Fire Science

When does the Fire Academy begin?

The fire academy is held every Spring Semester and every Fall Semester.  The Day Academy meets Monday-Friday from 0800 1700 hrs. for one semester.  The Night Academy meets Monday-Friday from 1800-2200 as well as Saturdays from 0800-1700.  It is important to remember that the Fire Academy always starts 1-2 weeks before the academic semester begins.  Also, if registering for the Night Academy in the Fall, when applying for admission, you must apply for the Summer Session 2 because the Fall Academy begins at the start of Summer Session 2. 

How much does it cost?

The Fire Academy will cost anywhere from $2500-$3000.  Tuition is approximately $2250-$2350 plus books, uniforms, equipment, etc.  

How can I pay for Tuition?

Tuition can be paid for in multiple ways, such as cash, check, credit/debit card, etc. Other methods include scholarships, VA-GI Bill, student loans, or Financial Aid (www.fafsa.ed.gov) or  http://www.alamo.edu/district/financial-aid/ .  Payment in full or by installments must be made by the payment deadline or you will be dropped from your classes. 

Where is the Fire Academy located?

The First Responder’s Academy Campus is located at 15775 IH 35 South, Atascosa, TX 78002.

A map showing the location of the First Responders Training Facility with text directions. 
 click to download a pdf
What is the difference between a City Fire Academy and the SAC Fire Academy?

A City Fire Academy is one that is part of the employment process of that particular city. Most large city fire departments have a Civil Service type exam in which anyone who meets the minimum qualifications can take. Based on successful completion of the hiring process, you are ranked on a list. This whole process can take up to a year to complete and is very competitive due to a very high volume of people competing.  Most people inquire about a fire academy such as the San Antonio College Regional Fire Academy because they do not want to risk losing the time when they could be working towards certification and or their degree while searching for a job with a city that does not have their own fire academy which only hires certified firefighter/EMTs. 

Can I apply for a job as a firefighter after the fire academy?

In the State of Texas, a certified Firefighter must also hold Basic Certification as an Emergency Medical Technician in order to be certified/eligible for hire.  You have the option to either go to an EMT academy before the fire academy or after. 

Do I receive college credit hours for completing the fire academy?

Yes. Successful completion of the fire academy will earn you 27 college credit hours.  These hours will transfer right in to a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field at a University.  For those who are not seeking a degree, you can register as a certificate only student as opposed to a degree student. 

Do Firefighters receive a discount on tuition?

Yes. The State of Texas rewards Full Time Firefighters with a tuition waiver program at certain State Colleges under certain degree plans.  For instance, once you are a career firefighter in the State of Texas, you can register for classes that are approved by the Department and your tuition will be waived up to and including a Bachelor’s Degree. 

What is the testing process for achieving certification?

You will be required to pass a final exam with a score of 70% in order to graduate the fire academy.  You will also be required to complete all practical skills throughout the semester as well as be tested at random by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection on these skills.  To achieve certification, you must also pass the State Written Exam with a score of 70%. 

Do I have to be in good physical shape to be a firefighter?

Yes. Firefighters are members of one of the most physically demanding occupations in the world. You must be in top physical condition to perform the tasks required of a Firefighter, such as rescuing victims, carrying equipment, raising ladders, and performing automobile extractions. In addition, Firefighters will be required to demonstrate proficiency in performing essential job duties.

In order to be hired by most fire departments you will take a physical ability/agility exam.  One example of these exams includes the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).  Click on this link for an example of a Preparation Guide.

What are the age requirements/restrictions?

There are no restrictions based on age to become a cadet of the SAC Regional Fire Academy.  Every person performs at a different level physically no matter what age.  Our academy also includes cadet classes made of high school students as a dual credit academy.  Every fire department has different rules on age requirements but not all departments will put a limit on age.  Most departments will however have a physical ability exam to prove that the candidate can perform essential job functions.