About The Academy

About The Academy

The Academy lead instructors are:

  • Captain Scott Paynter
    Fire Ops Academy Coordinator & Lead Instructor, as well as Fire Science Program Adjunct Faculty at Paradise Valley Community College. Captain Paynter is currently a Captain with the Phoenix Fire Department.

The Firefighter Operations Academy exposes students to the physical demands of a firefighter, such as live burns, vehicle extrication, hose lays, ventilation, and more. Students are also introduced to fire department culture within the fire service. Firefighter curriculum is presented in a condensed, 17-week format consisting of in-class instruction and hands-on skills training, totaling over 300 training hours. Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:00pm-10:30pm, as well as Saturdays from 7:00am-5:00pm. Student recruits will also be required to co-enroll in FSC134: Fitness and Conditioning for Firefighters, with the option of attending Monday or Wednesday nights from 5:00pm-7:00pm and FSC174: Functions of Command, Fridays 5:30pm-8:00pm, Live Online. Upon successful completion of the academy, student recruits will receive sixteen (16) total college credits that may be applied toward an Associate's degree, and will receive the Professional Certificate of Completion in Firefighter Operations.

In order to register for the Firefighter Operations Academy (FSC102), you must participate and be selected thru a selection process (timeline of selection process listed under "Requirements" section below). The selection process consists of submission of an academy interest form by the deadline listed above, participation in a 20-minute interview with academy lead instructors and staff, and verification of completion of all academy prerequisites. The selection process will be conducted approximately two months prior to the start of each semester. Once the applicant has been selected for the academy, it is up to them to ensure that all prerequisites will be completed by the academy start date in order to maintain student recruit position in the academy. There is no sponsorship required for the academy.

Please visit this website frequently for important academy information and deadlines. For further information on the Firefighter Operations Academy, please contact the PVCC EMT/FSC Office at 602-787-6782, or email: pvcc.fsc.emt@paradisevalley.edu.


Can I take FSC105 (Hazardous Materials/First Responder), FSC130 (CPAT) , and EMT104 (EMT) co-currently during the Fire Operations Academy?

Unfortunately the answer is no. The reason is, in order to take the State of Arizona Fire I & II examination you must have passed a 40-hour Hazardous Materials/First Responder course, have a passing CPAT on record, and completed EMT104 or an equivalent course to EMT104. FSC134 is a co-requisite for the academy, and must be attended and passed in order for successful completion of the academy. However, we recommend that you already be in top physical shape due the physical demand this class requires.

Which Fire Departments requires the Fire Operations Academy (Fire I & II)?

See our Career Page for a complete list of departments who require this certification.

Will I receive any continuing education hours for my EMT certification?

Yes, since continuing education requirements for the Arizona Bureau of Health Services Department change all the time we will go over the continuing education requirements on the first day of class.

What sort of questions will there be in the oral interview?

You will be asked questions such as "How will this academy help you in your pursuit of a career in the fire service?", "How will you successfully navigate the mental and physical challenges of the academy?" and "Tell us a little about yourself and why you want to take this academy.", etc.

What will happen when I am done with the Fire Operations Academy?

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, the student will earn the Firefighter Operations Course Completion Certificate, and will participate in the Firefighter I & II testing and certification process with the Arizona Fire Services Institute - Center for Fire Service Excellence (AzCFSE). By demonstrating successful performance in the Firefighter I & II written and skills competencies, the state certification may meet academy requirements by various state and local fire agencies.

What sort of preparation will the Fire Operations Academy help me with in pursuit of becoming a professional firefighter?

Even though most metropolitan fire departments require the applicant to go through their agency’s own academy, this academy is designed to prepare the applicant for participation in a testing process as well as providing a foundation for successful participation in a firefighter academy.

Is the Fire Operations Academy accredited?

The Firefighter Operations Academy (FSC102) is sanctioned and approved by the Arizona Center for Fire Service Excellence (AZCFSE) through the Arizona Fire Service Institute, and is accepted state-wide. The Arizona Center for Fire Service Excellence is accredited nationally through the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). Pro Board accreditation is still being determined.

Is there a limit to how many people you take each semester for the Fire Operations Academy?

Yes. The Firefighter Operations Academy (FSC102) is designed to be small to be able to give you, the student, more repetitions and exposure to fire department operations. Currently we accept no more than 48 students per academy.

The PVCC Firefighter Operations Academy would like to thank the following people, companies, and agencies for their continued support of our program:

Paradise Valley Community College Administration
Dr. Jana Schwartz, Interim President
Mr. Herman Gonzalez, Vice President of Administrative Services
Dr. Sandra Hinski, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs
Ms. Loretta Mondragon, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Dale Heuser, Division Chair - Health & Exercise Science

Phoenix Fire Department
Fire Chief Mike Duran
Deputy Chief Mark Gonzales
Division Chief Tony Long
Captain Ruben Saavedra
Logistics Coordinator T.J. Stenquist

Professional Firefighter Mentors
Phoenix Fire Department
Mesa Fire & Medical Department
Rural/Metro Fire Department
Sun City Fire & Medical Department
Surprise Fire-Medical Department
Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department

PVCC Firefighter Operations Academy Alumni
Lab Techs
Student Interns
Student Volunteers

Arizona Fire Services Institute
AZ Center for Fire Service Excellence

Extrication Concepts
Fred Dimas

U.S. Dept. of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management
Ken Shaver (retired)

Arizona Public Service (APS)
Dave Shockley

Southwest Gas
Tom McBroom

5 Alarm Fire & Safety Equipment
Gerry Fleisher

Premier Printwear
Chad Carpenter

Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)
A Division of Texas A&M University

Arcadia Management Group (Hi-Rise Training)
Aaron Byrd
Armando "Mando" Sotelo

Arizona Auto & Truck Parts
Ken Hardison

United Fire