1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default Academy...Here I come

    Well I start at the South Carolina Fire Academy on March 25th. I was wondering if any of you guys would share with me advice. What was the biggest challenge for you. What would you say for me to do to *prep* for the academy. I am pretty excited. I can barely contain myself. I will also be finishing my degree this semester so 21 hours plus academy, but it should be easy. My instructors have given me a longer time to complete everything. I'll be moving from Mississippi to South Carolina.

  2. #2
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    johnny46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Houston, TX


    This is sort of an exacting question, but with my limited knwledge, I would say the hardest part of my fire academy would have been the steel girders. That's probably correct according to the Mos scale.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    What town or City in South Carolina did you get hired to be a firefighter ?

  4. #4
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    JohnVBFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Norfolk, Va


    Quote Originally Posted by Cato36 View Post
    I will also be finishing my degree this semester so 21 hours plus academy, but it should be easy.

    Depending on the academy, these could be famous last words.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    haha, Doc, Don't worry. These classes are extremely easy classes (I'm an art major) and I only have 5 classes...yes with 21 hours. I usually will have two weeks to turn in projects.

  6. #6
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    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002


    Ok...Here he go...

    From Brother Bou- DO NOT try to show off to your Instructors and peers. Best bet is to keep a low profile, mouth shut and listen up. Take detailed class notes because you may use them for the duration of your career.

    And from the Torrance, CA Fire Department (ISO Class 1)-



    The following guidelines will help you be a successful recruit on the Torrance Fire Department. Many of you have various levels of experience and training which will be valuable to the Torrance Fire Department in the near future. But as a recruit (new employee), your probationary period will be much more pleasant if you can demonstrate patience in displaying your talents and skill until you’ve learned what we want you to know.


    1. Do ask questions if you do not understand.
    2. Do take every opportunity to help to help one another develop into a team.
    3. The “Double Time Trot” is accepted mode of transportation from one place to another while outdoors.
    4. Tardiness or unexpected absenteeism will not be tolerated in the fire service, period. Better to be a hour early than a minute late.
    5. Arriving for duty unprepared will demonstrate the qualities necessary for a new career elsewhere.
    6. A lack of aggressiveness in manipulative work will shorten your basic training period significantly.
    7. Disregard for safety will get you canned.
    8. Standing with your hands in your pockets will raise questions about your respect for authority and your level of attention.
    9. Profanity and/or spitting on the ground will get you a job with someone else.
    10. If it doesn’t move, clean it. If it does move, address it as “Sir”.
    11. Don’t attempt to socialize with regular members of the department during the basic training period.
    12. Show respect for all co-workers at all times.
    13. Hustle, shine and always look good.

  7. #7
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    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002


    From an unknown source-

    ----------ACADEMY WASHOUTS-------------
    I can only share my experience of what i saw. Many of the problems came with attitude. Granted other people may have saw similar as well as different things.

    Poor attitude
    1. IGM'rs (i got mine) -> if you are one of those get rid of that attitude or instructors will sniff you out easily.
    2. Be a listener not a teacher. If you know something then share it between your classmates at lunch time. Dont suggest something to a instructor about a trick you learned as an "Explorer" or from another department. Remember you are trying to pass the tests (manipulative and academic)the "tower way" not the "field way"
    3. Keep your mouth shut and ears open. Only chit chat with your buddies at lunch time, dont join in conversations that shouldnt be going on in the first place.
    4. Dont talk bad about your instructors or your fellow cadets.
    5. Dont make excuses, If you screw up then you screw up, dont apologize for it, just move on and dont repeat it
    6. Dont go out with your buddies on the weekends to bars and clubs to "take a break", thats how people get introuble. DUI's, FIGHTS, LEWD CONDUCT
    7. Do not try to brownnose your instructors. They are not your friends nor will they ever want to be so just have a common respect and take it from there.
    8. Remember you are there for a badge not to gain more friends so keep the non tower related talk for after you left drill tower grounds.
    9. Support your fellow cadets as much as you would want to be supported. You will not make it through without their help and visa versa.

    Physical Conditioning
    1. The first 3 weeks of our academy were some of the worst weeks. Seemed like they wanted to weed the people who couldnt take it out. We had 13 people quit in the 1st week and half, alot of those in the 1st 2 days. The physical agility test was not even close to the exhertion you go through in the tower. You go home daily sore/bruised/strained and your body never has a chance to recover from it so its more like being in good enough condition where your body can adapt to it (its hard to imagine but trust me it happens) Be in the best shape you can imagine possible, if you dont your going to get hurt.

    Mental conditioning
    1. After the first 4 weeks of our 19 week academy it started sinking in that we are going to be here for a while. Its mentally draining, you gotta stay focused and positive or you will never make it. Its extrememly stressfull when you gotta do a manipulative drill and your job is on the line for it, for example throwing a ladder or performing a hose lay (believe me everyone in my tower had to do something where there job was on the line at least once and sometimes more and i guarantee it will happen at least once to you)Remember you are your own worst enemy

    1. You get exposed to alot of information about a lot of things in the tower and your expected to know it and you will be tested on it daily and sometimes weekly. Some people failed out because of academics, take it seriously, forget your buddies for a few months and your girlfriend. Stay home, and hybernate with your notes, its your best chance for passing.

    Hope this helps a little bit. Good luck to all and remember this when your in the tower ->
    "There is thousands of people out there who would kill to be in your position right now, dont give them your badge"

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