Program Description

Welcome to the Fire Technology Program, a comprehensive endeavor encompassing three primary objectives: attainment of an Associate Degree and/or Certificate of Achievement, successful completion of the Fire Fighter I Academy, and pursuit of certified professional growth. Upon the successful culmination of the AA or Certificate curriculum, the Fire Fighter I Academy requirements, and the acquisition of an EMT certification, students will have fortified their foundational qualifications for initiating their career within fire prevention and suppression departments. This program is designed to empower you with the necessary tools to excel in the fire service arena, making you a sought-after candidate for prospective fire service employment opportunities.

What Awaits You

  • Cutting-edge Education

    Our expert instructors bring a wealth of real-world experience to the classroom, ensuring you receive top-notch education that’s relevant and up-to-date.

  • Hands-on Training

    Theory meets practice as you engage in realistic simulations, practical exercises, and live drills. Gain confidence and experience in a controlled environment.

  • Community Impact

    Few professions are as deeply connected to the well-being of communities as fire technology. You’ll have the chance to make a tangible difference in people’s lives while building strong bonds with your fellow firefighters.


Merced College offers the following degrees/certificates in Fire Technology:

Fire Technology (AS)
Fire Technology (Certificate)
Fire Fighter I Academy

Fire Fighter I Academy

When you successfully complete the Merced College Fire Fighter I Academy, you become eligible for California State Fire Fighter I Certification. To achieve this, you'll need to complete the Academy, finish the EMT course, pass the national registry exam, and succeed in the 1A-Structure, 1B-HAZMAT, and 1C-Wildland areas.


  • Must be 18 years of age and Possess a valid California driver’s license or ID
  • Fire 30 – Fire Protection Organization
    • Completed or Currently Enrolled
    • Or Waiver: Six months active, paid, PCF, or Volunteer with w/ signed Letter from Fire Chief or Agency Training Chief to Waiver Fire – 30
  • Fire 31 – Fire Behavior and Combustion (recommended)
  • Medical History and Physical Examination
    • MCC Form – Physician Approved within 4 Months of the start of the fire academy
  • CPAT – Candidate Physical Ability Test

If you meet the above qualifications or need help navigating the process come visit us at Public Safety Complex (PSC-3) and speak to Maria Soto (209) 384-6058 or contact the Fire Academy Director Professor Roe at [email protected].

Apart from your California state Fire Fighter I certification (1A, 1B, 1C), you’ll also earn more certificates. If you decide to pursue these certificates outside of the academy, there might be additional costs.

Course Name Hours Cost
SFT Fire Firefighter I -Testing (1A – Structure) 180 (264 Max) $150.00
SFT Fire Firefighter I -Testing (1B – HAZMAT) 24 Included
SFT Fire Firefighter I -Testing (1C – Wildland) 56 Included
SFT FFI IFSAC/Pro-Board Upgrade (Comes w/ as an ARTP) 0 Included
FSTEP SFT – Confined Space – Awareness (Firefighter Academy) 8 $75.00
FSTEP SFT – HAZFRO (SFT) 40 $75.00
FSTEP SFT – Fire Control 3 “Structural Firefighting” 24 $75.00
FSTEP SFT – “Firefighter Survival” 16 $75.00
FSTEP SFT – “Rapid Intervention Crew” – Operations 32 $75.00
FSTEP SFT – “Common Passenger Vehicle Extrication” 24 $75.00
FSTEP SFT – “Low Angle Rescue Operations” (Rope Rescue Operations) 24 $75.00
NWCG – L180 – “Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service” 4 FREE
NWCG – S110 “Basic Wildland Fire Orientation” :15 min FREE
NWCG – S130 “Firefighter Training” 40 FREE
NWCG – S131 “Firefighter Type I” 12 FREE
NWCG – S190 “Intro to Wildland Fire Behavior” 7 FREE
NWCG – S211 “Portable Pumps and Water Use” 16 FREE
NIMS IS 100.c “Introduction to the Incident Command System” 2 Free Online/Student Paced
NIMS IS 200.c “Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response, ICS 200 4 Free Online/Student Paced
NIMS IS 700.c “An Introduction to the National Incident Management System” 3.5 Free Online/Student Paced
NIMS IS 800.d “National Response Framework” An Introduction 3 Free Online/Student Paced






Item Description Total
63A/B College Units Costs 16 Units @ $46/unit $736.00
SFT/FSTEP Costs See What do I get out of it above $675.00
Books/Publication Costs Jones and Bartlett w/ Navigate Advantage 2 $279.20
Medical Physical by Licensed Physician $60.00
Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT) Required Physical Agility $160.00
Fire Academy Uniforms – Merced Uniforms Pants, Shirts, Hats, Belt, Boots, PT Gear, Etc. $893.06
Axe Belt – Fortified Leather Personal Gear $176.24
36” 6lb. Axe Flat or Pickhead) w/ Hickory Handle Personal Gear $100.00
Turnout Gear Rental 911 Rentals (Paid by MCC) $666.00
Student Health Fee Merced College $23.00
Student Representation Fee Merced College $2.00
Student Body Fee Merced College $10.00
Transportation Fee Merced College $9.95
Parking Fee Merced College $30.00
Total: Does Not Include Pre-Requisites $3,154.45



Career Opportunities

Fire prevention and suppression offers many career opportunities including positions in municipal fire departments, county departments, fire protection districts, and California Fire agencies. There are also employment opportunities in correctional institutions, military bases, and numerous federal agencies. Specialists are in demand by industry.

Transfer Opportunities

With the certificates and degrees earned here, you’re not just entering a profession; you’re opening doors to advanced education in fire administration, fire investigation, and beyond. Imagine digging deeper into fire science and leadership. Whether you want to run the show as a fire admin or solve fire mysteries, our program gets you ready. Join us now to keep rocking it in the fire world!


In the journey through the Merced College Fire Academy, candidates undergo comprehensive training to become proficient firefighters, equipped with a range of certifications that pave the way for a successful career in the fire service. The certification process includes:

  • Structure (1A): Mastery of structural firefighting techniques.
  • Hazardous Materials (1B): Handling hazardous materials and incidents.
  • Wildland (1C): Proficiency in wildland firefighting strategies.

  • Confined Space Awareness: Understanding and managing confined space emergencies.
  • HAZMAT FRA/FRO: Handling hazardous materials in various scenarios.
  • Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC) Operations: Rescuing firefighters in distress.
  • Firefighter Survival: Techniques to ensure personal safety in challenging situations.
  • Fire Control 3: Advanced fire suppression and control methods.
  • Rope Rescue Awareness/Operations: Rope-based rescue techniques.
  • Common Passenger Vehicle Rescue Technician: Extracting individuals from vehicles effectively.

  • ICS 100: Introduction to the Incident Command System.
  • ICS 200: Advanced ICS for single resources and initial action incidents.
  • ICS 700: National Incident Management System basics.
  • ICS 800: National Response Framework, an introduction.

  • NWCG L180: Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service
  • NWCG S110: Basic Wildland Fire Orientation
  • NWCG S130: Firefighter training, focused on fire behavior.
  • NWCG S131: Advanced fire behavior and tactics.
  • NWCG S190: Introduction to wildland fire behavior.
  • NWCG S211: Portable Pumps and Water Use, hands-on training.

  • Successful Academy graduates, coupled with EMT certification, become fully qualified firefighters.
  • Eligible for fire service careers in numerous fire departments within California.
  • Eligibility for fire departments in other states through reciprocity agreements.

  • Encouragement to pursue general education alongside fire training.
  • Strengthen educational foundation by completing a degree in fire technology.

Fire Technology Faculty