Fire Academy I & II at Colorado Mountain College
Colorado Mountain College offers a clear path to begin a career in the fire service
The Fire Academy I certification program prepares students with the fundamental skills and experience to pursue entry-level fire service positions.
Benefit from affordable on-campus housing in a community that celebrates and supports fire service professionals. Connect with local fire departments while expanding your firefighting skills and knowledge. With more live-fire days than any other program in the state, CMC’s Fire Academy is widely recognized by many fire agencies in Colorado.
The Fire Academy II program is designed to advance fire fighters to the next level in the fire service. Students will learn new skills at the Firefighter II and Hazardous Materials Technician levels.
Academy Classes & Hands-on Training
Fire Academy I
This certificate program prepares students with the basic skills necessary to respond to community emergencies including medical, fire-related, and hazardous materials incidents.
Fire Academy I consists of two college-level credit classes:
- Firefighter I (FST-100) – 9 credit hours
- Hazardous Materials Operations (FST-107) – 3 credit hours
Classes are offered at the CMC Leadville campus, and hands-on training occurs at the live burn facility in the Vail Valley. CMC provides SCBA, bunker gear, Academy uniforms and other personal protective gear.
Fire Academy instructors are a diverse group of active and retired firefighters, representing five fire departments throughout the region. Training schedules are consistent with the standard 48/96 schedule practiced by rural Colorado fire departments – two consecutive 24-hour shifts on duty, followed by four consecutive days off.
Fire Academy II
This certificate program is intended to advance fire fighters to the next level in the fire service. Students will learn new skills at the Fire Fighter II and Hazardous Materials Technician levels.
The curriculum includes classes included in the Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Science Technology and credits may be applied toward that degree. Graduates of the program will receive a Certificate of Occupational Proficiency in Fire Academy II.
- 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 also complete Credit for Prior Learning to get college credit for FST-160 CPAT, a pre-requisite for enrolling in the Fire .
- The academy classes involve strenuous physical activity. All applicants are encouraged to start a physical fitness routine in preparation for the academy. Applicants should reference the CPAT Test Preparation Guides for details.
- The Academy has high academic and physical standards. Attendance is required for all class sessions.
- A physician reported medical form is required by July 1.
- Students are encouraged to research the most current information on firefighter certification in the State of Colorado.
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:
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.
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.
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 Colorado.gov/publicsafety 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 NationalTestingNetwork.com/publicsafetyjobs.
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.