ARFF Training Alliance - ARFF Designation Program

The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Working Group (ARFFWG), teamed together as the ARFF Training Alliance, are pleased to present Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) designation programs to ARFF personnel stationed at commercial service airports, military airfields and general aviation airports of all sizes.  These designation programs, known as the Airport Master Firefighter (A.M.F.) and Airport Fire Officer (A.F.O.), are designed to provide candidates with a thorough understanding of the requirements, federal regulations, industry standards, and Advisory Circulars (AC) applicable to the ARFF industry.  Furthermore, these programs allow candidates to demonstrate their knowledge in the areas of ARFF through an examination process to potentially earn the A.M.F. and A.F.O. designations.

The A.M.F. and A.F.O. programs are self-study based.  The goal of these programs is to recognize ARFF personnel who demonstrate commitment to the profession by exceeding regular job requirements.  These programs are intended to supplement existing state and local training programs.

The Designation Process

The ARFF Designation Program is a two-level process.   The first level is the Airport Master Firefighter (A.M.F.) program and the second level is the Airport Fire Officer (A.F.O.).  Candidates wishing to enroll in these programs must meet certain requirements to pursue and obtain either designation. 

The following are the program requirements:

Airport Master Firefighter (A.M.F.)

  1. Three years of documented experience as an ARFF
  2. Completion of a 40 hour ARFF training program
  3. Completion of National Incident Management System (NIMS) 100, 200, and 700 training

Airport Fire Officer (A.F.O.)

  1. Minimum of six years documented experience as an ARFF (not required to hold a formal rank)
  2. Successful completion of the Airport Master Firefighter (A.M.F.) program
  3. Completion of a 40 hour Incident Command/Management Level Training
    1. Examples of acceptable courses would be the Preparation for Initial Company Operations (PICO) and Strategies and Tactics for Initial Company Operations (STICO), Command and Control Classes from the National Fire Academy, NIMS 300 & 400, a Fire Officer I Program, or a college level management course
  4. Emergency Management Institute IS 120 – An Introduction to Exercises Course (on-line self-study course)
  5. Emergency Management Institute IS 130 – Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning Course (on-line self-study course)*
  6. Emergency Management Institute IS 139 – Exercise Design Course (on-line self-study course)*

*Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) L-146 class will count as equivalency for both the IS-130 and IS-139 courses

Candidates are required to provide, at the time of application, all required certificates and documentation for each of the program prerequisites.  All documents must be reviewed by the candidates ARFF Chief or lead ARFF official and submitted by the candidate along with the signed cover by the ARFF Chief or lead ARFF official verifying program prerequisites.

The Examination Process

Candidates pursuing either the AMF or AFO programs will undergo the following examination process to earn the designations:

Airport Master Firefighter (A.M.F.)

Completion of a three hour, 150 question on-line examination based on the following program materials:

  • IFSTA 5th Edition Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting
  • FAR 139.315-321, 325
  • FAA Airport Advisory Circular 150/5200-12 (First Responders’ Responsibility for Protecting Evidence at the Scene of an Aircraft Accident/Incident)
  • FAA Airport Advisory Circular 150/5210-7

    (Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Communications)

  • FAA Airport Advisory Circular 150/5210-17

    (Programs for Training of Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Personnel)

  • FAA Airport Advisory Circular 150/5210-23 (ARFF Vehicle and High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET) Operation, Training and Qualifications)
  • NFPA 402 Guide for ARFF Operations
  • NFPA 403 Standard for ARFF Services at Airports
  • Airport Management Document


Airport Fire Officer (A.F.O.)

The ARFF Working Group Educational Affairs Officer will assign a committee member to oversee the program and to assist each individual through the examination process.

  • Completion of an applied research paper within 3 years of entering the program
    • 3 ARFF topics submitted to AAAE/ARFF Working Group for approval at the time of the application
    • Detailed applied research paper outline submitted for approval
    • Draft applied research paper with at least 5,000 words submitted for approval
    • Final applied research paper with at least 6,000 words submitted for approval
  • Presentation at an ARFF Working Group or ARFF Training Alliance conference
    • 45 minute duration with presentation materials
    • 15 minute Question and Answer period
  • Article on subject matter submitted to ARFF News publication & AAAE Publication
    • 1,000 word minimum
For more information on ARFF Training Schools or if you have any questions, please contact AAAE Training at