(a) Applicability. The minimum standards provided in this section shall apply to trainees who are to be employed as fire-protection personnel by a public fire fighting agency. No city or fire fighting agency which provides fire protection to the public shall permanently employ any trainee as fire-protection personnel who has not met the requirements of this section. Provided, however, no fire prevention inspector, fire protection engineer, public fire and life safety educator, public safety dispatcher, or person whose duties are solely clerical or secretarial in nature employed as fire-protection personnel by the fire fighting agency of any Class 1 municipality shall be required to meet the minimum physical requirements as a trainee for firefighter as prescribed by the commission.
(b) Employment and qualifications. The trainee shall be certified by a licensed practicing physician as satisfactory by the appointing authority designated as in good health and physically fit for the performance of his duties as a firefighter and shall meet the employment qualifications of the appointing authority.
(1) FIRE-PROTECTION PERSONNEL. Prior to permanent employment, or a period not exceeding 12 months after the date of employment, the trainee shall have met the requirements for certification as prescribed by the commission. Training shall be given by an instructor certified by the Alabama Firefighters' Personnel Standards and Education Commission and the training may be administered within the department in which the applicant seeks to serve, if the department meets the requirements of the commission for a training center. Upon the completion of training, the commission shall administer a comprehensive written test to each applicant; and each applicant must pass the test as a condition of completion of such training.
(2) VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER. A volunteer firefighter may be certified by the commission as a volunteer firefighter if the volunteer firefighter shall have met the training requirements prescribed by the commission. Provided, the training is conducted by an instructor certified by and in facilities approved by the commission. The training need not be during continuous sessions but may be scheduled at different intervals during a period not exceeding 24 months for a total of 160 hours. This subdivision shall not be construed as to mandate training for volunteer firefighters, except for purposes of certification.