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   Step 1 - The First Thing You Must Do

To learn as much as you can about being a firefighter, please call our Counseling Department at (714) 564-6100 for a Fire Technology Program Orientation. Purchase a copy of the Santa Ana College catalog in the Don Bookstore and read all about the degree options available such as our most popular Public Fire Service Option (0646). Visit our website at

You have made the decision to become a firefighter. There is considerable competition for every job, so provide yourself with every chance of success. Be properly prepared to take maximum advantage of all opportunities that will help you achieve your goal. The more you have to offer a potential employer the better your chances of being hired.

   Step 2 - Existing Skills and Abilities

It is recommended that you take the placement test. If scores of 40 in English and 29 in Reading are not achieved, basic skills classes should be taken to ensure academic and career success.

Candidates with BA/BS degrees are exempt from this test.

Testing times are available by calling (714) 564-6148. The Placement Testing Office is located in the Library on the second floor.

   Step 3 - General Education IS Important!

Study Smart! Take your courses in the recommended sequence to achieve high grades in courses required for this major. If you are working do not take a class load greater than you can successfully handle. Completion of general education classes before you begin your studies in this major will improve your chance for success. General education courses are listed in the catalog and should be reviewed with the Counselor before enrolling.

   Step 4 - Fire Tech Core Classes

All core classes must be completed with a grade of "C" or better to be eligible for the Basic Fire Academy. Fire Technology 101 & 102 must be taken prior to taking 104, 105 and 106.

  • Fire Technology 101, Fire Protection Organization
  • Fire Technology 102, Fire Behavior and Combustion
  • Fire Technology 103, Personal Fire Safety
  • Fire Technology 104, Fire Prevention Technology
  • Fire Technology 105, Building Construction for Fire Protection
  • Fire Technology 106, Fire Protection Equipment and Systems
  • Fire Technology 121, Physical Fitness for Public Safety Personnel
  • Fire Academy 008, Physical Ability Test (PAT)

   Step 5 - Opening a File

Upon successful completion of Fire Technology 101 & 102, come to the Fire Technology Office in A-113 to complete a Prerequisite Verification (a check-off sheet). We will also have you complete the interest and address cards. Keep your address and telephone numbers up-to-date with the Fire Technology Office in case we need to contatct you.

   Step 6 - Fire Academy 008: Physical Ability

A physical ability is required to be eligible for the Basic Fire Academy. You must register for the class/test online. All students must pre-register, as there is no on-site enrollment. The physical ability test is a pass/fail exam. You must pass a physical ability test to be eligible for placement in an academy. Once your file is open, it is your responsibility to make a copy and turn in the copy of the physical ability letter into our office (keep the original for yourself).

The Physical Ability test was designed to identify persons who can meet the physical demands of a firefighter. To pass the Physical Ability Test, candidates must complete all of the events successfully within the required time standard. This test was developed and validated with firefighters from 41 different cities in both Orange and Los Angeles counties. The test is a work sample test designed to simulate tasks performed by fire fighters during fire suppression operations and other emergency situation. BE ADVISED IF YOU PASS THIS ASSESSMENT AT A MINIMAL LEVEL YOU MAY NOT HAVE THE STRENGTH AND STAMINA NECESSARY TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THE ACADEMY.

   Step 7 - Placement Session for Basic Fire Academy

The Placement Session is a meeting that takes place twice a year. Students who have successfully completed all academy prerequisites attend this meeting to be placed into a future Basic Fire Academy. All candidates are required to participate in one placement session to gain admission into an academy. The purpose of the Placement Session is to:

  • prioritize candidates for the academy
  • assign candidates to future academies as academies fill
  • guarantee seat assignments

Students must complete the following before participating in the placement session: Have opened a Personal file in Fire Technology Office, A-113, and filled out interest and address cards. Passed all prerequisite classes with "C" or better grade. Prior to the start of the academy the student must supply the Fire Technology Office a copy of a "Certificate of Completion" from an EMT course which meets DOT standards.

   Step 8 - Emergency Medical Technician I

You must complete an Emergency Medical Technician "I" course prior to attending the academy. This course may be taken after you have been placed into an academy, but a "Certificate of Completion" must be turned in prior to or at the Academy homework meeting (usually about a month prior to the start of the academy). Please bring the proof to SAC A-113.

It is recommended, but not required, that you take the National EMT Certification exam which is administered separate from the EMT class.

Note: Prerequisite for most EMT courses: CPR Healthcare Provider Card

   Step 9 - Medical Examination

A medical exam is required for all academy students prior to the academy start date.

The deadline date for turning the medical exam into the Fire Technology Office will be announced once you have been placed into an academy. If you fail to turn in your medical exam by the set deadline date, you will forfeit your place in the academy.

You can use any physician you choose. However, be sure your doctor understands the requirements and you know what your costs will be up-front.

Your doctor will need the NFPA 1582 Standards booklet and the medical form to complete your medical examination. You can purchase the National Fire Protection Agency, 1582 Standards (NFPA 1582) booklet from the Don Bookstore and obtain the medical exam form from the Fire Technology Office. A list of providers is listed in that packet.

In addition to a completed medical exam form, you must provide the Fire Technology Office with a signed statement from a licensed California Physician stating you meet the standards of NFPA 1582. Turn in a copy of your medical report and keep the original for yourself. The medical examination is comprehensive because it is very similar to the exams fire departments use to screen new employees. The medical exam will let you know if you meet minimum medical hiring standards. This medical is valid for two years from the first examination date.

If you are unable to meet the NFPA 1582 medical requirements, you may not qualify for employment as a firefighter. You may want to consider other options in the fire service such as fire protection engineer, fire inspector, investigation, sprinkler installation, etc.

   Step 10 - Fire Academy 060 - Basic Fire Academy

A Fire Technology Secretary will notify candidates, by mail, of:

  • Basic Fire Academy start date
  • Registration information
  • Homework meeting date.

Schedule 1- Full-time: Approx. 14 weeks (560 hours), Monday through Friday (40 hours/week), **Concurrent enrollment in F/AC 007, Orientation and Physical Fitness

Schedule 2 - Part-time: Approx. 35 weeks (560 hours), Classes held on Friday nights, all day Saturdays and all day one Sunday a month. **Concurrent enrollment in F/AC 007, Orientation and Physical Fitness

NOTE: The Basic Fire Academy has strict grooming standards. The candidates should possess a high degree of self-discipline, maintain a positive mental attitude to handle stress, and be able to adjust easily to a structured organization. The Academy emphasizes attitude, teamwork, self-confidence, self-discipline, quick thinking and the ability to follow exact instructions and orders.

Dan Chidester
Basic Fire Academy Commander
Location:Central Net

Toinette Saul
Administrative Clerk
Office: 714-564-6848
Location: SAC – A113