Frequently Asked Questions
1. Under state law, who is required to be certified by the MSCB?

Mississippi Code § 45-11-253 requires the MSCB to establish the minimum training standards for fire personnel and certify such persons as being qualified. The MSCB defines “fire personnel” as any person employed by a Mississippi fire department whose primary duties involve fire suppression or fire-related rescue activities.

2. Are volunteer, reserve, or auxiliary firefighters required to be certified by the MSCB?

No. Fire personnel who function in a non-paid capacity or less than full-time status as members of any Mississippi fire department are not required to be certified by the MSCB. However, such individuals may choose to voluntarily meet the MSCB testing requirements and may become eligible to receive Board certification.

3. How does a fire fighter become certified in the State of Mississippi?

a) After a fire department hires a firefighter, the fire department then contacts the Mississippi State Fire Academy to arrange for the newly employed firefighter(s) to take the CPAT.

b) Upon completion of the CPAT, the fire department arranges for its successful candidates to enroll in NFPA Firefighter 1001-I/II at the Mississippi State Fire Academy, or a fire department which will conduct the training makes arrangements with the Mississippi State Fire Academy for delivery of curriculum materials and the certification examination process (commonly referred to as the field delivery program).

c) Upon successful completion of NFPA 1001 Firefighter I/II on-campus at the Mississippi State Fire Academy or through field delivery at the fire department, firefighter(s) may be issued certification by the Minimum Standards and Certification Board (MSCB).

4. How much time does a firefighter candidate have to meet all of the MSCB certification requirements?

All certification requirements must be met within one year of the candidate’s original date of full-time employment or within a cumulative amount of time not to exceed 2,800 compensated hours. Under extraordinary circumstances, the MSCB may grant an extension of one (1) additional year beyond the original probationary period. Such request for extension shall be submitted in writing by the executive fire officer of the local fire fighting unit with an explanation of circumstance and need.

5. What if I am called to active military duty before all my certification requirements are completed?

If a candidate is called to active duty during the candidate’s one-year probationary period, then the department may request a suspension of the candidate’s probationary period and/or a suspension of the candidate’s CPAT expiration. See Rule 1.05 for further explanation.

6. Does the MSCB grant reciprocal certification for training received in other states?

Fire personnel who are not currently employed by a Mississippi fire department fall outside of the MSCB’s jurisdiction. Therefore, the MSCB cannot legally issue an MSCB certificate or officially rule on the validity of a candidate’s certification prior to employment.

The MSCB may grant reciprocity to Mississippi fire fighters who possess valid certification credentials issued by other approved fire service training entities. Such reciprocity may allow direct entry into the MSCB certification system or may require additional testing. A denial for reciprocity will require the candidate to successfully complete all existing requirements for certification.

Any candidate seeking reciprocity must show evidence that all required training was completed prior to employment with a Mississippi firefighting unit, or consisted of a course not offered by the Mississippi State Fire Academy that was completed out of state, or completed while serving in the armed forces. Fire service agencies are prohibited from sending employees to out-of-state training entities for the purpose of gaining individual MSCB certification through reciprocity.

For more information see MSCB-1 Rule 1.09.

7. Does the MSCB issue a certificate to fire personnel for advanced levels of NFPA Professional Qualifications (beyond NFPA Fire Fighter 1001-I/II)?

No. Although firefighters are encouraged to achieve advanced levels of NFPA professional qualifications, the MSCB only certifies persons as having met the minimum standard necessary for employment as a full time firefighter in this State, which is satisfactory completion of NFPA Firefighter 1001 I/II.

8. How do I maintain the validity of my MSCB issued certificate for NFPA Fire Fighter 1001 I/II?

Certifications issued by the MSCB shall remain valid for the life of the individual provided there is not a break in service with a fire service agency for a period greater than two (2) years. In cases where a certified individual separates from a local fire fighting unit and does not serve with a fire service agency for two (2) years but no more than five (5) years, the person would be eligible for recertification by completing the MSCB approved examination process including CPAT. If a previously certified individual separates from a local fire fighting unit and does not serve with a fire service agency for more than five (5) years, the person will be considered a new entry and required to meet all training and examination requirements established for minimum standards certification.

9. What happens to an MSCB issued certification for NFPA Fire Fighter 1001-I/II if the employee is a member of the military and receives orders for active duty?

Certified Mississippi Fire Fighters called to active military duty by Presidential order for a period of time greater than two years shall not be considered to have a break in service provided the employer does not terminate the employee during the period of separation. The MSCB shall be notified of such circumstances by the employee’s governing authority (i.e. human resource or personnel office) and be provided with official military documentation to validate the separation. Likewise, the MSCB shall be notified within 15 calendar days of an employee’s completion of military duty.

10. Can a person convicted of a felony crime receive MSCB certification?

Maybe. A convicted felon shall not be certified by the Board unless such person, through petition made to the Board for certification, provides satisfactory evidence to demonstrate that such illegal act(s) are no longer detrimental to the public trust or create an adverse perception of the fire fighter’s ability to perform his or her sworn duties.

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