FIRE ACADEMY OVERVIEW
The Fire Academy Training Division
Fire academy for all WA Fire Careers agencies is administered by the South King County Fire Training Consortium (SKCFTC). The SKCFTC is the training division for select fire and life safety agencies throughout South King County. SKCFTC combines the resources and training officers from member agencies into a single training office to provide consistent, regional training to area firefighters throughout all of the agencies represented.
By sharing a single consistent training curriculum, departments accomplish more annual training, reduce costs and eliminate duplication of training development efforts. Mutual aid operations are enhanced and streamlined when responders from different departments are trained by a single training program. Specialization of training officers allow the training consortium to focus efforts in areas such as Professional Development and Health and Wellness. Improving fitness and nutrition, preventing injury, and providing training and resources to deal with the personal challenges of the fire service profession will help members reach retirement healthy and safe. Our members are worthy of our support and investment in their health and well-being.
What to Know Before Starting Academy
Fire academy is very challenging – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Recruits should expect to enter fire academy in great physical condition, with a support system in place, and with their personal affairs in order to ensure the highest probability of success. Here are some key considerations when preparing for fire academy.
Be Emotionally Prepared
Fire academy is an intensive, 20 week program. Simply put, it’s hard. It is not only hard for recruits, but it is hard for their families too. It requires a lot of dedication and sacrifice, especially of time and attention. As a recruit, you will spend your days going through critical learning or running physically demanding drills and your evenings studying. Expect free time to be scarce during the program and have these conversations with your family and friends early in the process so you can come up with a game plan for how you’ll work through those challenges.
Be Mentally Prepared
Fire academy requires a positive mindset. Recruits need to enter academy with the will to succeed, a strong work ethic, the willingness to learn, and the ability to take direction from others. Individuals who thrive in a team environment, and who excel at taking and executing directives from senior members, will find fire academy easier to navigate than those who struggle in those areas. Remember that working in the fire service is about being part of an exceptional team.
Be Physically Prepared
The CPAT is the baseline set to establish the minimum physical standards necessary to continue through the hiring process. The CPAT is not indicative of the strength, stamina, and endurance necessary to be successful in fire academy or as a career firefighter. To help you get a better idea of the physical aptitude required to be successful in fire academy, we have shared the Physical Fitness Standards and the Physical Fitness Scoring information that is used by SKCFTC in their training process.
What You Will Learn
Fire academy provides recruits with all of the skills and knowledge necessary to serve their communities as firefighters. These skills include the use of specialized equipment and apparatus, search and rescue, ladder training, vehicle extrication, technical rescue, and much more. Below is a list of certifications that graduates of fire academy obtain upon graduation.
|IFSAC Firefighter I|
|IFSAC Firefighter II|
|IFSAC Hazardous Materials Awareness|
|IFSAC Hazardous Materials Operations|
|Emergency Vehicle Incident Prevention Certification|
|Emergency Medical Technician Certification (National Registry)|
Graduating from fire academy is no small feat. Graduates are honored with a a well-deserved graduation ceremony where their friends, family, and fellow firefighters can celebrate a job well done. Graduation is recorded and broadcast by the SKCFTC. To view a live ceremony or watch previous ceremonies, visit the SKCFTC Facebook page. Each graduation includes certain traditions, from the bagpipes ushering in the start of the ceremony, to the national anthem being sung by one of our own. Another tradition is the graduating class video. Here’s the latest graduating class video to give you a taste of what it’s like to experience academy.