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Information Sheet / New Student Procedures

FIREFIGHTER 1 PROGRAM                             



To learn as much as you can about being a firefighter, please call our Counseling Department at (714) 564-6100 to find out the dates for the next Fire Tech 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). 
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    

It is required that you take a placement test upon enrolling to SAC. If you took placement testing at another college, bring your transcripts and/or your English and Math placement results to the Counseling Center to determine if you are exempt from testing  Candidates who have already completed an associate degree or higher from a regionally accredited U. S. college or university are exempt from this test. 

Testing times are available by calling (714) 564-6147.  The Assessment Center is located in the Library building on the second floor. 


STEP 3   

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   

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 Technology 121L, Physical Fitness for Public Safety Personnel - Performance & Assessment

STEP 5   

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).  Keep your address, telephone numbers & email up-to-date with the Fire Technology Office (as well as the Admissions Office) in case we need to contact you.


STEP 6         

A physical ability is required to be eligible for the Basic Fire Academy.  You register for the class through the Community Services Office here at SAC. All students must pre enroll, 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 turn in a 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.
Candidates may only participate in the test once in a single day but may enroll again and return on a subsequent test day for another attempt.  Physical Ability tests are scheduled approximately once per month and may be repeated as many times as needed to pass.  Physical Ability training classes are also offered throughout the semester for students who need additional practice and training.
You may pick up a description of the Physical Ability Test in the Fire Technology Office or go the section on our web page title "Physical Ability Test".  The FTC 121 class will also provide you with a description and an opportunity to practice the test.



You must complete an Emergency Medical Technician I course that leads to National Registry. Upon completion of your EMT Course you must then take & pass the National Certification Exam to receive certification in the state of California as an EMT. This must be done prior to attending the academy. If you possess the “California State License EMT Card” you may also provide us with a copy of that. It does supersede the ‘National Registry Card.'
Note: Please bring a copy of your National Registry card to SAC A-113.  The prerequisite for most EMT courses is a CPR Healthcare Provider Card.


STEP 8    


A medical exam is required for all academy students prior to their academy placement.

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 Firefighter Bookstore and obtain the medical exam form from the Fire Technology Office.  A list of providers is included 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 physician stating you meet the standards of NFPA 1582.  Turn in a copy of the front page of your medical report form which has the doctor's approval and signature.  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.





It is a first come, first serve basis. Students will be placed immediately in the next available academy upon successful completion of all academy prerequisites.

The academy prerequisites students must have completed are listed below:

       A. You have 'opened a file' in Fire Technology Office, A-113, after completion of FTC 101 & 102  with the grades posted.
       B.  Passed all Prerequisite Classes with a "C" or better grade:
FTC 101, Fire Protection Organization

FTC 102, Fire Behavior & Combustion

FTC 103, Personal Fire Safety

FTC 104, Fire Prevention Technology

FTC 105, Building Construction for Fire Protection

FTC 106, Fire Protection Equipment and Systems

FTC 121, Physical Fitness for Public Safety Personnel

FTC 121L, Physical Fitness for Public Safety Personnel - Performance and Assessment

     C. Provide the Fire Technology Office with a copy of your "National Registry Card" from an EMT course which meets DOT standards. If you possess the "California State License EMT Card" you may also provide us with a copy of that. It does supersede the 'National Registry Card'

     D. Provide the Fire Technology Office with a copy of your Official Biddle Certificate - FAC 008 - Physical Ability Test (NOT done in FTC 121)

     E. A complete Medical that has been checked off & signed by your own Dr. or any Dr. from the three locations listed on our Medical Form.

If it becomes necessary for a student to give up their spot in an academy prior to notification of the Pre-Academy (P.A.M.) meeting, and they notify the Fire Technology Office, the student will be assigned to a future academy. 

If a student fails to meet deadlines they will forfeit their spot in the academy.

STEP 9  

 An Academy Coordinator will notify candidates, by email, of:
  • Basic Fire Academy start date      
  • Registration information
  • Pre-Academy (P.A.M.) meeting date

So please make sure your contact information is current in your file.

FIRE ACADEMY 060 - BASIC FIRE ACADEMY (Offered in two different schedules)

Schedule 1- Full-time​
Schedule 2 - Part-time​
Approx. 14 weeks (600 hours)
Monday through Friday
40 hours
~ Concurrent enrollment in FAC 007, Orientation and Physical Fitness ​
Approx. 35 weeks (600 hours)
Classes held on Friday nights, all day Saturdays and all day one Sunday a month.
~ Concurrent enrollment in FAC 007, Orientation and Physical Fitness ​*Must have 25 students to run the Part-time Academy or it is subject to cancelation for the year*
There are 24 subject areas:
  • Apparatus, Tools & Equipment - 16 hrs
  • Auto (Vehicle) Extrication - 24 hrs
  • Breathing Apparatus/Search & Rescue - 32 hrs
  • Career Development - 4 hrs
  • Combined Drill - 8 hrs
  • Communications - 4 hrs
  • Confined Space Awareness - 8 hrs
  • EMS (Re-certification) Skills - 24 hrs
  • Facilities Maintenance / Equipment Issue - 8 hrs
  • Final Exam - 4 hrs
  • Fire Behavior & Control - 48 hrs
  • Firefighter Survival - 16 hrs
  • Forcible Entry - 8 hrs
  • Hazardous Materials - 28 hrs 
  • Hose Operation - 60 hrs
  • IS-100 / IS-700 - 8 hrs
  • Orientation - 8 hrs 
  • Ladder Operation - 52 hrs
  • Low Angle Rope Rescue Operations - 24 hrs
  • Physical Ability Test - 8 hrs
  • Rescue Systems I - 40 hrs
  • Ropes & Knots - 8 hrs   
  • Salvage Operations - 24 hrs
  • Ventilation Practice - 32 hrs
  • Wildland Fire Control - 64 hrs
  • Total Hours for Fire Academy Instruction & Testing - 560 hrs 

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.  
Santa Ana College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at: