First-rate training for first responders
If you're tasked with saving lives, you need the very best knowledge and skills available. Over the course of nearly two decades, ACC has educated hundreds of first responders now working in Texas and throughout the nation. The college offers hands-on instruction alongside the Austin Fire Department in a state-of-the-art facility, providing entry-level fire service training as well as programs for current firefighters who wish to earn a degree.
ACC's Fire Academy is the first stop on the road to becoming a firefighter. Its 17-week Firefighter Certificate is offered during the fall and spring semesters and focuses on fire protection fundamentals and preparation for state firefighter certification. ACC also has an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology. Fire Academy graduates receive credit toward the associate degree, while current professionals can pursue the degree tuition-free.
What skills can I gain?
Graduates of the ACC Fire Academy will take the Texas Firefighter Basic Certification exam, which is required to work as a professional firefighter in this state.
The program gives students expertise in firefighting rules and regulations, hazardous materials, forcible entry, ladder practices, fire streams, ventilation, rescue procedures, inspection, self-contained breathing apparatuses, automatic sprinklers, aircraft rescue, and fire protection/prevention. Fire fighting and rescue equipment such as axes, saws, chemical extinguishers, and ladders, in addition to fire engines and their on-board equipment, are also studied. Students practice simulated emergencies in a professionally staffed atmosphere using the latest equipment.
How long will it take to get a degree or certification?
The certificate is granted upon completion of an intensive 17-week training program at the ACC Fire Academy. Students typically take at least two to three years to complete an associate degree.
Where can I work with this education?
To be employable as a professional firefighter, students must hold a state Firefighter Basic Certification in addition to an Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B) license. The Emergency Medical Services program in ACC's Health Sciences division offers preparation classes for the EMT-B exam. With these two certifications, graduates are qualified to work for fire and emergency services departments nationwide.
Once on the job, firefighters work 24-hour shifts, responding to emergencies of all types. Between alarms, they participate in classroom training, equipment maintenance, practice drills, and physical fitness activities.
How do I get started at ACC and where can I find out about financial aid?
PLEASE NOTE: The Firefighter Certificate program requires a separate online application through the ACC Fire Academy.
Students working toward their associate degree who are full-time, part-time, or volunteer firefighters qualify for tuition-exempt status. Additionally, most fire departments offer incentive pay to firefighters who pursue a college degree and receive upper-level certifications from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.