in accordance with NFPA Standard 1001.  Firefighter II certification is preferred.
  • Hazardous Materials Operations certification in accordance with NFPA Standard 472 and/or NFPA 1072.
  • Fire Instructor I certification in accordance with NFPA Standard 1041.
  • Accredited Firefighter Certification.

Certifications must be from accredited training institutions – International Fire Service Accreditation Council or the National Board for Fire Service Professional Qualification.

The minimum qualifications for a Vermont Fire Academy Specialist Instructor are:

  • Minimum of 200 hours of documented experience in the specialty assignments that they are going to be involved with.
  • Shall be current or have worked within the required skill set during the previous five years.
  • Shall hold a recognized credential within a specialty subject area and show the requisite knowledge and skills commensurate with his/her certification level.
  • Shall be capable of treating all people in a professional and unbiased manner with the continual goal of providing quality training.

Job Tasks and Functions

Individuals appointed to the position of Fire Instructor must be able to perform the following tasks and functions:

  • Active participation in the conduct of fire training courses as a lecturer and skill drill instructor depending on your personal qualifications.
  • Instruct a minimum of 24 course contact hours annually.
  • Function as an instructor for classes designated for skill drill practical activities.
  • Complete administrative reports and documents concerning student attendance and participation in a timely manner.
  • Work with an instructor team leader, if assigned, to maintain a course schedule and submit documentation of student performance as required.
  • Submit bi-weekly time sheets and expense forms on time.
  • Pass a respiratory medical questionnaire assessment and if required, a medical evaluation to determine fitness to use self-contained breathing apparatus in compliance with OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.134. The candidate must maintain this annual credential as a condition of employment. 
  • Possess the motor skills and physical dexterity to demonstrate firefighter skills such as search techniques, using SCBA, hose drags and carries, ladder raises and carries, and use of various tools and appliances as outlined to the course program of instruction.
  • Attend instructor conferences, train-the-trainer seminars and/or on-the-job training as required to receive or maintain credentials in designated course or subject matter (i.e. skill drill activities etc.).
  • Follow all policies and procedures as required by the State of Vermont, Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety and the Vermont Fire Academy.

Application Process

If you are interested in applying for an instructor position, please submit a letter of interest including the following:

  1. Your VFA Student ID Number if you have previously registered with VFA (Your three initials followed by the last four digits of your social security number.  ABC-1234).
  2. Your current contact information.  
  3. A statement of your area(s) of interest – subject area, locations within Vermont where you would travel etc.
  4. A current resume detailing your employment, emergency service history, or specialist credentials.

Candidates should be qualified to and possess requisite knowledge in accordance with current NFPA standards.

Email or mail the above information to:
Michael Skaza, Training Program Coordinator
Vermont Fire Academy
93 Davison Drive
Pittsford, VT 05763
E-mail:  michael.skaza@vermont.gov

Candidate interviews are conducted as needed and selected individuals will be contacted to for an interview.  Fingerprinting and background checks are required prior to hire.  Preference will be given to qualified candidates who reside in areas with a shortage of instructors.

Questions pertaining to becoming a Fire Instructor are always welcome.  Download information on becoming a Fire Academy Instructor.