(1) Length of Training
(a) Certified or recognized programs shall be of at least forty (40) hours duration for the career educational incentive pay and at least thirty (30) hours duration for the volunteer educational incentive pay. A department may count one (1) hour for testing as part of the department's in-service training program.
(b) Instructor led program(s) shall be scheduled for not less than two (2) hours.
(c) Online/computer courses shall be a minimum of one (1) hour in duration.
(2) Appointment of Training Coordinator
(a) Each department conducting an In-Service Training Program shall meet the minimum standards as defined in the Commission's rules, regulations, and policies.
(b) In order to participate in the Educational Incentive Pay Program, the Training Coordinator shall attend a training session on the Commission's laws, rules, regulations, programs, policies and procedures. Commission staff may offer one-on-one training sessions at the Commission office and will hold at least one (1) regional training session in each Grand Division of the state per year.
(3) Appointment of Instructor
(a) Instructors used for in-service training shall be approved by the Fire Chief or Training Coordinator and shall be qualified by experience and training in the subject matter of the course to be taught except for other authorized specialized courses.
(b) Instructors are required to be certified as Fire Instructor I unless otherwise authorized by the Fire Chief or Training Coordinator.
(c) Instructors shall not teach themselves. However, instructors of Commission-approved in-service training classes shall receive one (1) hour credit for each hour taught provided that the teaching shall not consist of the use of electronic media exclusively and shall require the instructor to interact with the attendees of the class to obtain credit.
(d) Fire service personnel who serve as evaluators at Commission Sponsored Practical or Live Burn Practical Examinations shall receive four (4) hours Specialized Training Credit for each practical where the firefighter serves as an evaluator up to a maximum of two (2) practicals per calendar year for a maximum of eight (8) hours credit. In-house practical/live burn examinations do not qualify. One (1) In-Service Training Substitution form shall be submitted per evaluator for the year noting the date(s) the applicant served as an evaluator.
(4) Course Curriculum Requirements
(a) Course curricula shall be based on a needs survey of the area served and courses required by the Commission. All curricula shall be substantially derived from the appropriate standards as set forth in the Commission's rules, Chapter 0360-06-01, with the exception of any required subject material not adequately covered in these standards. All curricula shall be submitted for review by the Director or his/her designee, and be approved by the Commission. At least thirty (30) days prior to commencement of training, a copy of the curriculum noting whether the instructors are certified as Fire Instructor I, or not, shall be submitted to the Commission. If the instructors are not certified as Fire Instructor I, then the instructors' qualifications, the dates and location of training, the dates of testing, and a copy of the testing instruments and answers, and other such data as required by the Commission, shall be submitted to the Commission for approval. If a course is taught by a person not certified as Fire Instructor I, then the qualifications of the instructor in the subject matter taught shall be included with the course records for Commission audit purposes.
(i) All Training Programs shall be submitted to the Commission office for approval no later than October 1 of the current calendar year for the training to be conducted in the following calendar year. Failure to provide all information by the required date may result in a rejection of educational incentive pay. All information shall be submitted in a form prescribed by the Commission. Peer reviews shall be performed and notification sent to departments by December 31.
(ii) Training Programs for the Volunteer Educational Incentive Pay Program for the calendar year 2021 are not required to be submitted to the Commission for prior approval but training records shall be submitted by December 31, 2021. Training Programs for the volunteer incentive program will be required to be submitted to the Commission by October 1, 2021, for the 2022 calendar year.
2. Course dates submitted for a department's In-Service Training Program are the dates on which the courses are to be taught. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, changes sometimes occur. If a change in a date is necessary less than thirty (30) days from the scheduled date, a department is to make note of the change in their program along with the reason for the change. If a change in class date is required thirty (30) or more days before the scheduled date, a written notification shall be sent to the Commission office with the new class date and the reason for change. The notice may be submitted by fax, electronically or U.S. Mail.
3. If a department is required to provide a range of dates and locations that a particular class will be taught when submitting its In-Service Training Program, the department shall provide to the Commission office the exact dates, times, and locations of the classes a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours prior to the classes being taught. This notice may be submitted in a form prescribed by the Commission; however if by mail, sufficient time should be allowed so that the notice has time to arrive in the Commission office a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours in advance of the new class dates. No credit shall be given for classes for which the Commission office has not received advance notice of specific dates.
4. A department may not use the substantially same In-Service Training Program in consecutive years.
(b) The Commission requires that the following minimum training be included in all training programs that are submitted for Commission approval:
1. At least four (4) hours each year on firefighter health and safety; and
2. At least once every three (3) years, four (4) hours of the following subjects:
(i) Post Traumatic/Critical Incident Stress Training;
(ii) Domestic violence training/Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ("SIDS") training;
(iii) Hazardous Materials; and
3. The Commission also requires that eligible firefighters maintain active CPR certification, whether annual or bi-annual, and demonstrate proficiency in the skills of CPR by an agency recognized by the Commission. A maximum of four (4) hours credit toward the required in-service training shall be allowed for this training.
(c) Courses taught by a department that include routine functions (hose testing, pre-planning, pumper testing, vehicle maintenance, station maintenance, etc.) may be considered training for purposes of the In-Service Training Program when approved by the Commission.
(d) Training provided to members of a department shall be appropriate to a firefighter's rank and responsibility and the size and location of a firefighter's department (e.g., an Arson Investigator or Codes Enforcement Officer who has no fire suppression duties should not complete a course in fire suppression activities).
(e) Computerized training courses and/or internet courses may be part of a department's In-Service Training Program but shall meet the following conditions:
1. The course software shall provide sufficient safeguards to ensure each individual claiming credit has completed his/her own work.
2. The course software shall prohibit the individual from skipping any of the courses and proceeding to the final examination.
3. The training provider shall provide a Certificate of Completion for each individual who successfully completes the course. This Certificate shall be kept on file by the department for audit purposes.
4. The training provider shall provide information that outlines the course objectives, instructional method(s), and the time it takes to complete the course. This information shall be briefly outlined as part of the department's In-Service Training Program.
5. The department shall schedule the training in accordance with the requirements of the Commission.
6. The Training Coordinator or a Fire Department Instructor I shall be available (either in person or by telephone) during the normal business hours to answer any questions that an individual may have regarding the course.
7. The department shall have audit procedures in place to ensure that an individual is completing his/her own work.
8. No more than twenty (20) hours of credit will be given for computerized training. Instructor-led training utilizing technology shall not be considered "computerized training."
9. In-Service Training Programs for volunteer educational incentive pay for calendar year 2021 are not required to meet the standards above, but the training must address the prevention of fires, hazardous materials, and firefighter health and safety.
(5) Attendance Records. Attendance records shall be maintained on each firefighter in a form prescribed by the Commission and shall be made available for inspection upon request by the Commission or its representative. The Training Coordinator and head of the department conducting in-service training shall certify to the local unit of government those firefighters who successfully completed the training, and certified records shall be maintained in each individual department for a period of thirty-six (36) months. Such records shall be included on a form prescribed by the Commission.
(6) Testing Instrument
(a) Multiple testing instruments shall be designed to assure that the same examination is not administered to two (2) consecutive training sessions using the same curriculum. The examination shall be in the form of multiple-choice questions and a separate examination administered to cover each unique course of instruction in the training program. Each examination shall contain the greater of ten (10) questions relating to a course of instruction or one (1) question relating to each hour of course instruction (e.g., sixteen (16) hazardous materials questions for a sixteen (16)-hour hazardous materials course). The examinations may be administered either independently or in a single cumulative examination at the conclusion of the training program. If a cumulative option is selected, the examination shall be divided by section of each unique course of instruction.
(b) Answer sheets shall follow a format which contains the following:
1. Name;
2. Employee Identification Number or Public Safety Identification (PSID) Number;
3. Employing department or volunteer department; and
4. Score.
(c) Testing Instruments which combine the questions with the answer sheet shall not be accepted for grading. Answer sheets shall be maintained as a record for at least three (3) years and shall be submitted to the Commission office upon request by the Commission.
(d) Each examination covering a course of instruction shall be developed, administered and scored by the Training Coordinator or Instructor. Each individual shall score at least seventy percent (70%) on each examination. Only one retest will be allowed for individuals failing to achieve seventy percent (70%). If administered as a single cumulative examination, each individual shall score at least seventy percent (70%) on each section of the examination. If the individual fails any section of the examination, the individual may retest one (1) time on each section.
(7) Approval of Specialized Schools/Courses
(a) If a firefighter attends a specialized school appropriate to the firefighter's rank (or position) and responsibility, the eligibility of the school shall be approved by the Commission office. Only schools of a fire service-related nature of at least two (2) hours in duration, except for approved online courses and curriculum for which one (1) hour is acceptable, will be considered for in-service credit toward meeting the training requirement. When submitting a course for Commission approval, the department shall indicate the NFPA Standard Number and Section that is applicable to the course being submitted. When applicable, the course will be submitted by March 1 for pre-approval by the Commission office. In cases where the curriculum and instructors are unknown and when admittance is by short notice, the curriculum and proof of successful completion will be submitted after the course is completed.
(b) If no examination is administered, the attending firefighter should submit to the firefighter's Training Coordinator a detailed evaluation of the course and a correlation sheet showing how their coursework meets the appropriate NFPA Standard. If satisfied that the training was valid and beneficial, the Training Coordinator shall submit a statement to that effect, along with a copy of the report, to the Commission office. If this is not done, no credit shall be given.
(c) In-service credit requests will be reviewed and may be granted for an individual firefighter for the current training year only if the course is relevant to the firefighter's duties and responsibilities.
(d) In some instances, the above type training session may be combined with the regularly scheduled and Commission-approved in-service training sessions. If this is done, the attending firefighter shall be tested on those hours attended in the departmental program. This will necessitate the local Training Coordinator being responsible for identifying the appropriate questions involved in the Commission-approved testing instrument.
(e) Fire service personnel attending the National Fire Academy and successfully completing courses taught on campus will be given credit. In addition, a current CPR certification is required in order to be qualified for educational incentive pay.
(8) Approval of Fire Courses (Colleges and Universities)
(a) Any firefighter who successfully completes a fire related course (or courses) at any accredited institution, institution of higher education, college or university, may be considered for annual fulfillment of all or a portion of the required in-service training, not to include the eight (8) hours of hazardous material training or the CPR certification requirements as provided for in the provisions herein and approved by the Commission.
(b) Course completion toward credit for the annual in-service training requirements may be met by completing three (3) semester hours (45 classroom hours) or four (4) quarter hours (40 classroom hours) of instruction with a passing grade. The completion date of the course shall be within the calendar (training) year for which in-service training credit is sought.
(c) Applicants for in-service training credit under these provisions shall have the approval of the department head and shall submit the required Commission form for consideration to the Commission office. When submitting a course for Commission approval, the department shall indicate the NFPA Standard Number and Section that is applicable to the course being submitted.
(d) In some instances, the above type training hours may be combined with the regularly scheduled and Commission-approved in-service training sessions. If this is done, the attending firefighter shall be tested on those hours attended in the departmental program. This will necessitate the local Training Coordinator being responsible for identifying the appropriate questions involved in the Commission-approved testing instrument.
(e) Final approval by the Commission is contingent upon official notification from the institution in which the course was completed with a passing grade.
(9) Approval of Certification Programs
(a) Firefighters completing the required number of hours of preparation training, certified by the training officer, and successfully passing the appropriate progression level examination in the Commission's certification program within the calendar year for which training is sought, shall be considered as having fulfilled the in-service requirement and therefore eligible for the educational incentive pay.
(b) Any firefighter qualifying for in-service training credit in this manner shall also meet the four (4) hours of firefighter health and safety training requirements and the CPR certification requirements as provided in these rules.
(10) Emergency Medical Training
(a) Emergency Medical Training shall be considered meeting the requirements of in-service training so long as all other mandatory programs, as provided in these rules, are met.
(b) No more than sixteen (16) hours of credit shall be awarded for this training.
(11) Records Storage
(a) All department records related to the Educational Incentive Pay Program shall be kept by the department in a secure location. Access to the records shall be limited to the fire chief, the chief of training or their designee.
(b) Any department that maintains training records via computer or other electronic means shall submit a request to the Commission office. The department's electronic records shall be subject to audit by the Commission. The department shall describe the electronic records system, identifying the security safeguards that are in place.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0360-07-01-.05
Original rule filed August 27, 1979; effective October 10, 1979. Amendment filed November 8, 1990; effective December 23, 1990. Amendment filed October 14, 1994; effective February 28, 1995. Amendments filed April 25, 2005; effective July 9, 2005. Amendment 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. Emergency rules filed September 2, 2021; effective through March 1, 2022. Emergency rules expired effective March 2, 2022, and the rules reverted to their previous statuses. Amendments filed August 29, 2022; effective 11/27/2022.

Authority: T.C.A. ยงยง 4-24-101, 4-24-106, 4-24-107, 4-24-111, and 4-24-202.

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