Firefighter I Academy

Overview

Firefighter Academy

The goal of the Sierra College Regional Fire Academy is to give you the tools, training and education you’ll need to be hired as a certified firefighter by a professional fire service agency.

Our Firefighter 1 Academy is offered through partnerships with the Placer and Nevada County Fire Chief’s Associations and the City of Roseville Fire Department. Sierra College is recognized by the California State Fire Marshall and the State Board of Fire Services as an Accredited Regional Training Program. 

We pride ourselves on being the most comprehensive, competitive, innovative and professional fire academy in the region. Follow Sierra’s Firefighter Academy on Facebook.

Prerequisites

Before you apply for Firefighter 1 Academy, you must: 

  • Complete the Fire Protection Organization (Fire Tech 1) course 
  • Have a current California Emergency Service Authority EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate or Paramedic certificate

These courses are offered at Sierra College. 

Program Overview and Core Values

Sierra College logo with core valuesThe required 80% academic standard for the Firefighter 1 Academy is rigorous. Candidates need to be aware at the outset that this will place extraordinary demands on their time and resources.

The Firefighter 1 Academy is offered in two different formats: 

  • Full-time Monday through Friday or,
  • Extended format of evening and weekend classes, which enables students to maintain employment while preparing for a career in the fire service

Roseville Training Center/Fire Academy

  • Fall Academy: late July through December
  • Spring Academy: January through May
  • Classes conducted on most weeknights and weekend days

Nevada County Campus:

  • Spring Academy: January through May
  • Classes conducted on weekdays

Academy Core Values

  • Honor
    Guides firefighters to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior.
  • Courage
    Is the mental, moral and physical strength ingrained in firefighters.
  • Devotion to Duty
    The selfless devotion to act or course of action that is required of one’s position.

What to Expect Once You’ve Completed the Academy

Once you’ve successfully completed the Academy, you will meet the training requirements for the California State Fire Marshall Firefighter 1. You will be able to apply for the certification after successful completion of the task book and experience requirement of:

  • 1 year as a volunteer or reserve firefighter, or
  • 6 months as an intern/full time paid firefighter with a California fire department

Application and Deadline

Acceptance into the Fire Academy is by an application process. Applications for the Academy are available in April for the fall academy and October for the spring academy

Apply Now

Applications were available Monday, October 1, 2018 starting at 8:00 am through Friday, October 12, 2018.

Deadline

All applications must be submitted in-person at the Fire Technology office located at 316 Vernon St., Roseville, room 221, by Friday, October 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm. Or, applications must be postmarked by October 12, 2018 to 5100 Sierra College Blvd., Rocklin, CA 95677.

Costs and Expenses

Material and Uniform Costs

Some personal protective equipment will be provided by the Academy, with the exception of: footwear, hoods, gloves, structural turnout rental and self-contained breathing apparatus (for health reasons). Students must also provide their own uniforms. Specifications and sources for these items will be provided upon being accepted for enrollment in the Academy. 

Financial Aid

Some students may be eligible to receive financial aid. Both Board of Governor’s Fee Waivers and Federal Financial Assistance may be viable options for students seeking assistance. For further information, call or visit the Sierra College Financial Aid office at the Rocklin Campus in Winstead Center, 916-660-7310.

Books

Required texts for FT 100 will be available for purchase at the Fire Academy orientations. Required texts for KIN 97 will be available for purchase at the Sierra College Bookstore. 

 Fees

Enrollment fees, as set by the California State Legislature, are $46 per unit and are subject to change. Students will be responsible for the difference in enrollment fees if such changes are enacted by the Legislature. 

Following are estimated expenses to participate in the Academy. 

Fee Description Cost
Medical Evaluation and Spirometry Cost varies. Evaluations are available at the Sierra College Health Center, Rocklin Campus. Call 916-660-7490 for appointment. $50
Enrollment Fee $46 per unit x 18.5 units (Fire 100=16.5 units; KIN 97 = 2.5 units) $851
Health Fee Payable once per semester $18
Student Center Fee Payable once per semester $5
Certification Fees FSTEP (6 x $20) $120
Certificate Cover One-time fee $5
Evals.net

This is the program that will allow students to study and review practical and hands-on skills from anywhere, including home.

Level A: $100* – provides student with access to all materials for the length of 2 consecutive semesters beginning with the semester of initial registration 

Level B: $119* – provides student with access to all materials for the length of two calendar years

*Costs will not change as long as student is in good standing with Fire Academy and is current with all applicable and contractual fees.

$100-119

Course Materials

From approved vendors. Details provided in registration packet.

Materials Description Cost
Textbook/Test Prep-Jones and Bartlett Textbook, Student Workbook, Navigate EFOLIO, Companion Website, Course Manager, Navigate Test Prep. All in one complete price. $156
Additional Textbooks Firefighter Handbook on Wildland Firefighting, NFES 1077 Incident Response Guide, NFES 2710 New Gen Fire Shelter, and ICS Field Operations Guide. Available at Sierra College Bookstore. $40
Binders One 5” Clearview, White $20
Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)   $385
Structure Gloves   $55
Turnout Rental   $285
Turnout “Bunker” Boots   $119
Helmet   $235
Structure Hood   $22
Trousers (minimum, 2 pair) Minimum of 2 pair $50
Station Boots 1 pair $150
Shirts  $40
T-shirts  Minimum of 3  $40
Belt   $15
Baseball Cap Class option $15
Physical training uniform Shoes, shorts, sweatshirt, sweatpants $150
Miscellaneous Pen, paper, computer ink, page protectors, etc.  $150
TOTAL (approximate) Course Fees + Course Materials $3,113 – $3,132

Housing

If you’re from out of the area and looking for housing, consider our Campus Residence Hall or find off-campus housing.

Schedule of Course Meetings

Our schedule of course meetings will be as follows: 

Roseville Fire Academy Schedule

  • Fire Academy Physical Training (KIN 97)
    Monday and Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m (location varies)
  • Firefighter 1 Academy (FIRE 100)
    Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays 6:00 p.m – 10:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sundays 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Nevada County Fire Academy Schedule

  • Fire Academy Physical Training (KIN 97)
    Will meet before the Academy starts. Complete schedule will be passed out at orientation.
  • Firefighter 1 Academy (FIRE 100)
    Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m. 

Earn More Certificates of Training

Once you’ve completed Firefighter 1 Academy, you can earn other Certificates of Training*, such as: 

  • Basic Incident Command System (ICS 100)
  • National Incident Management System (700a)
  • Confined Space Awareness
  • Hazardous Materials First Responder –Operational (CSTI)
  • Fire Control 3
  • Firefighter Survival
  • Vehicle Extraction
  • Cal Fire –Basic Wildland Firefighter
  • S-130 Basic Wildland Firefighter
  • S-190 Beginning Fire Behavior
  • L-180 Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service
  • S-134 Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes and Safety Zones (LCES) 

*Certificates of Training are subject to change

National Certification

The California State Fire Marshal Firefighter-1 curriculum is Nationally Accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) and the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro Board). Students who complete the Academy and Experience requirements can apply for National Certification in addition to California Certification.

Academy Locations and Directions

Fire Academy/Roseville Training Center
2030 Hilltop Circle, Roseville, CA 95747
Get Google Map Directions

Nevada County Fire Academy
Grass Valley Fire Station 2
213 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945
Get Google Map Directions

Academy Instructors

David Baldwin headshotDavid Baldwin

Battalion Chief, Sacramento City (CA) Fire Department

David has been in the fire service for almost 30 years – and the majority of those with Sacramento Fire. David is currently assigned to Engine 16 in the Meadowview district. He has a BS Degree in Fire Safety Management from Madison University, an AS Degree in Fire Science Technology from Sierra College, and is a California Certified Fire Instructor I.

In addition to being a drill instructor at the Sacramento Fire Department Fire Academy, David is also a drill instructor at the Sierra College Regional Fire Academy (a position he’s held since 2006). David is a member of the Sacramento Urban Search & Rescue Team and his deployments included: the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, 2001 World Trade Center and the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Mark Buttron headshotMark Button

Chief, Grass Valley Fire Department

Mark entered the fire service in July 1989. He’s had the opportunity to work as a firefighter in Southern California, an engineer and captain in Central California and as an engineer and captain in Northern California. He’s now fire chief with Grass Valley. Mark has been an instructor at Sierra College Fire Academy since 2006.

Orion Clemens

Orion Clemens headshotCaptain, Grass Valley Fire Department

Orion started his career as a seasonal firefighter with the US Forest Service in 2005. He worked as a seasonal firefighter with Nevada County Consolidated Fire District before becoming a career firefighter in 2007 with the Grass Valley Fire Department. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 2017.

Kevin Guerrero

Kevin Guerrero headshotStaff Chief, Fire Protection Operations – Cal Fire Headquarters, Sacramento, CA; Fire Control-3 Instructor, Structure Fire Control and Fire Behavior/Fire Chemistry Instructor 

Chief Guerrero began his fire service career in 1990. He holds a BS in Biochemistry/Cell Biology from UC San Diego, and an AS in Fire Technology from Sierra College. He is a Fire Control-3 Senior Instructor and has instructed Fire Behavior at both Sierra and the Cal Fire Academy. While an instructor, he rewrote the Fire Chemistry and Structure Fire Behavior curriculum.

He has worked in numerous positions throughout the state of California. He served 11 years on Incident Command Team #1 and attained the position of Plans Section Chief. He maintains HazMat Specialist and Technical Reference Specialist certification. He currently manages operations support, telecommunications, and statewide command and control for Cal Fire.

Matthew Jewett headshotMatthew Jewett

Fire Technology Instructor

Matt graduated from the California Maritime Academy with a BS degree, 3rd Mates Unlimited Coast Guard License and commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy/Merchant Marine Reserve.

He started his fire service career here at Sierra College where he attended the 02-1 Regional Fire Academy. Matt worked at South Placer Fire Department as a resident firefighter and was hired shortly after with Metro Fire where he worked at the four busiest firehouses in Sacramento County.

While at Metro Fire, Matt worked as a firefighter assigned to the HazMat Truck before he was promoted to Engineer in 2008. Matt held positions as Rescue Boat instructor and River and Flood instructor for the department. 

He was selected to teach as a drill Instructor for the new hire fire academies from 2006-2012. As a drill Instructor, he held various positions of logistics, planning, administration and operations officer. Matt was a drill instructor for the California Regional Fire Academy from 2009-2012 and was also assigned to Metro’s training division as a training officer from 2010-2012.

After 10 years of service, Matt was hired by Sierra College as a full-time Fire Technology instructor and is currently the drill master for the Regional Academy.

John Palmer headshotJohn Palmer

Battalion Chief, Roseville Fire Department

John is an instructor and current Planning Chief for the Sierra College Regional Fire Academy. He has taught for the academy since its beginning. His duties include instruction, assembling the class schedule, coordinating the cadre of instructors and conducting meetings related to planning. 

His career in the fire service began in 1976 with Rocklin Fire Department. In 1981 he accepted a position with Roseville Fire Department and retired as a battalion chief in 2010. John also has a strong background in building construction and as a hazardous materials specialist. He holds AS degrees in Fire Technology and Liberal Arts from Sierra College, and a BS degree in Occupational Studies/Vocational Arts from CSU Long Beach.

Tim Palmer headshotTim Palmer

Fire Technology Coordinator, Sierra College

Tim has more than 30 years of fire service experience. He has served as a volunteer, student firefighter, firefighter, engineer, captain and battalion chief.

He has an Associate’s degree from Sierra College, a Bachelor’s degree from CSU Long Beach and is a state certified company and chief officer. Tim is also a State Certified Fire Instructor and has been teaching at Sierra College for 20 years.

David Ray headshotDavid Ray

Division Chief, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, Retired

Chief Ray started his fire service career in Nevada County as a volunteer in 1973. He worked up through the ranks and became one of the youngest fire chiefs in the state. Chief Ray became a career firefighter in 1985. Working in all fire department disciplines, his specialty was in training.

Chief Ray has been an adjunct professor for Sierra College since 1997 in Fire Technology. He currently instructs at the Fire Academy and the Nevada County Campus. Chief Ray retired from Nevada County Consolidated Fire District in May 2013.

Mark Romer headshotMark Romer

Division Chief (Retired)

Chief Romer was in charge of Training for the City of Roseville. Mark started his fire service career in Marin County in the mid-1970s. He spent four fire seasons working for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. He was hired full-time by the Corte Madera Fire Department in 1981. 

In 1989 he accepted a position with the Sacramento County Fire Protection District as a full-time training officer. A position he held for 10 years. In January 1999, he worked for the City of Roseville as their new training chief. He retired in April 2009 and went to work for the State Fire Marshal’s Office/Training Division as a retired annuitant assigned to curriculum development. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and an AS degree in Fire Technology. He is a master instructor and a Certified Fire Office.

Joshua M. Sunde headshotJoshua M. Sunde

Battalion Chief, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District

Sierra College Work History:

  • Instructed last 20 Academies
  • FT-001 Instructor
  • SFM Training Instructor Series Instructor (1A, 1B, 1C)
  • Technical Rescue Instructor (RS-1)
  • LARRO
  • SWR

Professional Work History:

  • USDA Forest Service 5 years, Engines, Crews, Hotshots, Helatack
  • Nevada County Consolidated Fire 13+ years, Assignment Station 84 B-Shift

Education:

  • AA Degree General Business, Sierra College
  • AA Degree Fire Technology, Sierra College
  • BA Degree Fire Science, Columbia Southern University
  • SFM Certified Master Instructor

Graduate Testimonials

Ryan Basque headshotRyan Basque

Firefighter/Paramedic, Sac Metro Fire

I attended Sierra College Fire Academy in 2002. At the time, all I knew was that I wanted to be a firefighter. Sierra College provided me with the knowledge and training I needed to achieve my goals.

Before the Academy, I had a strong respect for the fire service. I heard words like honor, courage, integrity, and teamwork associated with the fire service. Sierra College Fire Academy showed me the meaning of those words and taught me how they are the foundation of the fire service.

Firefighters are a family, and I am still close friends with many of the people I attended Academy with over 10 years ago. I have even had the pleasure of working side-by-side with a few of them.

The Academy opened my eyes to the world of firefighting – where doing the right thing matters.  Being a part of something bigger than ourselves is a privilege shared by all of us who are a part of this profession. The Academy gave me a strong foundation to build from.

I have been a firefighter since I graduated the Academy. I worked for Cal Fire, Foresthill Fire, Georgetown Fire, and am now with Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. I’ve enjoyed this profession since day one. Every step along the way has been a blessing. I made great friends and know how fortunate I am to have the best job in the world. It all started for me with the Sierra College Fire Academy, and this is something I am proud of.

Matt Lauchen headshotMatt Lauchner

Battalion Chief, Roseville Fire Dept.

I am a proud graduate of Sierra College Fire Academy “Class 02-1.” The education and experiences the program taught me were instrumental to my successes in fire service. The para-militaristic approach to education was essential to preparing me for future experiences as a fire recruit and probationary firefighter.

The fundamental firefighting skills I learned at Sierra College are mirror images of those I experienced in numerous professional fire academies. These skills ensured a smooth transition into a career as a firefighter. The vast array of instructors that make-up the cadre derive from many local fire departments. These were familiar faces and great contacts when the time came to apply and interview for different agencies. The camaraderie and friendships made during Sierra College Fire Academy have turned into many life-long friends and co-workers.

One of my Sierra College Academy classmates is now the engineer on my crew. Many other graduates of “Class02-1” are career firefighters for departments including Sacramento City, Sacramento Metro, West Sacramento, Rocklin, Cal Fire, and Roseville. In 2011 I promoted to the Rank of Captain at Roseville Fire Department. I can attribute many of my successes to the knowledge, skills, and abilities I learned while attending the Sierra College Fire Academy.

Greg Fonts headshotGreg Fonts

Firefighter, West Sacramento Fire Dept.

Ask yourself this question “What experience and or qualifications do I have that sets me apart from all other fire candidates?” In your answer, were you able to list a Firefighter 1 academy? Today’s job market has become beyond competitive. It is not unusual to be testing against thousands of other applicants for only a handful of positions. It is also becoming a standard requirement to have a Firefighter 1 certificate in the list of qualifications to even be able to apply for a position.

I was lucky enough, at the age of 21, to be offered a full-time fire position pending my passing a grueling 18-week city fire academy. The tools and experience that I gained at the Sierra College Academy not only made getting through that 18 weeks easier, but also helped me get hired faster. 

Basic fire skills such as hose pulls, ladder throwing, knot tying and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) donning are some of the essentials of the job. Laying a strong foundation can be the difference of landing that job or not. Also, the friendships and networks that you establish in the Sierra Academy can not only help you get hired but will stick with you throughout your career.

If you choose to attend, you will have access to one of the best training towers in the region and have a realistic view on the day-to-day activities of the firehouse. Drill instructors will push your physical and mental limits, and you will be earning college credits while having fun! So, what are you waiting for?

Chris Allen headshotChris Allen

Sac Metro Fire, Firefighter/Paramedic

I attended Sierra College Fire Academy and am proud to say that I graduated from Class 02-1. I believe that Sierra College Fire Academy did an excellent job preparing me for a job in the fire service. I also believe that I would not have been as successful in obtaining employment as a firefighter without the help of Sierra College. They provided me with a strong foundation to build my firefighting career upon. I continue to use the skills that I learned as a member of 02-1 in my current role as a Firefighter/Paramedic.

  • American River College EMT (1999)
  • Sierra College Fire Academy (02-1)
  • South Placer Fire District (2002 – December 2005)
  • Sac Metro Fire (January 2006 – Present)
Damian WebberDamian Webber

Firefighter, Reno City Fire

Attending the Sierra College Fire Academy in 2003 was by far the best move I could have made to start my career in the fire service. The instruction and knowledge that I received from the academy was key in my landing a job with the Reno Fire Department two years after I graduated. 

The instructors who were there at the time really wanted you to pass and succeed in the fire service. They inspired me to come back as a volunteer instructor after I graduated, and I have been there ever since. I love it so much. I have actually been doing it for free, as a volunteer, for the past 10 years. 

It feels good when graduates of Sierra contact me and let me know how the instruction they received from me or other instructors helped them get past a fear or a hurdle they thought they never could. Sierra’s program has been instrumental in my success and I am happy to say I am a graduate from this prestigious academy! 03-1 BABY!!! 

James Vincent headshotJames Vincent

Firefighter/Paramedic, Roseville Fire Department

I am a proud graduate of the Sierra College Regional Fire Academy 06-2, “United Together, Brothers Forever.” I spent nine years both as an EMT and Paramedic at American Medical Response (AMR), worked as a seasonal firefighter with Cal Fire for two years, and am currently a firefighter/paramedic with the City of Roseville Fire Department. I attribute my professional success to the training I received at Sierra College.

At Sierra College, I learned the fundamental skills necessary for a career in the fire service. I learned how to search for victims, pull hose, extricate victims from a vehicle accident, rappel down the side of a building, throw a ladder and utilize a wide array of tools and equipment. 

I also acquired skills that are harder to teach and harder to learn. I learned to face my fears of confined spaces, heights, the dark, and failure. I learned that attention to detail is actually the foundation of any successful operation. I learned to love and trust the brother standing next to me even more than myself. Most of all, I learned that my own internal attitude was the single most important factor for success.

The skills I learned and the attitude I developed were both critical elements in landing my dream job. I attribute my success in the Academy to the fantastic instructors, excellent curriculum and real-world equipment used. These days, many fire departments require applicants to have successfully completed a Firefighter I academy just to submit a job application. If you bring “the will,” the Sierra College Regional Fire Academy will help you find “the way.”

Chris Silvas headshotChris Silvas

Firefighter, Grass Valley City Fire Department

After serving six years in the U.S. Army – with two of those years served in Baghdad, Iraq – I  started my path to fulfilling my second dream in life: to becoming a firefighter through Sierra College in March 2010. I was inspired as a child by my father who worked with the Los Angeles Fire Department and is now a paramedic in Placer County with American Medical Response (AMR).

I attended EMT school and completed all of my Fire Tech Classes through Sierra College before attending Sierra College’s Regional Fire Academy in 2012. I am a proud graduate of Class 12-1. 

Sierra College’s Fire Tech Program and Fire Academy, in my opinion, are the best around. They offer the highest quality of instructors by ensuring they not only have a degree in Fire Tech, but also have several years of full-time firefighter experience. The combination of being ‘on paper’ and in the ’streets’ qualified offered, what I believe to be, the best instructors around. They not only taught you the skills you need to be successful, but also ensured you understood what it meant to be a firefighter in today’s fire service.

The professionalism and dedication to absolute excellence is evident in the Core Values of the Fire Academy: Honor, Courage, and Devotion to Duty. The excellent training helped prepare me to interview and earn a position as an intern with the Grass Valley City Fire Department in July 2012. I spent 6 months working as a full-time intern where I was able to earn real-world, full-time firefighter experience on an engine and a truck company. 

Immediately following the end of my Internship in Dec 2012, I not only graduated with my degree in Fire Tech, but also earned my State Firefighter I Certificate. Following this, I was able to earn a spot with the Diamond Springs/El Dorado Fire District as a Volunteer Resident Firefighter. I worked with them from Jan 2013 to July 2013 while attending Paramedic School. In August 2013, I was hired by the Grass Valley City Fire Department full-time as a firefighter. This all occurred just over one year after I graduated the Fire Academy. I could not have accomplished this without the amazing training I received at the Sierra College Regional Fire Academy.