Fire Academy

Patterned after fire department recruit schools, the GTCC Fire Academy provides the basic skills needed for you to become employed in the fire service. The Academy has an aggressive physical fitness program to provide you with the ability to handle the physical demands of the fire service. You will also receive basic skills needed to excel in the fire service. This is an intense program which requires you to commit to long hours of rigorous training. In order to be accepted into the academy, you must complete a GTCC Fire Academy Application and a physical agility evaluation. A medical physical is required prior to the start of the Academy. You are responsible for purchasing uniforms, books, and basic equipment. All fire academy applicants must be 18 years of age prior to the start date of the fire academy.

Upon completion of the academy you will have the following NC State Certifications:

Firefighter Level I & II

Technical Rescuer General & VR

Hazardous Materials Level 1 Responder

Frequently Asked Questions

Fill out and submit the Fire Academy Application form.  Fire Academy students must have a High School Diploma or G.E.D.

Adam Williams, Interim Fire Academy Coordinator

Tim Fitts, Fire Occupational Extension Director

If you successfully complete the Firefighter Academy, you will obtain your Firefighter I & II, HazMat Level 1 Responder, Technical Rescuer – General, and Technical Rescuer – Vehicle Rescue Certifications.  These certifications are provided by the NC Office of the State Fire Marshal.

The Fire Protection Technology Program is a two-year Associate’s Degree program.  Upon completion of this program, you are awarded an Associate’s Degree in Fire Protection Technology. 

Most fire service personnel would view the skills learned in the Fire Academy as the foundation to being a firefighter. The Associate’s Degree program would add to this foundation and could be viewed as “next level” learning.  It is important to note that they are separate programs, and one is not necessarily dependent on the other.

The average cost of the Academy, if you are not affiliated with a fire department in North Carolina, is about $2,100. If you are affiliated with a NC fire department, you will be exempt from paying the registration fees and normally can use the turnout gear from your fire department with approval from the chief of the department. Understand that these figures are estimates for planning purposes only. This includes the following:

Tuition for the Fire Academy:

Registration fee for FIP 3000 (FF, HazMat) $188
Registration fee for FIP 6500 (TR General)  $188
Registration fee for FIP 5710 (TR Veh. Rescue) $188
Registration fee for FIP 4728 (Drill days)  $133
Books for the Fire Academy $120
Uniforms $300
PT/Workout Clothes $150
Medical Physical $350
Turnout Gear Rental $500

Every day starts at 8 a.m. with physical training (running, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, weight training, and job-related agility skills). Class begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 5 p.m. However, some days can run later depending on the objectives to be competed for the day. At the end of the day, you will perform station duties before dismissal. This includes maintenance, cleaning, etc.  You are not allowed to leave until all work is completed. This schedule continues for approximately 20 weeks at the ERTC 3 Building.

Upon successful completion of the Firefighter Academy, you will receive certifications in Firefighter I & II, Hazardous Materials Level 1 Responder, Technical Rescuer – General, and Technical Rescuer – Vehicle Rescue.

As noted above, GTCC offers Firefighter I and II with Hazardous Materials Level 1 Responder under FIP-3000. This certification block consists of all certification courses identified by the NC Fire and Rescue Commission as comprising the Fire Fighter I and II and Hazardous Materials Level 1 Responder Certifications.  FIP-3000 transfers as one block, in its entirety, to the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM).  It is imperative for you to understand that you:

  1. Must successfully complete all of the Firefighter I and II and HazMat certification courses that are part of this block to get credit for any of the individual courses/certifications.
  2. Each certification course within this block has its own attendance policy that must still be followed.
  3. Each certification course within this block has its own testing requirements, including any practical evolutions.

The purpose of the blocks is to allow colleges to bundle individual certification courses so that they may register you for a grouping of FIP courses under one course number and one registration process and fee. It is much more economical for you to pay for four “blocks” of instruction as opposed to paying 33 separate registration fees for each course taught. If you are affiliated with a N.C. Fire Department, you are exempt from paying the registration fees.

Firefighter and Hazardous Materials certification through Course Number:  FIP-3000 are entered into the Office of State Fire Marshal as a single class. If you fail a written course test and one retest on any Firefighter or HazMat class, you will not receive credit for any classes in that block, including any classes you successfully completed and passed.  If any class is failed or you are unable to complete all of the classes (sick, injury, personal issue, etc.), you will not get credit for any classes you have completed.

Under block registration, you get credit for all or nothing.  If you enroll in a block course and have previously taken any course within the block as a stand-alone course, you still must take the entire block.

Every class subject during the Academy has a test administered from the North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission. Tests are taken at the end of each subject.

You must first pass a physical agility test that consists of the following:

  • The Physical Agility Assessment will begin with you completing a run of 1.2 miles in at least 12 minutes.

  • After the run, you will have one minute to complete 25 push-ups and one minute to complete 25 sit-ups.

  • Additionally, the following events will be timed for a total time. You will wear a fire helmet and gloves while completing the following assessment.  A maximum time limit of eight minutes will be allowed for the following series of events.

    1. Climb five flights of stairs carrying a 100’ hose pack of 1 ¾” hose weighing approximately 40 pounds. You may skip steps while ascending the stairs. You shall maintain contact with the handrail at all times while ascending the stairs.
    2. Hoist a 50’ section of 2 ½” fire hose weighing approximately 40 pounds using a rope in a hand-over-hand manner.
    3. Descend the stairs touching every step on the way down. You shall maintain contact with the handrail at all times while descending the stairs.
    4. Climb a raised 24’ ladder and descend the ladder and touch the top rung with both hands. You shall maintain three points of contact at all times while climbing the ladder. You may hold either the beams or the rungs of the ladder while climbing the ladder.
    5. Advance a charged 1 ¾” hose line 75’.
    6. Drag a mannequin weighing approximately 165 pounds a distance of 75'.
  • You shall walk between each station as directed by the timekeeper. No running will be allowed.

  • You shall complete the timed drill in its entirety without stopping. If you stop longer than 30 seconds to rest during one of the events, you will be disqualified from the Physical Agility Test and may not continue the assessment.

There are usually practice sessions available before the agility test date.

Additionally, you must pass a medical physical prior to admittance to the academy. 

Yes, you must pass a medical physical prior to admittance to the Academy.  The details of this physical will be provided by the Fire Academy Coordinator. This is not a typical physical as it must include elements from OHSA and NFPA. 

The cut-off date for the Fire Academy is approximately two months prior to the start date. This allows time for agility testing and preliminary screening of all applicants prior to full acceptance to the academy.