How long is the course?
The Fire Academy runs for one semester.
How many college credits will I earn?
The course consists of two classes, Firefighting Basic I and II which are 7.5 credit hours each for a total of 15 credit hours for the course.
Is this a degree program?
The Firefighting Basic is a vocational certificate program.
How do I get into the Fire Academy?
The Fire Academy is a Limited Access Program which means that only those selected for the program can register for the classes. We may select up to 25 students for each class. The selection process is based upon passing a Physical Ability Test and meeting all standard requirements for registration at NWFSC.
Will I be able to get my fire certification after I finish the program at NWFSC?
Upon successful completion of the NWFSC Fire Academy, students who meet all graduation requirements are eligible to test for the state exam which consists of a written and practical test. The cost of the state fire exam is $35. Students are also encouraged to apply for ProBoard certification which could be beneficial in order to procure fire certification in other states.
Are there any prerequisites?
Yes. All fire candidates must complete or hold an approved First Responder certification and current CPR certification. NWFSC offers the First Responder for Public Safety (FFP1140) each semester; it's a 3-credit hour course. Healthcare Provider CPR (XAH5555) classes are held on the Niceville campus of NWFSC for $50. You can register for available CPR classes directly on the college website.
I am an EMT. Do I need to take the First Responder course?
If you have passed the state EMT or paramedic licensing test, you do not need to take a First Responder course.
Is any CPR class acceptable?
The following CPR certifications are acceptable:
  • American Heart Association, Healthcare Provider BLS
  • American Red Cross, Professional Rescuer CPR
  • CPR PRO for the Professional Rescuer
Do I need a physical exam for the program? Should I go ahead and get one now?
We have specific forms for the Fire Academy physical which must be submitted by all accepted students. The State of Florida, Bureau of Fire Standards and Training requires that a physical be performed no more than 6 months prior to the start of the Fire Academy. Any costs you incur for the physical and/or shots are your responsibility. In the event that you are not selected for the program, you may have incurred unnecessary expenses, so we advise waiting until you are selected for the program.
I heard I have to be fingerprinted? Do I have to pay for that?
All Fire Academy students are fingerprinted in the second semester of the program and the cost is part of the tuition/registration fees.
How much is the Fire Academy?
The program costs approximately $2,800.00 for tuition, uniforms, supplies, books and other fees. Prices for equipment, student fees and tuition are subject to change.
Do students get actual experience in a fire station?
Not at this time, however we are exploring this option for future classes.
What is the class schedule?
Students are in the classroom Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8AM - 6 PM. There are 3 full weeks (Monday through Friday) near the end of the semester as well. The schedule is subject to change.
How do I get started?
It's easy and much of it can be done online.
  • Step 1: Complete an application to NWFSC and choose "Firefighting Basic 5095" as your program of study.
  • Step 2: Request all transcripts (college and high school) be sent to NWFSC.
  • Step 3: Obtain and fill out Fire Academy application and supporting documents and deliver to EMS department.
  • Step 4: Follow up with the EMS department at (850) 729-4924 about your application.
Upon your initial application to Northwest Florida State College, you will be assigned a student ID number and an email address through RaiderNet. All official information from the EMS department, your instructors and the college will be distributed to your NWFSC email address. Please be sure you have access to and check regularly this account. For login and password problems, you can contact our IT Help Desk at (850) 729-5396.
I've submitted my application, now what?
You will be notified of dates and times to take the Physical Ability Test. After successful completion of the test, you will be notified within a week if you are selected for the Fire Academy.
Is financial aid available for the program?
You should contact the Financial Aid Office at (850) 729-5390 or visit their offices in person. Financial Aid is located in the Student Services Center (SSC). We recommend that you explore your payment options as soon as possible. Delays with financial aid may prevent you from registering for classes.