Fall Semester Application Deadline: May 12

Spring Semester Application Deadline: Nov. 18

Moraine Valley’s Fire Academy is designed for students who wish to become eligible for initial fire department hiring lists. Moraine Valley is one of a few community colleges that offer this type of training to students who are not already affiliated with a fire department.

It is comprised of eight courses offered twice annually. Successful students earn 22 hours of college credit, which are most of the core credits for the Fire Service Operations A.A.S. degree. The academy is approved by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Fire Academy classes meet Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for 13 weeks. Classes begin at7:30 a.m. and run to 5 p.m. Classes meet at the Palos Hills campus and many off-campus locations.

Students who successfully pass the fire academy courses are required to complete an internship the semester immediately following the Fire Academy experience. The internship will give the student an opportunity to become a rostered member of a local fire department. The dates and times of the internship experience are flexible. The actual meeting times of the internship sessions are scheduled with the respective Fire Department. Students must complete at least 14 hours each week at their internship site. During the internship experience, students will enhance their skills and knowledge while being overseen by actual firefighters and will have the opportunity to challenge the State Fire Marshal's written exams for certification.

Applicants must have an Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) EMT or Paramedic license.

 Only complete applications are reviewed for admission.

Applicants offered a spot in the Fire Academy, but decline within 14 calendar days of the beginning of the semester or once the semester begins are unable to reapply for the Fire Service Operations A.A.S. program in the next admission cycle.

Applications are only valid for the very next Fire Academy. After applicants have been seated for each Fire Academy all applications are destroyed. To apply for a new Fire Academy, students must fill out a new application.

Documents needed for a complete file include:

  • Moraine Valley application for admission if not currently enrolled in college credit courses.
  • A completed Fire Academy application.
  • A completed high school transcript showing date of graduation or a high school equivalency certificate
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • Copy of current Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) EMT or Paramedic license. Evidence of application to challenge the IDPH EMT exam one month prior to the start of the Academy immediately preceding the Fire Academy will be accepted.

Enroll at Moraine Valley Community College
Submit the Moraine Valley admission application. You must apply for admission to be eligible to submit an application to the Fire Academy. Your Moraine Valley student email address is used for all communications regarding the admissions process, including acceptance and denial letters. Applicants must check their student email address. You may enroll online or in person at the Registration Office in the Student Services Center, Building S.

Fire Academy Application
Fire Academy applications are available in the B-150 or T-942 offices, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Applications for the fall academy (August - November) are available March 1 through May 1. The deadline for submitting completed applications is the last Thursday of the spring semester. Applications for the spring academy (January - May) are available from October 1 through December 1. The deadline for submitting the application for the spring academy is the last Thursday of the fall semester. 

Minimum Academic Requirements

  • A minimum grade point average of 2.0 based on a four-point system. The high school GPA is used only if students have attempted less than 12 college hours. A GPA of 2.0 is assigned if the student took the high school equivalency.
  • Math placement test score or exemption must qualify applicant to take MTH-098
  • English placement test score or exemption must qualify applicant to take COM-101
  • Reading placement test score or exemption must qualify applicant for courses above RDG-091

Ranking and Selection

Selection Criteria
Applicants for the program are considered in the following order:

1. Qualified residents of the district who submit a complete application by the designated deadline of the fall or spring that they plan to enroll in the program.
2. Qualified non-residents who submit a complete application by by the designated deadline of the fall or spring that they plan to enroll in the program.

Point System
Student applications are numerically ranked by a score made up of three factors:

  • Cumulative high school or college GPA 
  • Number of college credit hours completed
  • Grades and credit hours in success classes
    • These classes include EMS-101, up to three PEH courses, Math-098 or higher, Math-141 or higher or any course in BIO, CHM, EAS, GEL, NAT, PHS or PHY.
    • Five bonus admission points are awarded for applicants who possess current Illinois EMT-P licensure.

Points for various criteria will be given according to the chart below. Students are required to meet the current minimum standards for admission.

Students are required to list all colleges attended on the intent form. Students must select one of the following options on the intent form for calculating their college GPA for admission.

  1. Students may use only their Moraine Valley hours as the college GPA for admission. If students choose this option, they cannot use other college credit toward the degree requirements or for points towards admission.
  2. Students may use other college credit toward the degree requirements and points towards admission. When the GPA is calculated all college credit will be used. These hours may then be used as regular transfer credit.

Ties are broken based on the total number of college credit hours completed. Students who submit an application are contacted, via Moraine Valley student email address, within two weeks after the deadline date. Students are given a tentative acceptance letter or a letter stating they were not accepted and the reason for not being accepted.

National Fire Protection Association Physical
Upon acceptance into the Fire Academy courses, students must complete a medical exam from an occupational doctor designated by the Moraine Valley Fire Science Coordinator.

The licensed physician must certify students comply with National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 1582 – Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Programs for Fire Departments.

Students must also be medically approved to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The student is given a 10-panel drug screen. The student must not test positive for any tested drugs.

The Occupational Physician submits their findings to the Fire Science Coordinator. The Occupational Physician’s findings are final. If the applicant is deemed “not qualified” the applicant is no longer eligible to participate in the Fire Academy.

All applicants must provide evidence of personal health insurance within 30 days. History and Physical Forms are distributed upon acceptance into the Fire Academy.

Criminal Background Checks
In order to comply with certain state statutes and/or clinical affiliation agreements, students are asked to successfully complete a criminal background check. Applications for criminal background checks are distributed upon acceptance into the Fire Academy.

Basic Life Support CPR cards
All candidates must have a valid Basic Life Support CPR card from the American Heart Association within the first month of starting the Fire Academy. Candidates must maintain a valid CPR for Basic Life Support card throughout the internship experience. CPR Basic Life Support courses are made available to the candidates.

HIPAA Training
All candidates must show proof of HIPAA (patient confidentiality training) within one month of beginning the Fire Academy. HIPAA training courses will be made available to the candidates.



Physical Requirements 

  • Work effectively for long periods of time. This requires sustained physical activity and intense concentration, under stressful conditions. This must be done both as a member of a team and independently.
  • Use all fingers and both hands to handle, move, lift, twist and turn objects of all shapes and sizes
  • Perform the job in environments with extreme noise, limited mobility, above or below ground heights, poor visibility, high humidity and closed or confined spaces for unknown lengths of time.
  • Perform job responsibilities while carrying up to 80 pounds of additional weight
  • Lift, climb, and move while carrying up to 100 pounds of equipment and tools
  • Drag and carry up to 200 pounds
  • Perform a variety of tasks for unknown durations of time on level surfaces and a variety of hazardous surfaces. This includes slippery, wet and freezing surfaces, while under adverse conditions with increased weight loads using a variety of body positions, including standing, sitting, crouching, crawling, climbing, kneeling, stooping and bending over.
  • Have near and far vision, depth perception and the ability to focus.
  • Receive, interpret and respond efficiently, appropriately and safely to instructions issued by commanding officers. The instructions are delivered in a variety of formats, including written, oral, diagrammatic or scheduled formats.
  • Smell smoke and other odors that might indicate hazardous conditions.
  • Use sight, hearing, smell, and touch to assess the nature of emergency situations, maintain personal safety, and make critical decisions in a confused, chaotic, and potentially life-threatening environment.
  • Be free from frequent episodes of pain resulting in the inability to perform manual work, or sudden incapacitation.
  • Make rapid transitions from rest to near maximum exertion without warm-up.

Related Programs

Emergency Medical Services A.A.S.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) A.A.S. degree is designed for students who wish to become paramedics, with either a public or private ambulance service.

Moraine Valley's Fire Service Operations Program is designed to give students who wish to become firefighters the education and skills required to be qualified for fire department initial eligibility lists.

Fire Service Operations A.A.S.

The Fire Service Operations  A.A.S. degree is designed to help students gain the entry-level job skills needed for careers in the fire service.


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Konnor Parrish (Oak Lawn), shared his educational journey while on a panel for the Illinois Project Lead the Way meeting.


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Contact the program coordinator Andrew Hufnagl.

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