Frequently Asked Questions

  1. If I am not from Texas, how will this certification be recognized in the state where I choose to work as a firefighter?
  2. What is IFSAC?
  3. What is TCFP FIDO Pin Number?
  4. How does "Fast-Track" work?
  5. Are there payment options?
  6. What is the refund policy?
  7. Do I need firefighter gear?
  8. What textbooks or e-Book do I need to purchase?
  9. What if I miss a skills day or weather conditions prevent me from attending skills day?
  10. Is the course physically demanding?
  11. What grade average must I maintain?
  12. What do I need to bring to class?
  13. Where does the class meet?
  14. Do I need to have a physical?
  15. How long is the class?
  16. Who makes the rules?


Q. If I am not from Texas, how will this certification be recognized in the state where I choose to work as a firefighter?
A. First, you will need to check if your state is an IFSAC member. Go to to look for your state's staus. Secondly, check with the fire department you choose to work for to see if they will accept the IFSAC Seal for your basic fire certification. If the answer is yes, then our program will work for you. If no, then find out what you need to do to transfer Texas Certifications over to desired state.



Q. What is IFSAC?
A. IFSAC stands for the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. IFSAC accredits the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, or TCFP. Fire Academy Online is regulated by TCFP. Go to TCFP website for more details: http://www.tcfp.state.tx



Q. What is a TCFP FIDO Pin Number?
A. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP)has rolled out a new public website and FIDO (Firefighters: Individuals and Departments Online) application effective 1 July 2011. This new roll out is done to make finding information on TCFP websites/applications easier and to implement the state directive of being part of the domain. When you register for any fire school in Texas, you will need to provide a FIDO Pin Number. The FIDO Pin number will be your login for your FIDO account with TCFP. Please email prior to deadline date of your class to The roster is time sensitive to your class start date. FIDO Pin is mandatory in order to place you on TCFP training roster.



Q. How does "Fast-Track" work?
A. You will register and start the online portion of the class. In most cases, you will have 3 months to complete the online academics before coming to Richmond for the skills session. All Internet assignments must be completed before you can begin the skills session. The skills session will take 12 days, and the state test will be given on the 13th day .Space is limited, so register and call 281-489-9221 as soon as possible. Buy the textbook now! Purchase Textbook or e-Book from our Bookstore for discounted price.  



Q. Are there payment options?
A. Yes, you can pay $1000 now and start the Internet portion of the course. You must pay the remaining balance of $1500 by the 10th week of your course. Contact us for more information on payment options at: (281) 489-9221. There are grants for Texas Volunteer Firefighters offered by Texas Forest Service. We are not a college or set up to receive automatic payments for Financial Aid or Veterans Benefits.



Q. What is the refund policy?
A. There are no refunds We will work to get you into any other class in order to complete the training.



Q. Do I need firefighter gear?
A. YES, you will need to bring full protective clothing that meets NFPA specifications for structural firefighters' protective clothing. There are some vendors that will rent the gear on a day-to-day basis. Make sure that the gear has the NFPA tags in it and are up to current standards or you will NOT be allowed to participate for that skills day. Texas Gear LLC, division of PPE CARE (832)668-0488 Volunteers may use issed PPE just as long as you have proper docmentation: 1. Letter from your Fire Chief stating you can use your issued PPE for Training. 2. Any cleaning and inspection documents. 3. NFPA sticker on helmet. IF your PPE has not had Advanced Inspection with in the last 12 months, then contact Texas Gear they offer inspection service. All documents must be turned in before your first Burn day.


Q.What textbook or e-Book do I need to purchase? You have an option to purchase New Textbook or e-Book from our Bookstore.  
A. We have updated our online program to Jones & Bartlett Learning Advantage Access. This new program requires a 10-digit Access Code found in Fundamentals of Firefighting Skills Textbook 3rd Edition the “Enhanced Book Textbook. In order to create an account on JB Learning, you will have to redeem 10-digit access code. If you chose to purchase e-Book no access code will be visible, the purchase will allow to create an account on JB Learning. USED BOOKS---If you are using a “used” textbook, or purchased a textbook from another merchant like Amazon or EBay, be advised that you’re textbook although the 3rd edition may not have the accurate 10-digit Access Code you will have to purchase e-Book from our Bookstore Link gain access. JB Learning hosts our training website, Access code is a requirement of the course. Contact Melinda (281) 489-9221 or email with any questions. RECOMMENDED MATERIALS: Although the Fundamentals is the only mandatory text, we strongly recommend you obtain both the IFSTA Essentials and IFSTA Haz-Mat for First Responders. They will be a great help in completing your assignments. The extra texts will cut your work time in half. Get them!! They can be found on,, or the IFSTA web pages.

Electronic Text available at for 



Q. What if I miss a skills day?
A. If you have to miss a skills day, you will have to make arrangements to make it up before the next scheduled meeting. If you cannot make up the day, you will have to wait for the next class to be at the same point and join that class. Saturday students MAY be able to make up the missed day with the fast Track students Weather conditions, we will email you on options monitor your email for updates.



Q. Is the course physically demanding?
A. YES. Firefighting is very demanding both physically and mentally. Fire Academy Online (FAO) will evaluate you on BOTH during your skills session activities.
Although FAO will not do physical training, or physical agility testing, we do ask that you be able to...

  • Run at a steady pace for 1 mile
  • Be able to lift a percentage of your weight over your head
  • Work in enclosed spaces in extreme temperatures of hot/cold
  • Lift and carry a 150 lb. person , and/or any other situation a firefighter may be called on to perform.

Failure to perform any of the fire related skills activities will result in an incomplete for the course. You will be evaluated to YOUR maximum ability. You will NOT be asked to perform activities uncommon to firefighting. We do not waste your time. For more information on physical requirements and working conditions, click here.



Q. What grade average must I maintain?
A. There will be a test online for every chapter in the book (except for the medical chapter) as well as an exam taken every skills day. You will take 36 chapter tests (open book), 11 majors, and 1 final. If your average drops below a 75% for two weeks, or you would not be able to achieve a final grade of 75%, you will be dropped from the course. You will have access to the additional textbooks (IFSTA and Essentials) to study for the state curriculum. Our students have achieved the highest grades on all phases of state testing and continue to hold the highest overall average on state exams.



Q. What do I need to bring to class?
A. There will be a test over the first session on the first day of class. Bring a three(3) ring binder for all the handouts, pens, pencils, notepad and book.You must complete the assignments for each session before the skills day for that session. Wear dark blue work pants, dark blue T-shirt and black shoes. The first day, you will need to sign injury waivers and complete required paperwork from Fire Academy Online and the State of Texas.



Q. Where does the class meet?
A. Richmond, Texas. Fire training facility: 260 Clay St. Richmond, Texas 77469. 25 miles SW of downtown Houston.



Q. Do I need to have a physical?
A. YES. Before you can perform any skills, you must bring a statement from a physician allowing you to perform firefighter duties. The physical examination statement MUST be specific to firefighting duties. We can provide you with the form when you call. Physical requirements for firefighting include:

  1. Strength and stamina enough to climb 6 or more flights of stairs while wearing fire protective ensemble weighing at least 50 lb or more and carrying equipment/tools weighing an additional 20 to 40 lb.
  2. Arm-hand steadiness, manual dexterity, and finger dexterity enough to use manual and power tools in the performance of duties.
  3. Speech, sight, and hearing enough to determine the nature of the emergency, maintain personal safety, and make critical decisions in a confused, chaotic, and potentially life threatening environment throughout the duration of the operation.
  4. Visual acuity enough and motor coordination enough to operate fire apparatus or other vehicles in an emergency mode with emergency lights and sirens.
  5. Physical strength enough to rescue-drag or carry objects and victims from newborns up to adults weighing over 200 lb to safety, despite hazardous conditions and low visibility, in both emergency and non-emergency situations. Extent flexibility, mobility, and balance enough to bend, twist, and reach out when climbing or working on ladders.
  6. Physical strength enough to advance water-filled hose-lines up to 2.5 inches in diameter from fire apparatus to occupancy (approximately 150 feet); can involve negotiating multiple flights of stairs, ladders, and other obstacles.



Q. How long is the class?
A. We will meet every Saturday for twelve (12) weeks or (12) days in a row for Fast Track. During this period, you will complete 144 hrs of the 490 hrs of basic fire suppression training. The 12 skills days could last for 12 hrs each and be intense, fast-paced training. The state-required skills along with the 11 majors, a mid-term, the final exam, and live fire exercises will take place at the Fort Bend County fire training facility located at 260 Clay Rd Richmond, Texas (12 miles SW of Houston). Class start time is 0800hrs.  call for details.



Q. Who makes the rules?
A. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection sets standards for all training academies in Texas. For more information on the rules and the commission, see the commisions website:



1.Register on FireAcademyOnline under “Courses” link.—This will place you on class list.
2.Make Payment—As low as $1000 down with the remainder balance of $1500 due by 10th week of the course.
3.Email TCFP FIDO Pin to
4. PPE or Bunker Gear-- make rental arrangments or for those using issue PPE be sure to have all required documentation ready.
5. Phyiscal Form-- turn in physical form or copy of phyiscal completed with in the past year, just as long as nothing medically changed.