Reviewed and/or Updated on: November 25, 2014

Letter of Equivalency

An individual who, due to significant length of service, experience, or past training/education, feels that they are qualified in the job performance requirements of a particular certification level, may apply for a letter of equivalency from the Wisconsin Fire Service Training Office. All applications must be submitted electronically to Fireservice@wtcsystem.edu and will be handled on an individual basis following the procedure outlined below:

  1. The applicant must submit a cover letter of intent to the Wisconsin Fire Service Training Office stating the certification level(s) for which a letter of equivalency is being requested.
  2. Provide a portfolio of supporting documentation to demonstrate compliance with Job Performance Requirements of the appropriate NFPA Standard.
  3. Materials submitted will be reviewed by a committee of at least three qualified individuals as designated by the Fire Service Training Office.
  4. The applicant may be requested to complete the written and/or practical certification examination for the requested level(s).
  5. The applicant will be notified of the final decision by the Fire Service Training Office.

If deemed appropriate, a Letter of Equivalency will be awarded for the Certification Level which was evaluated. The applicant will not receive actual State Certification. The letter of equivalency can be used to fulfill the prerequisite of a subsequent level of certification. (e.g. a letter of equivalency for Firefighter I may be used for entry into Firefighter II).

Letter of Equivalency Matrix for Review Committee Members
In order to give consideration of awarding a Letter of Equivalency based on the policy in the WTCS Policy and Procedures Manual, benchmarks/requirements have been implemented which the review committee will use to make their determination. The levels of Wisconsin Certifications that will be eligible for an equivalency letter are:

Firefighter I
Firefighter II
Driver/Operator- Pumper
Driver/Operator- Aerial
Fire Inspector I
Fire Officer I

Applicants must submit the required documentation for the level requested in a portfolio format, including a cover letter of intent to the Wisconsin Fire Service Training Office. This portfolio must be submitted electronically to Fireservice@wtcsystem.edu.

Any applicant who submits a certificate from a state or other un-accredited organization that meets or exceeds the hours required for an equivalent Wisconsin certificate will be awarded the appropriate Letter of Equivalency, once verification from the awarding agency is confirmed.

Any applicant wishing to receive a Letter of Equivalency without an equal certification from any agency must meet the following criteria:

Firefighter I

  1. 20 years' experience on a career, combination, volunteer fire department (military service separation will be considered)
  2. Department training records or college transcripts of training that equates to Firefighter I level performance
  3. One letter of recommendation from Fire Chief, if applicant is the Fire Chief, letter must be from Hiring/appointment authority such as a Board member or Police and Fire Commissioner

Firefighter II

  1. 20 years’ experience on a career, combination, volunteer fire department (military service separation will be considered)
  2. Wisconsin State Firefighter I certification, and/or Department training records or college transcripts of training that equates to Firefighter I and II performance
  3. One letter of recommendation from Fire Chief, if applicant is the Fire Chief, letter must be from Hiring/appointment authority such as a Board member or Police and Fire Commissioner

Driver/Operator-Pumper

  1. 20 years’ experience on a career, combination, volunteer fire department (military service separation will be considered)
  2. Wisconsin State Firefighter I certification and/or Department training records or college transcripts of training that equates to Firefighter I and Driver/Operator-Pumper performance
  3. One letter of recommendation from Fire Chief, if applicant is the Fire Chief, letter must be from Hiring/appointment authority such as a Board member or Police and Fire Commissioner

Driver/Operator-Aerial

  1. 20 years’ experience on a career, combination, volunteer fire department (military service separation will be considered)
  2. Wisconsin State Driver/Operator- Pumper and/or Department training records or college transcripts of training that equates to Firefighter I , Driver/Operator-Pumper, and Driver/Operator- Aerial performance
  3. One letter of recommendation from Fire Chief, if applicant is the Fire Chief, letter must be from Hiring/appointment authority such as a Board member or Police and Fire Commissioner

Fire Inspector I

  1. 20 years’ experience on a career, combination, volunteer fire department (military service separation will be considered)
  2. Department training records or college transcripts of training that equates to Fire Inspector I performance. Proof of continuing education relating to Code knowledge and enforcement must also be submitted
  3. One letter of recommendation from Fire Chief, if applicant is the Fire Chief, letter must be from Hiring/appointment authority such as a Board member or Police and Fire Commissioner

Fire Officer I

  1. 20 years’ experience on a career, combination, volunteer fire department (military service separation will be considered) PLUS, 10 years’ experience as a Fire Officer (may be within the 20 years’ experience on a department)
  2. Wisconsin State Firefighter II certification and Wisconsin State Emergency Services Instructor I (Fire Instructor I) certification and/or Department training records or college transcripts of training that equates to Firefighter I and II performance, as well as experience or training as a Fire Service Instructor
  3. One letter of recommendation from Fire Chief, if applicant is the Fire Chief, letter must be from Hiring/appointment authority such as a Board member or Police and Fire Commissioner

Documentation of training that meets the Job Performance Requirements of the appropriate NFPA Standard will be a crucial component when considering candidates portfolios. The intent of this Letter of Equivalency is to recognize the achievements and training of the candidate to help them move forward in their professional development (i.e. desire to move to the next level of certification).