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State Fire Academy

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The mission and vision of the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy is to promote and deliver quality training and education and professional certification which is safe, meets or exceeds national standards, and reflects exceptional customer service. We strive to provide the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with knowledgeable, safe, and competent emergency service personnel that comprehend responder safety issues and participate in quality training and education that values each participant's time and effort.

We will do this by:

  • Promoting and providing safe, effective and realistic training for all facets of the emergency services
  • Building strong relationships with our educational training agencies and consistent collaboration with our internal and external training and certification partners
  • Cultivating an internal culture that reflects a diverse, respectful, and professional atmosphere by a cooperative and improving internal communications system
  • Promoting fire and emergency professional development and life-long learning which reflects innovation and change
  • Effectively leveraging our technology to continually improve delivery of programs through integrated training/education and professional certification
  • Becoming nationally recognized as an agency which demonstrates excellence and innovation in the delivery of all of its services
  • Providing leadership and a workforce that will hold one another accountable for honoring our mission and vision, while continuously striving to reach our goals

About the State Fire Academy

In 1950, the General State Authority of Pennsylvania purchased 11 acres of ground for the construction of a State Fire School. In 1953, construction of the Pennsylvania State Fire School started is the extreme west end of Lewistown at 1150 Riverside Drive.  It opened with the first class being held in June 1955. The full-time staff at that time consisted of an administrator, three instructors, clerical support, and a maintenance man. The school offered one and two week programs year round. This resident program attracted students from across Pennsylvania and its neighboring states. The courses were state mandated to be tuition free and remain tuition free today for in-state public emergency responders.

The State Fire "School" operated under various state agencies and today is part of the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. Also during its growing process, the name of the school changed to its present day name of Pennsylvania State Fire Academy. Its curriculum also changed and developed over its nearly 60-year existence.  Today, the academy's curriculum is very comprehensive and is responsive to all training and education needs of Pennsylvania's emergency responders. 

What We Do

The current academy staff includes an administrator, assistant administrator, alternative energy program manager, administrative officer, two full-time resident instructors, 160 adjunct instructors,  a certification program manager, two certification program specialists, two field supervisors, three clerical positions, and a maintenance employee.

The academy's training and education opportunities have also changed as it has grown. Besides the Resident Training Program classes conducted at the State Fire Academy, it is also responsible for delivering special curriculum locally to emergency service organizations through the Academy on the Road programs.

The two field education supervisors manage a statewide Local Level Training Program. Each year, this program delivers more than 5,000 programs across the commonwealth. The majority of the programs are conducted right in the fire department station. The academy also administers the Pennsylvania Fire Service Certification program, which has certified more than 56,000 emergency responders in the commonwealth.

For more information on the State Fire Academy's program, call us at:

  • PA residents: 1-800-459-4096
  • Outside of PA: 717-248-1115