Interagency Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy

Class Location: Porterville Fire Station #2 - 500 N. Newcomb, Porterville, CA. Firefighters in wilderness

What is the Wildland Firefighter Academy?

This rigorous thirty days of training is specifically designed for those seeking a seasonal firefighter job with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) or a Federal forest fire agency such as the United States Forest Service (USFS).

Graduates of this Academy also meet the minimum wildland fire training requirements needed to apply for seasonal wildland fire control positions with most other fire agencies in California.

The Interagency Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy is conducted on Saturdays and Sundays for FOURTEEN weekends in the Spring (224 hours). Students are also required to complete substantial self-study and homework assignments each week.

In addition to the required wildland firefighting subjects, the Academy includes Hazardous Materials (Haz Mat FRO), Confined Space Awareness, Firefighter Survival and Public Safety First Aid training.

How do I enroll? 

We do not take early applications. However, continuing/returning students do have an opportunity to enroll ahead of new students and this class may be full by the time open enrollment begins!

Students must enroll online at Porterville College when registration for SPRING classes opens. This class typically fills very rapidly and slots are awarded on a first-come, first serve basis. Watch the college website for Spring semester class enrollment dates. Continuing/returning students, and those who sign up very early on the day enrollment opens will have the best chance of securing a seat. If you need enrollment assistance, please call the Porterville College Admissions Office at (559) 791-2220.

Are there any prerequisites?

There are no prerequisites. However, to be successful in this Academy a student MUST be in top physical condition and able to perform arduous physical tasks such as hiking, climbing, dragging fire hose and cutting fire line with hand tools for extended periods of time.

Academy students must also wear an approved Academy uniform and provide certain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as outlined below.

What certificates are issued?

Certificates issued upon successful completion of the Academy may include: (Note: some certificates are optional and require payment of an additional fee NOT included in course registration)

  • CSTI - Hazardous Materials - First Responder Operations
  • SFM - Confined Space Rescue - Awareness
  • SFM - Firefighter Survival
  • Public Safety First-Aid and CPR  
  • NWCG S-130 Firefighter Training 
  • NWCG S-190 Basic Fire Behavior 
  • CAL FIRE Basic Firefighter Certificate

NOTE! Only those students who successfully pass ALL written and hands-on skills evaluations required by CAL FIRE will receive the CAL FIRE certificate.

What is the uniform and Personal Protective Equipment?

Cadets should be in uniform the first day of class.

Each Cadet must purchase and wear the approved Academy uniform including such things as shirts, t-shirts, pants, shoes and boots, jackets or sweatshirts. The cost of uniforms may exceed $400. Click "Uniform Standards" for specific uniform requirements.

Other materials needed:

Each Cadet must bring one 3-inch, three-ring, binder to hold printed class materials.

Each Cadet must purchase Scantron forms for use in written exams. They will be available for purchase in class.

Will completion of the Academy guarantee a job?

Though past graduates of this Academy have been highly successful in getting jobs as seasonal firefighters, 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. Please click on the "Career Information" link on the sidebar for additional guidance on becoming a firefighter.

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