FAQ – A.F.O. Designation Program
  • What are the requirements and procedures for joining the Airport Fire Officer Program?
  • Is AAAE and/or ARFFWG Membership required to be in the Airport Fire Officer Program?
  • When will I be notified about the results of my application?
  • How much does the program cost and how to I register?
  • I earned the predecessor Certified Firefighter (C.F.) or the Certified Master Firefighter (C.M.F.) certifications years ago.  Can these designations be transferred to the A.M.F. or A.F.O. programs?
  • Will I be able to use the A.F.O. designation after my name after I successfully complete the program?
  • Are there any limits to complete the A.F.O. process after I register for the Program?
  • What benefits will I receive as an AAAE/ARFFWG Airport Fire Officer (A.F.O.)?
FAQ – A.F.O. Examination Process
  • What are the required steps to successfully complete the A.F.O. Designation program?
  • How can I study for the A.F.O. program?
  • How to Schedule the A.F.O. Online Exam?


What are the requirements and procedures for joining the Airport Fire Officer Program?

Prospective A.F.O. candidates must meet the following requirements to be accepted into the program:

1. Successful completion of the Airport Master Firefighter (A.M.F.) program
*Not required to hold a formal rank of officer to participate

2. Completion of forty hours of Incident Command/Management Level Training
*Most departments have different requirements for officer level training. For this requirement to be met, candidates will need to provide documentation meeting this prerequisite and be approved by the ARFF Working Group Educational Affairs Committee. Examples of acceptable courses would be the PICO and STICO, Command and Control Classes from the National Fire Academy, NIMS 300 & 400, a Fire Officer I program, or a college level management course.

3. NFA/EMI Emergency Management Institute IS-120.c – An Introduction to Exercises Course
*On-line self-Study Course

4. NFA/EMI Emergency Management Institute IS 130.a – Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning Course*
*On-line Self Study Course

5. NFA/EMI Emergency Management Institute IS 139.a – Exercise Design Course*
*On-line Self Study Course

6. Department of Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) L-146 class will count as equivalency for both the IS-130.a and IS-139.a classes

Candidates meeting these requirements must following the Registration Process procedures by submitting a registration packet documenting proof of the requirements and also submit a Program Application.

Is AAAE and/or ARFFWG Membership required to be in the Airport Fire Officer Program?

While AAAE and the ARFFWG encourage membership into either organization to keep up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry as well as professionally network with your fellow peers, membership into either organization is not required. Creating a profile on the organization websites may be required to successfully enroll into the programs. To become a member of either AAAE and/or the ARFFWG, please visit the appropriate websites.

When will I be notified about the results of my application?

Upon successful verification of required Program Pre-Requisites, official notice to register by the AAAE/ARFFWG will be given to the Airport Fire Chief or lead ARFF official that is submitting the Program Pre-Requisites. Notification will be in the form of an email correspondence. Please contact the AAAE at trainingdept@aaae.org for any questions regarding this requirement.

How much does the program cost and how do I register?
Program Enrollment Fee* (one-time fee) - $310/person (Fee includes one exam attempt)
For questions regarding A.F.O. Registration, contact Ilana Brodesky or the ARFFWG at info@arffwg.org.

I earned the predecessor Certified Firefighter (C.F.) or the Certified Master Firefighter (C.M.F.) certifications years ago. Can these designations be transferred to the A.M.F. or A.F.O. programs?
Participants who completed the predecessor ARFF programs (Certified Firefighter C.F. and/or Certified Master Firefighter C.M.F.) will be recognized for the participation.

C.F. to A.M.F. will require a copy of the original certification. A new certificate will be issued via email at no cost to the applicant.

C.M.F. to A.F.O. will require a copy of the original (graded) research paper. A new certificate, patch, and pin will be issued. There will be a $25 cost for the managerial expenses. The research will also be added to the ARFF Training Alliance library.

For more information or questions, contact Ilana Brodesky or the ARFFWG at info@arffwg.org.

Will I be able to use the A.F.O. designation after my name after I successfully complete the program?
Yes.  Candidates who successfully complete the A.F.O. phases will be able to use the designation after their name.  After earning the A.F.O. designation, candidates may drop the A.M.F. designation as the A.M.F. designation is the first step in the ARFF Professional Designation program.

Are there any limits to complete the A.F.O. Process after I register for the Program?
Candidates have 1 year from the time of enrollment to complete the A.F.O. program. Extensions may be made on a case-by-case basis and may be subject to an additional fee of $100.00.

What benefits will I receive as an AAAE/ARFFWG Airport Fire Officer (A.F.O.)?
Upon successful completion of the A.M.F. program, candidates will have the privilege of using the prestigious A.F.O. designation after their name and become part of an elite group of professional Airport Firefighters. Furthermore, candidates will be presented with an Award of Certification with their name and use of the designation.

What are the required steps to successfully complete the A.F.O. Designation program?
To successfully earn the A.F.O. designation, candidates must complete the following phases of the program:
First, successful completion of the A.M.F. program to earn the A.M.F. designation is accomplished by passing a 150 multiple-choice examination with a 70% or better.
Then to successfully earn the A.F.O. designation, candidates must successfully complete the A.F.O. 100 multiple-choice examination with a 70% or better and successfully complete ONE of the following:

Management Research Paper
OR
Case Study or Proposal or Project 
OR
Submit an official transcript of record from an accredited university or college to the ARFFWG Educational Affairs Committee to verify that you have earned a Bachelor's degree or Graduate Degree. The major course of study must have been in fire service administration, emergency services administration, public safety administration, or related.

While not required, the AFO candidate is highly encouraged to present on the management research paper or case study at an ARFFWG sponsored event or related conference (event/conference registration fees will not be charged). Additionally, a Summary Article (1,000-word Article) should potentially be published in ARFF News or AAAE Magazine to share information that may be relevant and assist other ARFF originations.
Upon successful completion of all parts, the candidate will earn the A.F.O. designation.
Refer to the Requirements tab for more information.  Information on this process is also provided in the ARFF Professional Designation Program Learning Guide.

How can I study for the A.F.O. program?
A.F.O. requires a different set of skills from that of the A.M.F. In addition to advanced knowledge that a fire officer in ARFF will need (the material is found in the A.F.O. supplement, provided during the registration process), this program also requires candidates to demonstrate the ability to write in a clear, organized, and grammatically correct style about a topic of interest relevant to professional aircraft rescue and fighters. The ARFF Educational Affairs Committee will evaluate the paper, project, or transcript, on its relevance to ARFF, format, form and content. The project will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Successful papers or projects will become a permanent part of the ARFFWG and AAAE ARFF libraries and will be made available to other airports as reference materials.

How to Schedule the A.F.O. Online Exam
All exams are now administered through a secure online platform, and a live proctor is not needed. A minimum of two weeks' notice is required for all exams. Candidates can schedule their exams here. A computer with a webcam, internal microphone and internet connection is required for all exams. You must review the exam instructions and guidelines prior to scheduling an exam. All sessions will be recorded. Failure to adhere to these guidelines can result in AAAE invalidating your exam.