Certification General Information


If it’s your house that is on fire or your loved one trapped in a smashed car you probably expect that the responders who come to help have met some standard that helps ensure their competence at what they do. At UFRA we take the responsibility to ensure firefighter competence seriously, and that’s why we developed the Utah Fire Service Certification System (UFSCS).

The UFSCS has been administered by the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy since the system’s inception in the early 1980s. The entire system is based on international professional job performance standards from NFPA and NWCG.

Firefighters, hazardous materials responders, and rescue personnel can earn various certifications by undergoing training given by UFRA, their own departments, or other agencies. After the training has taken place, written and practical exams are administered by testers authorized by the Utah Fire Service Certification Council.

Students who are not employed at agencies and attend accredited fire programs at Utah Valley University, Davis Applied Technology College, Southwest Tech, and Bridgerland Applied Technology College may also become certified at basic levels.

Some wildland fire certifications require the additional step of having “Position Task Books” signed off in the field following training assignments that include actual fire experience.

Testing takes place all over the state of Utah and is usually scheduled by fire department training officers for members of one or more local agencies to test at their own facilities using their own equipment.

Currently, UFRA receives funding from the State of Utah to provide initial testing and certification at no charge to local agencies. Non-fire agencies, industrial fire departments, and students pay a relatively small fee for testing and certification. We do not certify private wildland fire company personnel.

Volunteer, part-time, and fully paid firefighters must all meet the same standard to certify. Most fire departments in Utah have certified personnel even though there is no law requiring it. Certification is almost universally recognized by the fire service as validation of the training process and an indicator of individual competence.