Fire Science FAQs

Where is SFSC’s Fire Science program located?

The Fire Science program is located at the SFSC Highlands Campus, 600 West College Drive, Avon Park, FL 33825. Training facilities are in Building P. The Administrative Office is in the Public Safety Building, Room 102.

What are the requirements for becoming a firefighter?

Requirements for firefighters are defined by Florida Statute FS 633.412.  The Bureau of Fire Standards and Training ensures that training complies with this statute.

What is the difference in training for Minimum Standards and Firefighter II?

Minimum Standards training is required for volunteer firefighters. This course consists of 206 hours of classroom study and training in practical firefighting skills. Once you have successfully completed Firefighter I and met the standards of FAC 69A -37, you can apply to the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training for your Firefighter I Certificate of Completion.

Firefighter II training is required for those who wish to be employed as professional firefighters in the State of Florida. This course consists of 192 hours of classroom study and training in practical firefighting skills. By successfully completing the course and meeting the standards of FS 633.412., you are eligible to take the Firefighter Certification Exam administered by the Bureau of Fire Standards & Training. You must complete Firefighter I before enrolling in Firefighter II.

What are the firefighter training options at SFSC?

Minimum Standards: A cohort of cadets enrolled in the Firefighter I course with the expectation of continuing through to Firefighter II training.  

Firefighter II: A cohort of cadets with Certificate of Completion of Firefighter I training issued by the Bureau of Fire Standards & Training and meeting all the requirements of FAC 69A -37.  SFSC does not require applicants to this cohort to have completed training at our institution.

Do you need to be an EMT or paramedic to become a firefighter?

The Sate of Florida does not require firefighters to be an EMTs or paramedics. However, most fire departments require their personnel to have formal medical training.  

Does the Minimum Standards course require any prerequisite courses?

No.  First Responder (Emergency Medical Responder) is a co-requisite for the Firefighter I course.  If you have previously completed first responder, emergency medical technician, or paramedic training, you are exempt from this co-requisite.

If I have been arrested or have a criminal history, can I become a firefighter?

The Bureau of Fire Standards and Training determines your criminal record through fingerprint identification. If you have questions about your past criminal activity, contact the bureau or consult FS 633.412 to determine your eligibility. 

SFSC collects fingerprints from all applicants entering the Firefighter II course. Those fingerprints are submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI, and the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training.

Why do I need a medical exam before applying for Firefighter training?

The Bureau of Fire Standards and Training requires that an up-to-date medical exam is documented on your state-approved medical form so that any medical abnormalities which may be detrimental to your health are identified prior to your participation. SFSC requires that you complete this prior to applying to the Firefighter I or Firefighter II courses. 

Are there age or educational requirements for Firefighter I training?

Yes.  The Bureau of Fire Standards and Training and FS 633.412 require firefighters to have a high school diploma or GED and be a minimum of 18 years old. 

Do I have to take a physical agility test to enter the Minimum Standards or Firefighter II course?

Not at this time. However, firefighter is a physically demanding career and cadet physical fitness is of paramount importance. Cadets are required to participate in fitness and skill reinforcement activities.  Skill reinforcement activities are designed to combine firefighter skills with physical activities to promote skill retention and fitness.