The Basic Fire Academy is designed for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a certified firefighter. The curriculum includes a combination of class lectures, skills and field training. This program is approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to be taught in a block format to provide for an appropriate and logical sequence of competency mastery. The instruction and competencies for the following courses are integrated into the sequence provided in the curriculum for the Basic Structural Firefighter. This training curriculum exceeds minimum hour requirements set forth by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Upon successful completion of the academy, students will be eligible to take a written exam and skills evaluation administered by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. All course work must be complete and the certificate of completion issued before applying for the state examination. All coursework is International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) approved.
Program Admissions Requirements
In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of South Plains College, students who wish to enter the SPC Basic Fire Academy must make a separate application to the academy and complete the following requirements:
- Take Entrance Written/Physical Standards Test. Contact the fire academy coordinator before the test date for instructions about testing, including times, dates, and procedures:
Applicants must make a passing score of 70% or better on the written exam. After successfully completing the written exam, the candidate will complete the SPC Fire Academy physical test.
- PASS TESTS. Once you have passed the Fire Academy entrance exam (written and physical), you will receive two documents: a Fire Academy application that you complete, and a Physical Examination Form that the licensed health care provider of your choice must complete. The physical examination will be completed at the STUDENT’S expense.
- SCAN AND EMAIL THE COMPLETED DOCUMENTS. Include the Fire Academy application and Physical Examination Form in a single email to your respective SPC Fire Academy Coordinator (Phillip Grandon or Eddie Kirkpatrick).
- ACCEPTANCE/COMMUNICATION. Once the SPC Fire Academy Coordinator has received your Fire Academy application and Physical Exam Form, they will notify you of your eligibility. IT IS IMPORTANT that you check the email you provide the Academy Coordinator for information about the Academy. Failure to communicate effectively will result in your removal from the process.
Mandatory Minimum REQUIREMENTS by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP):
- You must apply for TCFP certification within two years of graduating from the SPC Fire Academy.
- You must be at least 18 years of age before applying for TCFP certification.
- You must successfully complete the SPC Fire Academy and achieve a passing score on TCFP written and performance examinations before applying for TCFP certification.
- In addition to successfully completing the SPC Fire Academy, you must also successfully complete a TCFP-recognized emergency medical training program, such as EMT-Basic, before applying for TCFP certification.
- (Note: EMT-Basic is NOT part of the SPC Fire Academy and is a separate course with a different application process. Contact EMS Program Director Jacob Braddock at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on SPC’s EMT program.)
- The TCFP will review your fingerprint-based criminal history record when you apply for certification after graduation.(See Texas Administrative Code Title 37, Part 13, Chapter 403, Criminal Convictions and Eligibility for Certification, for more information.)
- (Note: Some fire departments have criminal history guidelines that are more strict than the TCFP certification guidelines. Contact each fire department directly if you have questions about your employability related to your specific criminal history.)
Many fire departments medically evaluate their applicants according to the most current edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments. It is YOUR responsibility to review NFPA 1582 and speak to your medical provider to ensure you do not have an identified pre-existing medical condition that affects your employability. You are encouraged to contact each fire department directly to obtain their specific medical guidelines for job applicants.
To qualify for the Certificate of Proficiency, the student must complete a Capstone Experience in the final semester of the program.
The coordinator’s office will notify all applicants as to their admittance to the academy. A student who fails to meet the standards outlined in the applicant’s Fire Academy application packet will be refused admission to the academy.
Program advisor is Matt Hixson, Program Coordinator of Fire Technology, (806) 716-4912.