Fire Academy

The GTCC Fire Academy is dedicated to equipping you with the vital skills needed to excel in a firefighting career. Many of our cadets receive employment opportunities before program completion.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: The deadline to apply for the Spring 2025 Academy is Oct. 1, 2024. Applications received after that date will be added to the Fall 2025 Fire Academy list, which will close on April 1, 2025.

Before starting at the academy, it's important to keep in mind that rigorous physical fitness training is a core focus in preparing for the physical demands of the fire service. You'll also be able to develop and refine essential skills necessary for success in this field. The program is demanding, requiring a significant time commitment, including strict training hours.

You must complete a GTCC Fire Academy application and pass a physical agility evaluation to gain admission. Additionally, a mandatory medical examination is required before starting the academy. It's important to note that you'll be responsible for obtaining your uniforms, books, and personal protective equipment.

All applicants must be at least 18 years old before participating in the live fire portion of the academy.

Upon completion of the academy, you will have obtained the following N.C. State certifications:

  • IFSAC Firefighter I and II
  • IFSAC Technical Rescuer
  • IFSAC Technical Rescuer Ropes
  • IFSAC Vehicle Rescue
  • IFSAC Hazardous Materials Operations
  • IFSAC Emergency Vehicle Driver

Frequently Asked Questions

Fill out and submit the Fire Academy Application form.  Fire Academy students must have a High School diploma or G.E.D.

Interested in learning more about the program? Sign up for a Public Safety program tour.

W. John Terry
Coordinator, Fire Academy
(336) 334-4822, ext. 50194

Firefighter Academy

  • Upon successful completion of the Firefighter Academy, participants will receive certifications including Firefighter I & II, HazMat Level 1 Responder, Technical Rescuer – General, and Technical Rescuer – Vehicle Rescue, provided by the N.C. Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Fire Protection Technology Program

  • The Fire Protection Technology Program offers a two-year associate degree program, a significant step toward career advancement. Graduates are awarded an associate degree in Fire Protection Technology, a testament to their enhanced skills and knowledge.
  • The skills acquired in the Fire Academy are considered fundamental for a career in firefighting by most fire service personnel. The associate degree program is seen as a complementary "next level" learning opportunity, enhancing the foundation laid by the Fire Academy. It's important to note that these are distinct programs, and one is not a prerequisite for the other.


The average cost of the Academy, if you are not affiliated with a fire department in North Carolina, is about $2,400. If you are affiliated with a NC fire department, you will be exempt from paying the registration fees and normally can use the turnout gear from your fire department with approval from the chief of the department. Understand that these figures are estimates for planning purposes only. This includes the following:

Tuition for Nonaffiliated Cadets
Fee Cost
Registration fees $963
Books $122.71
Uniforms $300
PT/Workout Clothes $150
Medical Physical $350
Turnout Gear Rental $500


The daily schedule begins promptly at 7 a.m. with physical training consisting of running, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, weight training, and job-specific agility exercises. Classes commence at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m., although occasional extensions may occur based on the day's requirements.

Subsequently, you will be responsible for station duties, such as cleaning and equipment maintenance before being excused. You are expected to remain on-site until all tasks are finished. This regimen will continue for about 20 weeks at the Fire Training Center.

  • Everyone gets two attempts at each written and practical skills test.
  • You will be dismissed from the academy if you are unsuccessful at both attempts. However, you will not lose credit for any of the previous courses you have taken.

  • Practical skills testing is completed during the course of the class.
  • Written examinations are given at the end of each course of study.

Yes, you must pass a medical physical prior to admittance to the Academy.  The details of this physical will be provided by the Fire Academy Coordinator. This is not a typical physical as it must include elements from OHSA and NFPA. 

"I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman."
— Edward F. Croker, Chief, New York Fire Department (1899-1911)

About GTCC Fire Academy