California State Fire Marshal Accredited
Firefighter I Academy
Completion of EMT1* and Fire P101** will be required BEFORE you may enroll in our Firefighter 1 Academy!
*EMT National Registry not required - just proof of course completion.
**Fire Tech 159 from COS, or Fire 1 from BC are also acceptable.
How do I get into the Academy?
Persons who are already enrolled in Porterville College and pursuing
a degree are considered "priority" students and are given
the opportunity to enroll earlier than the general public. Veterans
and others may also qualify for priority enrollment.
New students and those who have not attended college
continuously are eligible to sign up when "Open" enrollment
begins. For this reason, our Fire Academy may be
full before enrollment opens to persons who are not current
college students. To have the best chance of getting
one of the limited slots in our Fire Academy you should
enroll in other classes and start working toward an
Associate degree BEFORE you get too serious about trying to
enroll in the Fire Academy.
Before deciding to enroll in this Academy, it is
important that you read the information posted at the "Career
Information" link on this website.
When is it offered?
The Porterville College Fire Academy is accredited by
the Office of the California State Fire Marshal and is delivered each Fall.
Potential Academy Cadets should be aware that the Academy
typically starts about three weeks prior to the other “Fall Semester” classes at Porterville College. (It
normally begins in early August and ends in mid-December).
What days does it meet?
The 360 hour Academy is delivered in an intensive 20-week format
that meets three nights a week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) and all day
Saturday. Each evening class session begins with Cadets lining up in
formation for inspection at 5:45 p.m., followed by classroom or field instruction from
6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday sessions begin with formation
and inspection at 7:45 a.m., followed by instruction
from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additionally, Cadets will participate in
facility and equipment clean up and maintenance following class each day.
Are there prerequisites or other requirements?
Academy prerequisites include completion of Emergency Medical Technician 1 and
the course "Fire Protection Organization" (Fire P101) or its equivalent at
another community college. If this training was not completed
at Porterville College, students must present written proof of completion
the first night of class or they will be dropped. National Registry as an
EMT is not required.
Completion of EMT
1 and Fire P101 will be REQUIRED before you can enroll in the Academy!
Potential Academy Cadets should also be aware
of these other requirements:
As outlined at the "FAQs" link on this website, Cadets can expect to pay between
$2,500 and $3,000 to attend this Academy . Individuals who are already
affiliated with a fire department as a permanent or part-time employee may
have substantially reduced costs.
Cadets must possess, or be
able to obtain,
medical clearance to be fit-tested and wear Self-Contained
Breathing Apparatus per OSHA regulations.
- Cadets must be in top physical condition and able to actively participate in all hands-on training activities.
- Cadets must have good transportation as they will be expected to drive to
various training sites, and must provide their own drinking water, meals and
incidentals as needed.
What about uniforms and personal protective
Each Cadet must purchase and wear the approved Academy uniform
including such things as shirts, t-shirts, pants, shoes and boots, jackets
or sweatshirts. Specific uniform requirements are posted at the "UNIFORM
STANDARDS" link on this website.
The cost of uniforms may exceed $400.
Cadets must also provide their own Structural Personal
Protective Equipment (PPE). Cadets may not share these items. Wildland PPE is
optional, but not required for this Academy.
Cadets who are employed in the fire service may use structural and wildland
personal protective equipment (PPE) issued by their fire department.
Students not affiliated with a fire department must borrow, rent or purchase PPE (excluding
helmets). The rental cost for this gear varies, but is generally around $750.00
for the semester.
The purchase price of PPE also varies, depending on brand, style
and other factors, but potential Cadets can expect to pay at least $1,500 to be
The College will issue structural firefighting helmets for use during
the Academy, and Cadets will use Self-contained Breathing Apparatus supplied by
the College. However,
no other personal protective equipment is available from, or provided by, the
College. Detailed information about PPE may be found at the "PERSONAL
PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT" link on this website.
Who instructs the Academy?
Academy instructors are full-time professional Firefighters,
Company Officers or Chief Officers (or recent retirees) selected for their
expertise in the various aspects of fire department operations, firefighting,
rescue and other topics taught in the Academy. Additional information about
our instructors may be found at the "FACULTY" link at this website.
Who may enroll in this Academy?
This course is open to anyone who meets the
minimum prerequisites and is otherwise eligible to attend Porterville
However, it is highly recommended that Academy Cadets be
affiliated with a fire department as a Full-time, Reserve, Volunteer, Paid-Call
or Seasonal firefighter, or as a Fire Explorer.
Current employment in the fire service allows Cadets the
opportunity to have fire department equipment available for use in practicing
skills and preparing for both written and manipulative exams. Current
employment also helps ensure that a Cadet has access to appropriate Personal
Protective Equipment, at no cost, and that they have the necessary medical
clearance to wear Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus.
How to enroll...
We do not take early applications. Students must enroll online
when registration for FALL semester classes opens. This class typically fills very rapidly and slots are awarded on a first-come,
first serve basis. Watch the College website for FALL semester enrollment dates. Those
who sign up the day registration opens will have the best chance of securing a
seat. If you need enrollment assistance, please call the Porterville College Admissions Office at (559)
Will I graduate as a certified State Fire Marshal Firefighter I?
No! You will meet all of the training requirements, however, potential Academy Cadets should understand that successful completion of this, or any similar Academy, DOES NOT result in automatic certification by the California
State Fire Marshal’s office as a “Firefighter I”. Academy graduates must
also have full-time or part-time fire department experience and meet other
certification requirements before the State Fire Marshal will issue them a
"Firefighter 1" certificate.
Will I get a CAL FIRE (CDF) "Basic Firefighter" certificate?
This Academy is not intended to fulfill requirements of the CAL FIRE (CDF)
“Basic Firefighter” or the Federal “Basic 32” wildland firefighter training courses.
Those certifications are offered in the Porterville College Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy” which is conducted
during the Spring semester each year. More about the Wildland Academy...
Will completion of the Academy guarantee a job?
Though past graduates of this Academy have been highly successful
in getting jobs, there is no guarantee, expressed or implied, that completion of
this Academy will result in employment by any fire agency. In addition to
completing this training, students will have to meet other pre-employment
requirements established by the various fire agencies.
Contact Information …
For more information, contact:
Dan Holloway -
Please limit inquiries to essential
questions. Due to the volume of emails received about our Fire Academies,
response to inquiries may not be immediate, but your
email will be answered as soon as possible.