Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0360-04-01-.09 - PRACTICAL EXAMINATIONS

(1) One department may administer a practical examination to another participating department and/or may enroll students from another department in an approved Recruit Training Program provided the following conditions are met:
(a) The administering department's practical examination and/or Recruit Training Program have been approved by the Commission;
(b) Both departments have agreed to allow the applicant(s) to utilize the administering department's practical examination; and
(c) Proof of successful completion of the practical examination is sent to the applicant's department and placed on file.
(2) The application for a practical examination shall be submitted by the department of which the applicant is a member and the examination results will be forwarded to that department.
(a) For practical or live burn practical examinations, compliance with 29 CFR 1910.134, Respiratory Protection Standard, is required. An applicant is required to have been SCBA fit tested for within twelve (12) months of the examination and a SCBA Fit Testing Verification form is to be completed. Appropriate documentation shall include:
1. The signature of the Fire Chief from the applicant's sponsoring department; and
2. Documentation from an authorized fit-testing entity.
(b) No one shall be allowed to participate in the practical or live burn practical examination in which a SCBA is used unless their fit testing is documented.
(c) Applicants for Tennessee State Fire Commission Certification in Fire Fighter I or II practical or live burn practicals, who have beards or facial hair in the area of the SCBA face piece seal (examples may include, but not be limited to: full-face beards, muttonchops, goatees, sideburns, mustaches, or even a few days growth of stubble) shall not be allowed to participate in the practical exam if the facial hair between the wearer's skin and the sealing surfaces of the face piece prevents a good seal with the respirator. A fire fighter shall not enter an area in which it has been determined that respirator protection is necessary when conditions prevent a good seal of the respirator face piece to the face. This provision shall be enforced regardless of the live fire skills being tested at any site. No exceptions to this provision shall be granted. This provision is in conjunction with 29 CFR 1910.134 Respiratory Protection Standard.
(d) Ordinary eyeglasses shall not be used with full face piece respirators. Eye glasses with temple bars or straps that pass between the sealing surface of a full face piece and the fire fighter's face will prevent a good seal. Special spectacle kits can be ordered and mounted inside a full face piece respirator.
(a) For Regional Practical Examinations, a department shall furnish a minimum of one (1) evaluator for every two (2) applicants that the department submits for examination. If a department submits less than two (<2) applicants, that department will not be required to provide an evaluator but is strongly encouraged to do so.
(b) Evaluators shall be certified by the Commission at a minimum of Fire Fighter II level (Fire Fighter III for 1987 NFPA Standard or earlier) and are encouraged to be certified at the Fire Department Instructor I level.
(c) Evaluators shall successfully complete a Commission-approved examination before being allowed to serve as an Evaluator. The Evaluator training and examination may be available online over the Internet.
(5) Regional Practical Examination Site Requirements. The department hosting a regional practical examination shall meet the following conditions:
(a) Have adequate space to conduct the practical examinations;
(b) Be able to provide all equipment required for the examination, excluding the equipment each applicant shall provide in accordance with Commission rules;
(c) A member of the host department shall have attended a regional practical examination before hosting one within the department;
(d) Provide a minimum of three (3) evaluators who are certified by the Commission at a minimum of Fire Fighter II level (Fire Fighter III for 1987 NFPA Standard or earlier) and are encouraged to be certified at the Fire Department Instructor I level;
(e) The proposed examination site was inspected by the Commission representative in order to ensure it meets the requirements of the program; and
(f) Provide for their fire fighters and for practical examinations equipment which has been inspected and meets all applicable NFPA safety standards.
(6) A host department for a practical examination shall provide the Commission representative on the day of the practical examination a letter addressed to the Commission and signed by the Fire Chief or Training Chief certifying that all equipment used in the practical examination meets all applicable NFPA, OSHA and other applicable standards for safety and required inspections. Included in the letter shall be a certification statement that all equipment that is required to be tested according to said standard (e.g., ladders, hose, pumps, SCBA, etc.) has been tested according to the standard. Failure to provide this letter shall result in the cancellation of the practical examination for that day.
(7) All instructors, evaluators, and approved applicants who participate in a live fire practical shall meet the requirements of Chapter 4, Section 4.3, Student Prerequisites, of the latest adopted edition of NFPA 1403. Written documentation of completion of this training shall be kept on file by the department and shall be subject to audit by the Commission. All requirements listed in the Live Fire Training Requirements Book shall be completed.
(8) Practical skill sheets shall be available to all applicants through the Commission website.
(9) Practical examination sites shall have adequate space to safely hold the examination. The site shall have an isolated holding area for the applicants waiting to take the examination and a separate area for applicants who have completed the examination. The Commission representative shall ensure that the site meets these requirements prior to the start of the examination.
(10) Guidelines for Practical and Live Burn Practical Examinations
(a) No fee shall be charged by the Commission for these examinations.
(b) Practical regional examination sites will be established in each Commission representative's territory, on an as needed basis, to meet the needs of the fire departments within their territories.
(c) Live Fire Practical examination sites will be established by the Commission representatives in conjunction with a department's ability to host these types of practical examinations which shall be NFPA 1403 compliant.
(d) Applicants may travel out of their region to take examinations at other sites.
(e) The Commission representative is to conduct a training seminar for evaluators prior to each practical examination to ensure the evaluators understand examination procedures, grading procedures, performance criteria, and instructions on completing required paperwork. The Commission will provide the Commission representative with documents to be utilized during this training. Any evaluator who fails to attend this training will not be allowed to serve as an evaluator.
(f) Applications to challenge the practical examination shall be submitted to the Commission a minimum of two (2) weeks prior to the examination date. A minimum of ten (10) applicants shall be scheduled in order to conduct the practical examinations; a maximum of fifty (50) applicants may be tested per day. The Commission or Commission's designee may waive this requirement if justification exists.
(g) An applicant who fails any evolution shall be notified immediately of his/her failure and will be allowed to leave the practical immediately.
(h) Copies of the entire practical examination will be provided to all departments. A copy may also be requested by individuals from the Commission Office either by e-mail or US mail.
(i) Applicants who complete the examination shall remain at the host facility until the end of the day to assist in cleaning and restoring the host facility to original condition prior to receiving test results. Leaving early will result in automatic failure unless the applicant is given permission to leave by the Commission representative.
(j) Applicants who have completed their practical examination shall remain separate from those waiting to challenge the examination.
(k) Applicants waiting to challenge the practical examination shall be secluded from the actual practical. Under no circumstances shall an applicant waiting to challenge the practical examination be allowed to see the practicals being administered or be in contact with any individual who has completed the practical.
(l) The applicant or the applicant's sponsoring department shall provide at least one (1) SCBA and mask; and each applicant shall bring a mask which has been fit tested to them.
(m) The applicant or the applicant's sponsoring department shall inspect each applicant's equipment to ensure it meets current additions of applicable safety standards. These standards include:
1. NFPA 1981;
2. NFPA 1971;
3. NFPA 1976;
4. NFPA 1977; and
5. NFPA 1982.
(n) Each applicant shall bring his/her own personal protective equipment (e.g., helmet, turnout gear, gloves, and coat) including SCBA.
(o) The host department shall provide the equipment to be used for testing (e.g., adders, hose, etc.).
(p) The applicant shall assume liability in case of injury. A statement to this effect is included on the application which shall be signed by the applicant.
(q) The Commission will solicit individuals who are Fire Fighter II or Fire Instructor I certified or individuals deemed by the Commission to be subject matter experts in the area of firefighting and are interested in serving as evaluators. Individuals shall submit their names and qualifications. This list of names will be maintained by the Commission office which will rotate through the names for each examination. Individuals may add their names at any time.
(r) An applicant shall perform the practical skills examinations as required for each class of certification. An applicant may not refuse to perform a practical skills examination even if his/her department does not have the equipment specified to perform that practical skill.
(s) The Commission representative shall have the authority to adopt these guidelines to address specific life safety problems as they arise.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0360-04-01-.09
Original rule filed December 14, 2009; effective March 14, 2010. Repeal and new rule filed October 27, 2014; effective January 25, 2015. Amendments filed July 27, 2018; effective October 25, 2018. Amendments filed January 22, 2020; effective 4/21/2020.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 4-24-101, 4-24-106, and 4-24-107.

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