How long is the Verdugo Fire Academy?

Our Academy is a one-year para-military program performed on Thursday Nights 6pm to 10pm, and Saturday's and Sunday's from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  You will be making a one-year commitment for weekends.

What does para-military mean?

While this is not exactly boot camp we do have a drill master responsible for teaching cadet's discipline and structure.  There will be uniform inspection every Saturday and Sunday.  Cadets are expected to be in uniform and to have their boots spit shined each day.  Female cadets will wear their hair in a braid or pinned down and male cadets will be clean shaven at all times.  No beard or whiskers shall be evident.  Short hair will be the order for all male cadets.  You will stand at attention and take orders as directed. 

Is there a fee associated with the program?

There is a non-refundable program fee (lab fee) associated with the program. This lab fee covers the cost of your books, certificates, and other fire fighting apparatus you will use throughout the year long program.  In addition Cadets must sign up for 32 units of credits over the one-year period based on current cost per unit from the college.  Twelve units for fall and spring and 4 units for winter and summer. Cadets must supply their own uniforms and safety equipment, which is payable to an outside vendor. For an estimate of all fees please refer to the VFA estimated fee schedule. Here

Is there financial aid for the Fire Academy?

No.  The Fire Academy is a State Fire Marshal accredited program and not a Glendale Community College program.  There is the potential to obtain a BOGG fee waiver for those that qualify to waive the semester fees.  Information on obtaining a BOGG fee waiver will come in the application packet.

How many cadets do you take each year?

We take a maximum of 60 cadets for each class.  So therefore, competition is high to get in.

What qualifications do I need in order to apply?

You must be at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or have your GED.  It is recommended that you also have your EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) license completed and have taken some Fire Technology courses.  Please note that if you are allowed into the academy prior to having your EMT license, you MUST possess a valid EMT license with the State of California, or County within the State of California, prior to the scheduled graduation date.  Failure to do this will disqualify you from graduating from the academy.  If you have completed the academy training successfully, and fail to produce a valid EMT license, you will not graduate and will not be issued a Certificate of Completion.

Why is your academy year long?

Our academy is geared toward working adults.  You may work or go to school during the week and then spend the weekends learning the Fire Fighting trade.

What else would I need prior to graduating?

All cadets must take and pass the CPAT exam. This exam is a timed physical agility test geared toward fire fighters.  You must perform 8 events in 10 minutes and 20 seconds.  The cadet will be given two times during the academy to take this test. Even if a cadet has previously passed a CPAT, the cadet must pass the CPAT within 30 days before the scheduled graduation in order to be eligible to graduate. You might want to begin a Physical Training program as early as possible to ensure success in passing the CPAT exam.  The CPAT web site offers a Candidate Preparation Guide to help you get in shape for the exam. Cadets who do not pass the CPAT exam will not graduate from the academy.

What is the Explorer Program?

The Explorer Program is geared toward teens between the ages of 15 and 21.  This is a 13 week program that teaches the basics of fire fighting and prepares teens for a career in fire fighting and in getting them into a Fire Academy.  You may take this program a total of four times.  For further information in the Glendale, CA area go to the Glendale Fire Department Fire Explorers Webpage.

What is a Cadet Sponsorship?

The Verdugo Fire Academy encourages our cadets to seek sponsorship from area fire departments. This benefits the cadet and the sponsoring agency in many ways.  The primary intent of sponsorship is to provide the opportunity to fill each class with student representatives from surrounding communities and to provide that training element required by the CSFM for certification as a Firefighter I. For more information look here.

If you have any further questions not listed here please send an email to Mirna Najera

Thank you.



Education • Commitment • Integrity
 Content and Images 2004 - 2013 All rights reserved
Glendale Community College and Verdugo Fire Academy