Lockers are available for students to store protective clothing and changes of personal clothes. For security of personal property stored in lockers, the student should bring a padlock, the combination type being the most appropriate. Shower facilities are available at the Academy for student use. Students must provide their own towels, washcloths, soap, etc. The women’s locker room is on the first floor and the men’s locker room is on the 2 Men must access the locker room by using the back stairway ONLY when transporting gear and equipment or during outside activities.
Successful completion of training requires 100% attendance during all training sessions, scoring a minimum of 70% on the written examination (if applicable), and demonstrating a minimum level of proficiency during all practical exercises. A Pennsylvania State Fire Academy Certificate of Training will be awarded to anyone who meets the attendance, testing and proficiency requirements. In the event a participant does not meet all of the previously mentioned criteria, a Letter of Attendance will be issued instead of a certificate. If the issue is attendance related (i.e., personal emergency), a Letter of Attendance would indicate the date/time that the participant departed. If the student wishes to return and complete the training they will be credited for class time as indicated within that letter.
There is no tuition charge for students attending a Resident class as members (career or volunteer) of a public-sector county, municipal or volunteer emergency service organization located in Pennsylvania. This tuition-free policy also applies to students attending as Commonwealth employees, members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, or employees of a public authority (such as a school district, state university, or airport authority) organized under Pennsylvania law.
For certain classes, there may be a textbook or other fee. Where this is the case, this fee will apply to all students and will be in addition to the above tuition fee where applicable. Students will be informed if such a fee applies in their acceptance letter. Tuition for out-of-state students, students from Federal agency or private-sector organizations (such as industrial fire brigades), and all candidates applying for Pro-Board Certification program testing is listed under each course description.
Where applicable, tuition is payable on the first day of class by check, money order or purchase orders (No cash) made payable to the “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”. Purchase Orders may be submitted with the application OR on the first day of class. Invoices will be sent upon completion of class. A separate purchase order MUST be submitted for each course offering. The purchase order may be for multiple students and should list the course title, course date, and student names. The purchase order MUST also include the employer’s FIN number. BLANKET PURCHASE ORDERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Students must have this payment previously submitted or with them on the first day in order to be admitted into the class or Certification testing.
Students are reminded that classes are conducted in an academic setting and should dress appropriate for both classroom and outside activities. Generally, the standard is business casual or duty uniforms in the classroom. Clothing shall be neat, clean, in good repair, and present a professional appearance. Ball Caps, hats, tank tops or “muscle shirts”, “job sweats”, or torn-ragged clothing are inappropriate. Clothing shall not display any wording, message, cartoon, or picture that is sexist or sexually suggestive, racist, political in nature, or construed to be demeaning, divisive, or provocative in any way. Final judgment as to interpretation of this provision rests with the instructional staff and State Fire Academy management.
A few specific courses such as EMLL, ZFID, ZFOI/ZFOII, ZOCC and NFA courses etc. will require a professional level of dress. For the higher level classes, jeans and t-shirts are NOT acceptable.
Acceptable Attire for Higher Level Classes:
- Males: Shirts with collars, slacks, including departmental uniforms (No t-shirts or job shirts), and shoes and socks. Optional items include sweaters, sport coats, and ties.
- Females: Dresses, blouses with slacks or skirts, including departmental uniforms (No t-shirts or job shirts), and shoes.
Acceptable Attire for Outside Activity:
- Students may wear t-shirt/sweatshirts that are clean and in good repair on the days the class goes outside for hands-on instruction.
- Students MUST wear long-sleeved sweatshirts and long pants (no shorts) on live fire days to reduce risk of thermal injury.
STUDENT EQUIPMENT and REQUIREMENTS
All students should bring note taking material (notebook, pen/pencil) with them to class. A laptop computer is also encouraged. For classes with field exercises, a pocket notebook is recommended as well. A list of other equipment needs will be sent to each student with his/her acceptance letter. All protective clothing (pants, coat, helmet, gloves and footwear), personal alarm devices (PASS) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) MUST meet the requirements of NFPA Standards. Inspection of protective clothing and equipment by the Academy instructional staff will precede all training exercises. The Academy staff reserves the right to approve or reject any or all protective clothing or SCBA equipment used in training which may result in the student being excluded in practical activities. If the student has a problem in this area, the Academy staff will make every attempt to assist in correcting it so that the student can participate in the training exercises.
Many Academy courses involve heavy physical and mental exertion, usually while wearing protective clothing, under simulated or actual hazardous conditions. Since participation in all class activities is a requirement of graduation, students should be sure that they are in adequate physical condition to cope with the demands placed on them by such activity. Fire Academy staff reserves the right to limit or deny participation by any student when (in their opinion) his or her physical or mental state poses a safety threat to themselves or others. Students who participate in courses with practical exercises will be monitored through Rehab for their mental capacity, vital signs, and general well-being for the safety of each member and the integrity of the operation. In addition, students in classes involving live fire, smoke, confined space, or any other condition calling for the use of SCBA must be clean shaven (with exception of a well-trimmed mustache or sideburns), and wear their hair in such a way that it does not interfere with the SCBA facepiece seal or pose other hazards.
We strongly recommend all persons attending any class involving outside exercises to submit a “Medical Examination to Determine Fitness for Firefighting Training” with their resident application. This form can be found in our schedule or on our website at www.osfc.state.pa.us
. Although this is not mandatory, we recommend this based on NFPA 1582 - Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments, 2007 Edition.