Department of Defense (DoD)

Fire and Emergency Services Certification Program Lookup System

“Explanation Page”


Purpose:  The DoD “Lookup System” has been improved to help managers and civilian personnel officials in their efforts to hire and promote qualified employees, to paint a clear picture for DoD firefighters concerning their qualifications, and also to help accredited entities better understand the DoD Certification Program.


What’s Improved:  The “Lookup System” now shows implied certifications as well as actual DoD certification certificates that have been issued to DoD firefighters based on Grandfathering, Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Challenge Testing, Reciprocity, and/or completion of DoD accredited certification courses.


Grandfathering:  In April 1993, all DoD firefighters were grandfathered based on the position (skill level for military employees) they held during the February 1993/1994 timeframe.  Firefighters were grandfathered into the system at the highest levels and were deemed to be successful at the lower levels based on previous positions held.  For example, a “Lead Fire Fighter” at a flying base in June 1993 would have been grandfathered and issued DoD Fire Officer I, Fire Instructor I, and Airport Fire Fighter certificates.  We did not issue the lower level Fire Fighter I, Fire Fighter II, Driver Operator – Pumper and Driver Operator – Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting vehicle certificates.


HazMat Challenge Testing:  Because of safety and liability reasons, HazMat certification levels were not grandfathered.  However, we did create a comprehensive challenge test process that allowed DoD employees to challenge the applicable test (Awareness, Operations, Technician, or Incident Commander) if they had prior HazMat training. Example:  Let’s say you successfully completed a non-accredited HazMat technician course and received a training certificate.  Based on your training certificate, you would be eligible to challenge the technician level test (or the prerequisite Awareness or Operations levels) in accordance with Chapter 2 of the CerTest Computer-Based Testing Program Procedural Guide.  Specifically, if you chose to challenge the Technician level test, passed the two-part computer-based exam and also completed the required annual refresher training required by the law (29 CFR 1910.120q) you could request DoD certification.  In this instance, the DoD Administration Center would issue a DoD Technician level certificate and you would be considered qualified at the Awareness and Operations levels but we do not issue the lower level certificates unless you also challenged those levels.


Reciprocity Provision:  The DoD Fire and Emergency Services Certification Program recognizes and accepts certification certificates from any entity accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) or the National Professional Qualifications System (NPQS) only when the DoD employee has satisfied the required prerequisite certification level(s).  DoD firefighters who have completed IFSAC or NPQS accredited courses can request DoD equivalent certification certificates under the reciprocity provision of the certification program.  The DoD “does not” issue DoD certification certificates for completing non-accredited training.  Example:  Let’s say you completed an accredited Fire Officer II course from another accredited entity and you want to obtain a DoD equivalent certificate under the reciprocity provision of the DoD program.  When you submit your package to the DoD Administration Center, (located at Tyndall AFB, FL) the administration center will only issue the requested certificate if you have a Fire Officer I and Fire Instructor I levels listed in the DoD Certification Program database which is the same database used to update the web site.


DoD Accredited Courses:  DoD has 22 accredited distance learning correspondence courses (everything from Fire Fighter I through Fire Officer IV) and we are accredited for 11 certification levels at the DoD Fire Academy located at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, TX.  Furthermore, the United States Air Force’s in Europe Fire School located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany is accredited at the Rescue Technician level.


How to Read and Interpret Web Page Results:  Now that you have a better understanding of the DoD program, let’s turn our attention to reading and interpreting web page results.  Enter a social security number (employee number for local nationals) and click the submit button to access the results page.  If the firefighter has been issued DoD certification certificates, the top half of the results page will show the “actual” DoD certification certificates that have been issued.  The bottom half of the page will show the “implied” DoD certifications.  Note:  DoD certification certificates are not issued for any implied certification levels; however, firefighters are considered to have met all certification requirements for any of the implied certification levels.  There are no exceptions to this policy!


Example:  Mr. Smith is a “Lead Fire Fighter” and has applied for a “Driver Operator” position.  His record lists certificates at the Fire Officer I, Fire Instructor I, and Airport Fire Fighter levels.  Based on his DoD certification certificates, he also has implied certifications at the Fire Fighter I, Fire Fighter II, and Driver Operator - Pumper and Driver Operator - Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting levels.  Mr. Smith is then considered fully certified to fill the “Driver Operator” position.  Bottom line: with these changes to the “Lookup System”, a DoD firefighter’s record will indicate both actual and implied certifications.  If a required certification is not listed in either area (actual or implied), the firefighter is not fully certified and; therefore, is not qualified for the position.


Hiring Term, Temporary or Permanent Employees Who are New to the DoD System:   In order to be qualified for DoD firefighter positions GS-5 and above, applicants must have the required certifications.  However, DoD firefighter certifications can only be issued to DoD firefighters.  If an applicant has never held a DoD firefighter position, civilian or military, there will be no record in the system.  Therefore, the civilian personnel office must ensure he can be certified.  Once again, the DoD Administration Center can grant reciprocity and issue certification certificates from any IFSAC or NPQS accredited entity.  Eligibility for reciprocity must be verified by the DoD Administration Center prior to referral.  Therefore, the applicant must submit all certification certificates with their application for the position.  The civilian personnel office will fax the applicant’s certification certificates to the DoD Administration Center at 775-402-8983.  Once eligibility for DoD certification is verified, the DoD Administration Center will notify the personnel office. 


DoD Administration Center Points of Contact: 

If there are technical issues with the web site, please contact the DoD Administration Center at or one of the POCs below:  Mr. Tom Seaman, MSgt Dave Clifford, MSgt Stacey Harter or Mr. Jim Podolske at DSN 523-6155, 6201, 6221 or 6321, respectively.  Our commercial prefixes are (850) 283-XXXX and our email addresses are as follows:                        


Acronyms Explained:  The following is a list or acronyms commonly used on the web site and what they mean.

                                            Acronym                                              Meaning


DO DO = Driver/Operator

Driver/Operator – PU   PU = Pumper

Driver/Operator – AR   AR = Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting

Driver/Operator – MWS   MWS = Mobile Water Supply

Driver/Operator – AE   AE = Aerial

Driver/Operator – TI   TI = Tiller


HazMat HazMat = Hazardous Materials

HazMat – AW   AW = Awareness

HazMat – OP   OP = Operations

HazMat – TE   TE  = Technician

HazMat – ICS   ICS = Incident Commander