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The Basic Fire Academy Level 1 Certificate is a 25-credit-hour program for students who want to become certified structural firefighters in the state of Texas. It provides the knowledge and hands-on skills needed for students to pass the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) basic structural firefighter examination.

Basic Fire Academy Courses

The Basic Fire Academy curriculum is based on the TCFP Basic Fire Suppression Curriculum Manual, which includes classroom lectures and activities, hands-on firefighter skills training, and physical education training. The Basic Fire Academy is a 2-semester program, consisting of 25 credit / 672 contact hours. The curriculum is incorporated into the following courses:

FALL SEMESTER (13 Credit Hours):

  • FIRS 1301, Firefighter Certification I
  • FIRS 1407, Firefighter Certification II
  • FIRS 1313, Firefighter Certification III
  • FIRS 1319, Firefighter Certification IV

SPRING SEMESTER (12 Credit Hours):

  • FIRS 1323, Firefighter Certification V
  • FIRS 1329, Firefighter Certification VI
  • FIRS 1433, Firefighter Certification VII
  • FIRS 1203 Firefighter Agility and Fitness Preparation

Web-Enhanced Curriculum

Basic Fire Academy courses are web-enhanced, meaning course materials and study aids are available online through South Plains College’s Blackboard Learning System for students to review. However, the Academy itself is NOT an “internet academy” – it is a traditional classroom-based course with all curriculum and skills being completed during class.

Students are required to complete quizzes and some assignments online and utilize the course email.

Fire Academy Schedule

The Basic Fire Academy begins in the Fall semester and continues through the Spring semester. The Academy schedule is the same for Fall and Spring, with classes meeting Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and every other Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Firefighter Agility and Fitness Preparation

FIRS 1203 Firefighter Agility and Fitness Preparation is a required class designed for skill development in firefighter physical ability testing methods. It includes rigorous training in skills and techniques needed in typical fire department physical ability tests.

Course Completion

Upon successful completion of the Fire Academy, students receive a certificate of completion which makes them eligible to take the TCFP’s Basic Structural Firefighter examination. Students who pass the TCFP examination are eligible to apply for TCFP Basic Fire Suppression Certification once they have completed an approved medical first-responder course as outlined in the TCFP Standards Manual, Chapter 423.1, Minimum Standards for Structure Fire Protection Personnel for details.

Additionally, the 25 credit hours earned during the Basic Fire Academy apply towards both the Advanced Fire Technology Level 2 Certificate and the Associate of Applied Science in Fire Technology.

Current Cost

Tuition and fees are based on SPC’s tuition and fees schedule. Amounts listed below are estimates only and are subject to change without notice.

FALL SEMESTER (13 Credit Hours):

Tuition and Fees In-district


Tuition and Fees Out-of-district


Tuition and Fees Non-resident


Bunker Gear Rental


Boots, Hood and Gloves Purchase


Uniform Package Purchase


Books Purchase


Total In-district


Total Out-of-district


Total Non-resident



SPRING SEMESTER (12 Credit Hours):

Tuition and Fees In-district


Tuition and Fees Out-of-district


Tuition and Fees Non-resident


Bunker Gear Rental


TCFP Exam Fee


Total In-district


Total Out-of-district


Total Non-resident




  • Essentials of Fire Fighting and Fire Department Operations, 6th Edition (2013), Pearson(IFSTA)
  • Student Workbook for Essentials of Fire Fighting, 6th Edition (2013), Pearson (IFSTA)
  • Texas Commission on Fire Protection, Basic Fire Suppression Skills Manual, January 1, 2014

Uniform Package

The uniform package listed above includes:

  • 2 pair of pants
  • 2 T-shirt
  • 1 hooded sweatshirt
  • 1 hat
  • 1 beanie

In addition, students must provide the following:

  • Black belt
  • Black work boots
  • Clear safety goggles or safety glasses
  • Mechanics gloves, extrication gloves or leather-palmed work gloves
  • 3-ring binder for Academy notebook

Financial Aid

SPC Basic Fire Academy students are able to use financial aid, scholarships, and veteran’s benefits (for those students who qualify) to pay for the academy.

Note: Applications for financial aid, scholarships, and veteran’s benefits must be filed by specific due dates, which are listed on the applicable websites. Prospective students are advised to complete these applications as early as possible.

Application and Registration Procedures

In order to apply to the SPC Basic Fire Academy, prospective students must:

  • File an online application to become a South Plains College (SPC) student at and comply with all registration requirements.
  • All Fire Academy applicants (even those who would normally be exempt) are required to take the TSI Assessment Test prior to submitting the Fire Academy Application Packet. NOTE: The TSI Assessment is an entrance test for the Fire Academy, not an admissions requirement to SPC. Applicants should attain a 351 or higher on the Reading portion of the assessment, a 350 or higher on the Math portion, and a 363 or higher with a 4 Essay, or a 5 Essay or higher, on the Writing portion. Applicants who fail to meet these scores may advance in the application process but may be required to take remedial courses in the respective low-scoring area(s) during the summer semester prior to the beginning of the academy. The TSI Assessment Test score counts for 70% of each applicant’s overall entry score.
  • Applicants must obtain a physical examination from the licensed health care provider of their choice, utilizing the Physical Examination Form provided within the Application Packet. Students under the age of 22 must also provide proof of a meningitis vaccination.
  • Email the completed Fire Academy Application along with scans of any other required documentation in a single email to SPC Fire Technology Coordinator Matt Hixson at
  • All applicants who complete the above steps by the application submission deadline must participate in a timed physical agility test that will take place at the time and date listed in the application packet. The timed physical fitness assessment score counts for 30% of each applicant’s overall entry score.
  • Military veterans with a documented Honorable Discharge on a DD-214 form will receive a 10% bonus to the overall entry score.
  • Applicants who hold Texas Department of State Health Services EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, or EMT-Paramedic certification, or who hold National Registry EMT, Advanced EMT, or Paramedic certification will receive a 10%, 20%, or 30% (respective) bonus to the overall entry score.
  • The top 25 applicants will be notified of their acceptance to the academy by the date listed in the application packet. Further information will then be emailed regarding registration, tuition, uniforms, and orientation.

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