Erica Cardenas

Fire Academy launched at EMCC

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After four years of planning, a Fire Academy was launched last month at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) in Avondale, one of the ten Maricopa County Community Colleges. 

Through community partnerships with the fire departments in Avondale and Goodyear, the academy fulfills a much-needed resource for firefighter training and certification in the Southwest Valley. The new course, FSC102 Fire Department Operations, is now being offered to qualified students who have met admission criteria. 

Upon successful completion of FSC102, the students will qualify for the Firefighter I and II certification issued by the Arizona Center for Fire Service Excellence (AZCFSE).

The new EMCC Fire Academy is a component of the College’s current Fire Science Program, part of EMCC’s Public Safety Institute. Establishing the certification program involved a combination of community advocacy and partnerships with the Avondale and Goodyear Fire Departments, course planning that met the academic rigor and standards of the AZCFSE, and acquiring the equipment and facilities to support the lab training.

“The college has been providing courses in Fire Science Technology and Emergency Response and Operations, so, the next logical step was to focus on the skills and hands-on training needed to enhance the candidate’s confidence and career,” said Avondale’s Fire Chief, Paul Adams. “EMCC plays a critical role in preparing and supplying us with qualified firefighters for the future.”

The classes are held at the EMCC campus during the week for classroom learning; on Saturdays, the students have their “lab” at the Avondale/Goodyear Fire Training Facility, located on Lower Buckeye Road in Avondale, where students participate in practical training exercises. 

A fully-equipped fire truck was purchased by the college for training its Fire Academy students, and it will be permanently located at the Training Facility.

For more information about the EMCC Fire Academy or enrollment, call 623-935-8466. 

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