Fire Academy students at Colorado Mountain College prepare for a training drill.Get Started in the Fire Academy Program at CMC

Most students who enroll in the Colorado Mountain College Fire Academy are seeking their first job in the fire service. There are several ways to successfully start a firefighter career. CMC has pathway options for someone new to higher education, someone changing careers or someone looking to expand their firefighting skills and knowledge.

Explore and discuss options

To get started, you will first meet with our Fire Science Technology Program Coordinator to discuss the fire service and the requirements needed to apply for firefighter positions in Colorado and other states. You will have the opportunity to discuss volunteer service, professional firefighter career opportunities and what CMC can offer to best prepare you to meet your goal of becoming a firefighter in Colorado or elsewhere.

We will help you determine if a degree in Fire Science Technology is something that you want to consider for your career path or if a basic fire academy will meet your needs.

At your earliest convenience, please contact:

Chuck House
Fire Science Technology Program Coordinator
CMC Vail Valley at Edwards

Get Ready for the Fire Academy

Once you have determined how you want to proceed, it’s time to prepare for the Fire Academy.

Students must have completed a CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) within 12 months of the start of the academy in which they plan to enroll. You must present the certificate and complete Credit for Prior Learning to get college credit for FST-160 CPAT, which is a pre-requisite for enrolling in the Fire Academy.

Find more information at or contact CMC’s Fire Science Technology Program Coordinator. These tests are offered throughout Colorado.

CMC’s Firefighter I Academy is offered during the fall semester each year. Occasionally, based upon demand, we host an Academy at Edwards in the late spring. Enrollment is limited.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is critical. Obtain your CPAT certification prior to the beginning of the semester so you can register with the college and enroll in time to secure your spot in the academy. Registration is first-come, first-serve.

CMC Fire Academy Classes and State of Colorado Testing

The Fire Academy provides students with the basic requirement of the State of Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control to test for Hazardous Materials – Operations and Fire Fighter I certifications.

Testing for these certifications is conducted through the State of Colorado. CMC will coordinate a testing session, but this testing is outside the limits of the classes and Fire Academy as taught through the college.

CMC will coordinate one written and one practical CDFPC test for both Firefighter I (FFI) and Haz-Mat Operations (HMO). There is an additional certification fee of $30 per written test.

Students are encouraged to visit to find the most current information on firefighter certification in the State of Colorado. Questions about this procedure or anything related to the CMC Fire Academy or Fire Science Technology Program should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Some Important Things to Know . . .

Students must present a CPAT certificate (FST-160) that has been obtained within 12 months of the start of the current Fire Academy.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. All students must be registered before the first day of class.

Students must have paid for the class, including student fees, or have made appropriate arrangements with the financial aid office.

Participation is required in performing skills and demonstration of knowledge of topics as presented. The academy classes involve strenuous physical activity. All applicants are encouraged to start a physical fitness routine involving anaerobic and aerobic exercises in preparation for the academy. Applicants should reference the CPAT Test Preparation Guides for details on how to prepare at

Attendance is required for all class sessions. For details on schedules, contact the Fire Science Technology Program Coordinator before the first day of class. Extenuating circumstances regarding attendance must be discussed with the Lead Instructor of the academy.

CMC provides SCBA, bunker gear, Academy uniforms and other personal protective gear (via student fees). The first day of classes will be a course orientation, and further information/detail will be available.

The Academy has high academic and physical standards. Students must come prepared to excel in both. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these aspects, contact the Program Coordinator.

The Fire Academy may be listed either at CMC Vail Valley at Edwards or CMC Leadville. In either case, the vast majority of actual classes will meet in either Edwards or at our Dotsero Training Center.