Firefighter Requirements in Texas


Becoming a firefighter in Texas requires more training than one would think. The International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) requires one to first take the “The Basic Fire Suppression Curriculum” course.  This is a 468 hour exam that covers basic fire protection training. This training is equivalent to the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Fighter 1, Fire Fighter 2, Haz-Mat Awareness and Haz-Mat Operations training.


The 1st step for the new person is finding a certified training facility. This could be at the fire department itself, or a college, and even some private corporations offer this course.

The would be fire fighter must complete and pass all the skills required for The Basic Fire Suppression Curriculum. Two attempts may be allowed to successfully complete each skill.

The Fire Fighter 1 exam contains 5 sections. These lists are not compressive, just a sampling of what to expect.


  • General safety
  • Fire Behavior
  • Ropes and Knots

Fire Department Communications

  • Initiating response to an emergency call
  • Responding to a call
  • Using the fire department radio to send and receive

Fireground Operations

  • Working the emergency
  • Force entry into structure
  • Exiting as a team
  • Rescue Operation – Not required for Fire Fighter 1
  • Prevention, Preparedness and Maintenance
  • Care and maintenance of equipment such as
  • hoses, ladders, ropes
  • hand  tools

Fire Fighter 2 is much more comprehensive. You can view the entire Skills Manual at


If the examination is not completed successfully the first time, it can be retaken. However, if a third try is necessary for the skill that was not mastered, than additional training will be required. If this training is not mastered then the whole course must be taken again.

Once the exam is passed the 2nd step is to pass the State exam. This will be the written portion of the Basic Fire Suppression course. To pass the exam you will need to score 70 or higher. If you are taking the exam at a certified facility you would be able to take the State exam there at the end of your training.

The 3rd step involves taking an emergency responder course.  This course is offered through The Texas Department of State Health, and known as the “emergency care attendant” or, ECA. The American Red Cross has an Emergency Responder Course which is acceptable, also.


Coming down the home stretch now! After completing the first 3 steps, you can apply for certification. You will have to submit the TCFP-002, Application for Certification. There is an $85.00 fee for this application. If your application is not accepted you will be told what the problem for the rejection was, but you will not get your refund of $85.00.

When your application has been approved by the commission, you will then be subjected to a criminal background check. If you pass the background check, and have met all the other criteria as stated above, you will then be issued your certificate.


Here’s a complete list of paid fire departments in the state of Texas. Visit the official website of the agency you are interested in to complete an application of employment.

  • 2604 Volunteer Fire Department
  • 287 R/C Fire Rescue
  • 3-N-1 Volunteer Fire Department
  • 79 East Volunteer Fire Department
  • 812 Volunteer Fire Department / EMS
  • 84 East Volunteer Fire Department
  • Abernathy Volunteer Fire Department
  • Abilene Fire Department
  • Ables Springs Volunteer Fire Department
  • Addison Fire Department
  • Adell – Whitt Volunteer Fire Department