Instructor Information

Editor's Note: This is retained content from 2010.  Do not rely upon this document for current guidance. 

Attention Instructors

The State no longer sends written notice via US Mail to an Instructor whose certification is about to expire. Retaining your certification is a personal responsibility. Check your certificate for the expiration date or go to the IDHS website to verify certification by last name at the following address. The State does provide an electronic notice to Instructors whose certification expires within the next 90 days. In order for you to receive this electronic notice YOU MUST be on our (IDHS) email list. To be included on electronic email notices about Fire Marshal, State training, or Fire/EMS certification issues please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Instructors and Students

Back on January 14, 2009 the Board of Firefighter Personnel Standards and Education after one year of discussion made significant changes to the law on how students can take written examination for certification. The biggest challenge for students is that they must take certification examinations in order. The student must meet the prerequisite before they sit to take an examination. If an examination is taken out of order the test may be invalidated. We have been trying to educate and inform instructors and students since early 2009. We still experience a significant number of examinations being submitted where the students don’t meet the prerequisite. When a test is submitted where the prerequisites are not met then the tests are not processed and certifications are not issued.

Here are a couple of examples:

Problem A student who is 17 years of age takes a mandatory written and practical examination. Answer In order to take a written or practical examination a student must be 18 years of age. This test will not be processed.

Problem A firefighter takes a safety officer course and completes the examination and submits an application for certification. The firefighter is not a certified Fire Officer I Answer The application for safety officer certification will not be processed because the firefighter was not a certified Fire Officer I at the time of the examination. Action: Instructors review the prerequisite for every course of instruction. Ask the students to go on the IDHS website and bring documentation to prove they have met the prerequisites. Proctors – when giving a written examination have the student verify they have met the prerequisite.

Effective March 15, 2010 any test submitted where the student does not meet the prerequisite will result in the test being invalidated. The student will be denied certification. If you have questions about prerequisites email State Fire Training Director John M. Buckman III at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Instructors

You may have heard about audits being conducted by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. These audits are being done to insure compliance with the rules established by the Board of Firefighter Personnel Standards and Education. Additionally the audits are validating the integrity of the training system being provided throughout the State. Why an audit? We have heard over time from many Fire Chiefs that students complete certification training but can’t do the job. We began looking into this issue and found that in many cases Instructors and Evaluators were not actually conducting the skills examination. In some cases the evaluator simulated the skill. For the most part Instructors and Evaluators are trying very hard to make sure the students are tested and evaluated based upon the Board rules.

Here are a couple of examples:

An instructor submits applications for certification from a number of students for Fire Officer Strategy and Tactics. The evaluator is audited and admits that the practical skills examination was not conducted. This resulted in the Instructor being suspended for six months. The students were denied certification.

A second example relates to a Instructor II/III examination. Again the lead evaluator when audited admits that no practical skills were done. This resulted in the Lead Evaluator being suspended and the students Fire Instructor I certification being revoked and their Instructor II/III being denied.

Here is a third example of an Instructor II/III given a written examination for mandatory certification. All students achieved a score of 84% on the written examination; all students missed the same questions; all students provided the same answer to the same questions that were wrong. The instructor admitted in a telephone call that he had given the students the answers to some of the questions and that he must have answered some of them wrong. He did not want the students to get in trouble. These students were taking mandatory written test.

What is the Instructor to do? Where are the rules? What are the rules?

As a certified Instructor, you are required to be familiar with the rules of the Indiana Board of Firefighting Standards and Education. Information about the Board rules online training package has been developed at Visit this website and obtain additional information on the rules and procedures. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me by email State Fire Training Director John M. Buckman III at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All of the resources for the Fire Officer Strategy and Tactics class for practical skills examinations and class scenarios are being placed on the IDHS website. Included on the website will be;

1. Instructions and course requirement document

2. Instructions for logging on and using the NFA website

3. Practical Skills Worksheets (Strategy & Tactics, Size-Up/Action Plan, Command Chart)

4. Lead Evaluator Checklist

5. Final Practical Exam - this is a PowerPoint scenario, more are being developed

6. Practical Skills Scenarios - PowerPoint based, currently there are four available with more being developed.

These resources will replace the files currently located on the site and should be available by November 20, 2009. All the scenarios and documents will be available for download.

The Indiana Firefighter Training System will be developing more scenarios for use by instructors for this course. The scenarios can also be used during in house strategy and tactics training. An email will be sent out once the resources have been loaded on the website and can be located at

Any instructors needing assistance for the Fire Officer Strategy and Tactics class should contact David Probo at 317-508-9165 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Effective Jan. 10, 2010-Board of Firefighter Standards and Education rules will become effective Jan. 14, 2010. 655 IAC 1-1-5.2 states the lead instructor shall be certified in the levels of certification being taught 655 IAC 1-1-13 states the lead evaluator shall be certified in the field being evaluated.

Assisting evaluators shall have knowledge and skill in the subject they are evaluating.

Updated Firefighter Mandatory Course Starts January 1, 2010 On January 1, 2010 the updated Firefighter Mandatory Course curriculum will now match the information contained within the IFSTA 5th Edition Essential of Firefighting. The written and practical exams have been modified to match the new curriculum and the requirements for Firefighter I. Nothing has been added to the mandatory curriculum. The curriculum modification will allow a firefighter who takes the mandatory certification course to use the skills completed for mandatory to count toward the certification requirements for Firefighter I. The use of the IFSTA 5th Edition Essentials of Firefighting will standardize the training firefighters receive between mandatory and Firefighter I. As of October 29, 2009, all new applications for Firefighter Mandatory courses will be changed over to the updated Mandatory course material using the IFSTA 5th Edition Essentials of Firefighting. Student books may be borrowed from your District Firefighter Training Council who has been given a supply of books for these courses. Instructors may obtain a copy of the Course Resource CD by emailing Steve Walters, State Firefighting Training Program Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. please be sure to include a mailing address to send the CD.

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