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Background Check Information

In order to affiliate a fire service professional to your department utilizing a PAF or E-1 Form, your agency must conduct a background check per Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 259-009-0015. The background check includes a list of questions that should be asked of fire service applicants prior to be employed or utilized as a public safety professional to ensure that the individual is of good character. Below is are a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to the background check requirement, including the information that must be included in the investigation. The background check requirement is separate from the DPSST fingerprint requirement.

Feel free to use DPSST's own background check formauthorization to employers, informed consent form, and/or our cover letter. These forms are by no means a requirement, simply shared information should you choose to use them. You can modify and edit these documents to fit your agency's needs.

OAR 259-009-0015 requires fire service agencies investigate, at a minimum, the background of all applicants for employment or affiliation with regards to:

  • Criminal history and arrests;
  • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records;
  • Drug and alcohol use;
  • Education verification;
  • Employment history;
  • Military history verification;
  • Personal and professional references. Personal and professional references may include, but are not limited to, friends, associates, family members, and neighbors;
  • Personal Interview. The personal interview may occur before or after the investigation and may be used to clarify discrepancies in the investigation;
  • Residential history; and
  • Work eligibility.
  • Records checks. Records checks MAY include, but are not required to include:
  • Police records, district attorney, court and Oregon Judicial Information Network (OJIN) records;
  • Open sources or social media, as permitted by law;
  • Financial information, as permitted by law; and Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Professional Standards records.
  • Each individual being considered for employment or utilization must also provide a personal history statement. The statement must include, but is not limited to:
  • Verification of the background information listed above;
  • A complete list of all fire service agencies an individual has applied with; and
  • A signed release allowing background investigation information to be shared with other public or private safety agencies in which the applicant may become affiliated with.

The purpose of the background investigation requirement is to ensure that public safety agencies are cognizant of the personal histories of the individuals that are being allowed access to their agencies and the members of their communities. This standard is designed to serve as a reference for agencies only. The only requirement of OAR 259-009-0015 is that the categories specified are covered. The breadth and depth of the investigation is completely at the discretion of the agency.

Yes. All fire service professionals, career and volunteer, being considered for employment or affiliation after December 29, 2014 must be subjected to a background investigation prior to employment or affiliation with a public safety agency.

No. This requirement is applicable to applicants for employment or affiliation after December 29, 2014 only.

No.* The intent of this standard is to serve as a resource for agencies. DPSST will not review, approve or deny the results of any background investigation. Agencies are free to employ or utilize any individual they see fit.

*OAR 259-009-0015 does require the investigation be reasonably available for review by DPSST in the event of an investigation into a fire service professionals ability to obtain or maintain DPSST certification

Yes. Again, the intent behind this standard is for agencies to be aware of the background history of individuals prior to being employed by or affiliated with public safety agencies.

No. The standard requires background investigations be done on the individuals being seriously considered for employment or affiliation. The background investigation may be the final step in an interview process.

OAR 259-009-0015 requires fire service agencies retain the results of a background investigation in accordance with your agency's retention schedule.


Brooke Bell-Uribe

Phone: 503-569-8260