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. The academy is approved by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

It is comprised of nine courses offered 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 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Palos Hills campus and many off-campus locations.

Students are required to complete an internship during the semester immediately following the Fire Academy experience. 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.

Apply To The Fire Academy

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.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all admission requirements are met, and all documents and scores are submitted on time. 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.

Documents needed for a complete file include:

  • Moraine Valley application for admission if not currently enrolled in college credit courses.
  • A completed Fire Service Operations 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 on or before the June 15 immediately preceding the Fire Academy will be accepted.

The following checklist and information will guide you through the process of applying for admission.
1. Submit the Moraine Valley enrollment form. 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.

2. Get the Fire Academy application online or in the B-150 or T-942 subdivision offices Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.. Applications are available from March 1 through May 1 each year. The deadline for submitting completed applications is the last Thursday of the spring semester each year (usually the second Thursday in May).

3. Complete placement test

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.
  • Moraine Valley placement tests. Students may be exempt from placement tests based on previous college credit. Contact an academic advisor for information about placement test exemptions.
  • 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 4 p.m. of the second Thursday of May the year they plan to enroll in the program.
2. Qualified non-residents who submit a complete application by 4 p.m. of the second Thursday of May the year 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; and 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.

Weighted FactorsGPAPointsCollege HoursPoints
FactorMax Points2.5-2.7551-152
College Hours103.01-3.25930-456
Success Courses573.251-3.51146-608

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.

Our program is consistent with fire service careers in which students must be able to:

  • 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.

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.

HealthCare Provider 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 card throughout the internship experience.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.