Fire Technology Program
The Porterville College Fire Technology program has been serving both working and prospective firefighters since the early 1980s. At the heart of the program is our State Fire Marshal Accredited Firefighter I Academy, conducted each Fall, and our Interagency Wildland Firefighter Academy which is held in the Spring. Other courses are offered on an “occasional” basis to fulfill local needs.
Our academy instructors are working fire service professionals from local, state, and federal municipal and wildland fire agencies in Tulare, Kings and Kern Counties. The program is coordinated by a retired fire department chief officer with over 35 years of “hands-on” fire experience and an extensive fire service training background.
The Tulare and Kings Counties’ Fire Chiefs Association, and the South Valley Training Officers Association both offer tremendous support to this program and serve as our program advisory group. They also graciously make available the fire apparatus, equipment and professional training facilities necessary to ensure the continued success of this program.
Jose "Martin" Hernandez
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.
Although the fire technology curriculum at Porterville College does not include a Fire Technology degree program, it may be possible to use fire technology courses as “electives” in other degree programs.
Coupling an Associate’s degree in nearly any subject with completion of either of our fire academies can greatly improve an individual's fire service employment opportunities. It is important to recognize that the fire service is not just about fighting fire. The fire service is a large business that employs people in a variety of positions. Some non-fire control jobs include:
Public Information and Media
Emergency and Non-Emergency Medical Services
Law Enforcement and Investigation
Business and Finance
Mapping and Planning
Education and Training
...and many more!
Starting a career in the fire service requires dedication and planning. Successful job applicants have a good balance of education and training, physical fitness, and other qualities. Our instructors are working fire fighters and fire officers who can provide invaluable insight and guidance to persons seeking employment in the fire service. For additional information click “Career Information” on the sidebar.
About our Academies...
Porterville College conducts a Basic Fire Fighter-1 Fire Academy in the Fall and an Interagency Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy in the Spring each year. Entry-level firefighter job opportunities in California are growing as municipalities work to fill vacancies created by retirements, and because of population growth, the need to staff additional fire stations. Firefighter salaries and benefits are very competitive and the personal satisfaction of being a firefighter is great.
Persons interested in an exciting and rewarding career in the fire service should consider attending one, or both, of our fire academies.
The one-semester Firefighter-1 Academy is conducted from August through December and helps prepare graduates to apply for entry-level firefighter positions with most fire departments in the state of California. It is accredited by the Office of the California State Fire Marshal and provides the training students need for certification by the State Fire Marshal as a Firefighter-1.
The Interagency Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy is conducted on ten weekends annually in February through April. Graduates from this Academy meet the minimum requirements for an entry-level seasonal firefighter position with Cal Fire (CDF), the United States Forest Service, and other Federal fire suppression agencies. Seasonal firefighting can provide the experience needed to become eligible to apply for full-time employment with many fire agencies and is a good way to decide if a career in the fire service is right for you.
June 1, 2019