Fire Academy

Fire Science 

What is the program?

The San Antonio College Regional Fire Academy is a quality fire training facility providing the most realistic live fire training possible. The ability to consistently burn Class A fuels (wood) and Class B fuels (propane), utilizing a variety of props, makes the Regional Fire Academy unique among the live fire training facilities.

The Firefighter I, II & Hazardous Materials (Haz Mat) Awareness/Operations Cadet Academy is a demanding sixteen-week program that provides comprehensive training in all aspects of Basic Firefighting Skills and Hazardous Materials. Cadets will participate in approximately 680 hours of Fire & Haz Mat training.

This face-to-face hands-on course prepares and trains Cadets to NFPA Fire Fighter I, II & Hazardous Materials Awareness/Operations* levels. Meeting hiring standards established by fire departments as entry-level firefighters. This course meets all requirements for Firefighter I, II & Hazardous Materials Awareness/Operations certification, as identified in NFPA 1001 and NFPA 472, through the TCFP & IFSAC process. EMT Basic is a prerequisite of Basic Structure Firefighter certification. San Antonio College also offers the EMT Basic Certificate through the Allied Health Department. (You do not have to have EMT to attend the Fire Academy) paramedic/

      • Firefighter / Basic, Level I Certificate
        • The SAC Regional Fire Academy (RFA) is part of the TCFP firefighter certification process. Prior to being appointed to fire suppression duties, personnel must complete a Commission-approved basic structure fire suppression program and successfully complete a Commission recognized emergency medical course.
        • Required to get your Texas firefighter certification

What's special about program?

Our Instructors in this program are seasoned veterans in the fire service with many years of cumulative teaching and operational experience.

The goal of the San Antonio College Regional Fire Academy is to provide fire training of the highest quality while promoting professionalism and academic excellence. It is the intent of the academy to provide a climate that promotes safety and respect while maximizing training benefits. "We prepare safety professionals to confront emergencies." The Regional Fire Academy Staff & Instructor team sets the tone and provides the environment to achieve TCFP certification & IFSAC certification. The training curriculum is divided into instructional blocks. Each block contains certain basic skills that Cadets will learn and then apply in a variety of ways to accomplish a task. During the course of training, Cadets will respond to fire ground scenarios and will be evaluated on their ability to apply the knowledge as a responding company

(Course Break Down)

This course runs twice a year, Spring (January thru May) and Fall (August thru December) and is in-line with the San Antonio College Spring/Fall Semester’s. We run two separate college classes side by side throughout the entire course. The course is broke into 8 separate courses/blocks (5 Blocks for Firefighter I, 1 Block for Firefighter II, 1 Block for Haz Mat, 1 Block for PT Program)(Listed Below).

Block I Firefighter I 1301, Block II Firefighter I 1319, Block III Firefighter I 1407, Block IV Firefighter I 1429,

Block V Firefighter I 1433, Block VI Firefighter II 1423 Block VII Haz Mat Awr/Ops 1413,

Block VIII Firefighter Agility & Fitness 1103 (Runs all 16 weeks)

This 16 week Academy is conducted weekly - Monday thru Friday from 0630 thru 1700. (Occasional Saturdays Required)

What will I learn?

The knowledge and manipulative skills necessary to become certified through the Texas Commission of Fire Protection (TCFP) in Firefighter I & II, and Hazardous Materials Awareness/Operations.

This course is designed to also teach “Firemanship”. This is where Cadets learn and understand what it means to be a firefighter,  what they represent as a firefighter, and how to be a professional leader in their department and most importantly their communities. 

What can I do with this course of study?

Once graduated and TCFP certified you can apply for entry-level firefighting positions in the State of Texas fire departments.

Once you complete the Fire Academy, you have now got the foundation needed to build on as a professional firefighter. The next step would be to get your Associates of Applied Science (AAS) Degree.

San Antonio College's (SAC) Fire Science program is designed to prepare the individual for a career in fire service and provide the opportunity for professional firefighters to achieve an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) Degree for career advancement.

The program offers two Associate of Applied Science A.A.S. degree tracts as well as a Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) approved basic structural firefighter academy.

      • Fire Science/Fire Fighting with an Emphasis in Homeland Security, A.A.S. ♦︎
        • The Fire Science / Fire Fighting with an Emphasis in Homeland Security program reflects the assessed needs of the community for careers in the fire service and the need for trained professionals in disaster preparedness.
        • Certified firefighters can receive college credit for TFFP, IFSAC, or ProBoard Fire Inspector certification
        • 100% online
        • For more information click HERE
      • Fire Service Leadership, A.A.S. ♦︎ 
        • The Fire Service Leadership Program reflects the assessed needs of the community for careers in the fire service and in fire service management.
        • Certified firefighters can receive college credit for TFFP, IFSAC, or ProBoard Fire Inspector, Fire Officer I & II, Fire Instructor I & II. Incident Safety Officer, and Haz-Mat Incident commander certifications.
        • For more information click HERE

♦ This symbol indicates the offering is also available fully online.

Courses Offered by Semester

What is the TSI 2.0 and when does it go into effect?

On January 11, 2021, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will be replacing the current college placement exam TSIA with a new version called TSIA2.  On Monday January 11, 2021, the current TSIA will no longer be available and anybody testing for TSI from that day forward will be testing under the new TSI 2.0 version.


Will my current TSI test scores be valid?

Yes, if you have taken the current TSI, your test scores are valid for a period of 5 years from the date of testing. However, if you are not yet TSI complete on any section of the TSI, and test on or after January 11, 2021, you will need to test with the new TSI 2.0 test.

What is changing with the launch of TSI 2.0?

Some of the TSI 2.0 changes include:

  • Current Reading and Writing tests will be combined into one English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) section
  • Students not meeting the college readiness will now have one diagnostic assessment.
  • Mathematics section:
    • College Readiness Classification (CRC) Test – 20 items
    • Diagnostic Test – 48 items
    • New College Readiness Benchmarks for Math
      • Math - CRC >= 950 or CRC<950 and Diagnostic Level =6
  • English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) section:
    • College Readiness Classification (CRC) Test – 30 items
    • Diagnostic Test – 48 items
    • Essay - Persuasive (350-600 words)
    • New College Readiness Benchmarks for ELAR
      • ELAR – CRC >=945 and Essay >=5 or
        CRC<945 and Diagnostic Level >=5 and Essay >=5
  • New Assessment Scores:  910 – 990; Essay 1-8
  • TSIA/TSIA2 scores are valid 5 years from date of testing.
What are the TSI 2.0 College Readiness Benchmarks?
  • New College Readiness Benchmarks for Math
    • Mathematics – CRC >= 950  or
    • CRC < 950 and Diagnostic Level 6                                
  • New College Readiness Benchmarks for ELAR
    • ELAR -- CRC >= 945 and Essay >=5 or
    • CRC < 945 and Diagnostic Level >= 5 and Essay >= 5     
If I am TSI complete on Reading and not in Writing will I have to take the new ELAR test or can I just take the Writing test?

You will have to take the new ELAR because the Reading and Writing Sections will now be combined into one section now named ELAR test, and cannot be taken separately. You will see both Reading and Writing questions and possibly an essay when taking the ELAR section. Your result on the ELAR section will determine if you are complete on the Reading and Writing sections that have not yet been passed or completed.

If I am TSI Math complete with the current TSI, do I have to take the new TSI 2.0 Math test?

No, if you are TSI complete on Math on the TSIA you do not have to test as long as your test scores are still valid and not older than 5 years from the date of testing.


Fire Academy Adjunct Instructors
Adjunct Instructors Name
BALL, Walter
CASAREZ, Manuel 
HIEBEL, Christopher
KRAMER, Daniel
LEE, Terry
MILLER, Michael
MONTES, Thomas
O'DESKY, Alexander
REESE, Daniel
SANDERS, William
WHITE, Aaron

Let's Get Started

SAC has temporarily adjusted our enrollment process to allow steps to be completed remotely by students.  Please follow the 1,2,3 Steps.

STEP 1: Registration

A. Welcome Center

The center provides assistance with the following:

  • Apply Texas application for admission
    • Completion of the SAC enrollment steps and    AlamoEnroll modules
  • Submission of official transcripts, Bacterial Meningitis, and other important documents
  • New Student Orientation Sign-Up
    • New student orientation is mandatory for all student entering SAC for the first time.
  • Enrollment Coach assistance


BFinancial Aid Office

The Financial Aid Office offers assistance in applying, processing, and maintaining financial aid.


 C. Assessment Center

The Assessment and Testing Center  provides assistance with

  • Test Administration of the TSI Exam for college placement
  • Evaluate student's TSI status


STEP 2: Enrollment

A. Advising

Certified Advisors provide a variety of advising services including, but not limited to andswering the following questions:

  • What degree do I follow?
  • What classes do I take?
  • Do I get credit for my certifications and training?
  • How close am I to graduating?
  • When do I apply for graduation?
  • I have enrollment holds, what do I do?
  • How do I declare my major?


 C. Ready to Enroll

  • Register for Classes: Click Here
  • Tuition Exemption Process: Click Here 
    • Must be enrolled in classes before submitting Tuition Exemption Request
    • Tuition Exemption Form: Click Here  
STEP 3: Payment

A. Business Office - Pay My Tuition

Provides a financial system of charges, refunds, and payments.

  • Are installment plans available?
  • How much do I owe? or I need a refund.
  • How do I Pay?
    • Send money orders and certified checks to
    • Online Payment Click Here


(210) 486-0201

Operational Announcements

Important Dates

Spring Semester 2021

Academic/Registration Calendars - Click Here

Registration Opens
November 16, 2020
Tuition Exemption First Day to Submit
November 16, 2020
Colleges Opens
January 4, 2021
Tuition Exemption Las Day to Submit
January 10, 2021
Registration Closes
Janury 10, 2021
Last Day to withdraw with 100% Refund in Person
January 15, 2021
Classes Begin
January 19, 2021
When does the Fire Academy begin?

The Fire Academy is held every Spring Semester and every Fall Semester.  The Day Academy meets Monday-Friday from 0600 thru 1700 hrs. for one semester. 

Coming Semester: Spring 2021

Registration begins: November 16, 2020

How much does it cost?

The Fire Academy will cost approximately $3800, this includes: books, uniforms, equipment, etc.  

How can I pay for Tuition?

Tuition can be paid for in multiple ways, such as cash, check, credit/debit card, etc. Other methods include scholarships, VA-GI Bill, student loans, or Financial Aid ( or .  Payment in full or by installments must be made by the payment deadline or you will be dropped from your classes. 

Where is the Fire Academy located?

The First Responder’s Academy Campus is located at 15775 IH 35 South, Atascosa, TX 78002.

A map showing the location of the First Responders Training Facility with text directions. 
 click to download a pdf
What is the difference between a City Fire Academy and the SAC Fire Academy?

A City Fire Academy is one that is part of the employment process of that particular city. Most large city fire departments have a Civil Service type exam in which anyone who meets the minimum qualifications can take. Based on successful completion of the hiring process, you are ranked on a list. This whole process can take up to a year to complete and is very competitive due to a very high volume of people competing.  Most people inquire about a fire academy such as the San Antonio College Regional Fire Academy because they do not want to risk losing the time when they could be working towards certification and or their degree while searching for a job with a city that does not have their own fire academy which only hires certified firefighter/EMTs. 

Can I apply for a job as a firefighter after the fire academy?

In the State of Texas, a certified Firefighter must also hold Basic Certification as an Emergency Medical Technician in order to be certified/eligible for hire.  You have the option to either go to an EMT academy before the fire academy or after. 

Do I receive college credit hours for completing the fire academy?

Yes. Successful completion of the fire academy will earn you 27 college credit hours.  These hours will transfer right in to a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field at a University.  For those who are not seeking a degree, you can register as a certificate only student as opposed to a degree student. 

Do Firefighters receive a discount on tuition?

Yes. The State of Texas rewards Full Time Firefighters with a tuition waiver program at certain State Colleges under certain degree plans.  For instance, once you are a career firefighter in the State of Texas, you can register for classes that are approved by the Department and your tuition will be waived up to and including a Bachelor’s Degree. 

What is the testing process for achieving certification?

You will be required to pass a final exam with a score of 80% in order to graduate the fire academy.  You will also be required to complete all practical skills throughout the semester as well as be tested at random by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection on these skills.  To achieve certification, you must also pass the State Written Exam with a score of 70%. 

Do I have to be in good physical shape to be a firefighter?

Yes. Firefighters are members of one of the most physically demanding occupations in the world. You must be in top physical condition to perform the tasks required of a Firefighter, such as rescuing victims, carrying equipment, raising ladders, and performing automobile extractions. In addition, Firefighters will be required to demonstrate proficiency in performing essential job duties.

In order to be hired by most fire departments you will take a physical ability/agility exam.  One example of these exams includes the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).  Click on this link for an example of a Preparation Guide.

What are the age requirements/restrictions?

There are no restrictions based on age to become a cadet of the SAC Regional Fire Academy.  Every person performs at a different level physically no matter what age.  Our academy also includes cadet classes made of high school students as a dual credit academy.  Every fire department has different rules on age requirements but not all departments will put a limit on age.  Most departments will however have a physical ability exam to prove that the candidate can perform essential job functions. 

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