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. A large number of our cadets have job offers before they graduate.

The Academy has an aggressive physical fitness program to provide you with the ability to handle the physical demands of the fire service. You also will receive the skills needed to excel in the fire service. This intense program requires you to commit to long hours of rigorous training. To be accepted into the academy, you must complete a GTCC Fire Academy application and a physical agility evaluation. A medical physical is required before the start of the academy. You are responsible for purchasing uniforms, books, and essential equipment. All fire academy applicants must be 18 years of age before the start date of the fire academy.

The deadline to submit an application for the fall 2024 Fire Academy is 5 p.m. April 1. Applications received after that date will be added to the spring 2025 Fire Academy list, which will close Oct. 1.

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

  • IFSAC Firefighter I and II – NFPA 1001
  • IFSAC Technical Rescuer – NFPA 1006 Ch 5
  • IFSAC Technical Rescuer Ropes – NFPA 1006 Ch 6
  • IFSAC Vehicle Rescue – NFPA 1006 Ch 10
  • IFSAC Hazardous Materials Operations – NFPA 1072
  • IFSAC Emergency Vehicle Driver – NFPA 1002

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.

Interested in learning more about the program? Sign up for a Public Safety program tour.

W. John Terry
Coordinator, Fire Academy
(336) 334-4822, ext. 50194

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 $2,400. 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 Nonaffiliated Cadets
Fee Cost
Registration fees $963
Books $122.71
Uniforms $300
PT/Workout Clothes $150
Medical Physical $350
Turnout Gear Rental $500


  • Every day starts at 7 a.m. with physical training (running, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, weight training, and job-related agility skills).
  • Class begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 5 p.m. However, some days can run later depending on the objectives to be completed for the day.
  • You will perform station duties that include cleaning and equipment maintenance before dismissal.
  • You are not allowed to leave until all work is completed.
  • This schedule continues for approximately 20 weeks at the ERTC 3 Building.

  • Everyone gets two attempts at each written and practical skills test.
  • You will be dismissed from the academy if you are unsuccessful at both attempts. However, you will not lose credit for any of the previous courses you have taken.

  • Practical skills testing is completed during the course of the class.
  • Written examinations are given at the end of each course of study.

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

  • Run 1/2 mile (2 Laps) around the driving track as marked by traffic cones in (12) minutes
  • 25 push-ups in one (1) minute
  • 25 sit-ups in one (1) minute
  • Climb four (4) flights of stairs carrying a 100-foot hose pack weighing approximately 40 pounds.
  • Hoist a 50-foot section of fire hose weighing approximately 40 pounds using a rope.
  • Strike and move a 158-pound I-Beam (Keiser) simulated forcible entry-chopping machine utilizing a 9-pound sledge hammer to the designated point of completion.
  • Drag a charged hose line 75 feet.
  • Drag the 165-pound mannequin 100 feet backwards (i.e., pulling someone from a building).

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.

"I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman."
— Edward F. Croker, Chief, New York Fire Department (1899-1911)

About GTCC Fire Academy