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▪ Fire Operations Academy (Fire I & II Academy)


The PVCC/PC Firefighter Operations Academy is taught as a partnership between the Paradise Valley Community College & Phoenix College Fire Science Programs, and is designed to train and equip student recruits to meet state of Arizona Firefighter I & II academy standards. Under the direction of the academy lead instructors, with more than 70 years of combined fire service experience, the program provides student recruits with highly specialized training to prepare them for a demanding, yet fulfilling career in the fire service.  The academy is offered each Fall and Spring semester, and is held at the Phoenix Fire Department Training Academy at 2425 W. Lower Buckeye Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85009.


      The interview/orientation information & schedule has been posted.
      Please see the Fire Ops Academy Selection Process page and follow instructions listed on the page.

      - Deadline to submit an academy interest form for the Spring 2016 academy is Friday, November 6, 2015.

      - For Microsoft Office Word version, please click here.
      - For PDF version, please click here.


The Academy lead instructors are:

Captain Paul Sunder - Fire Science Program Director at Paradise Valley Community College.  Captain Sunder is a retired Captain from the Phoenix Fire Department.

Chief Dennis Dodt - Fire Science Program Director at Phoenix College.  Chief Dodt is a retired Battalion Chief from the Phoenix Fire Department, and former Assistant Director of the Arizona Office of Homeland Security.

Captain Bobby Finn - Firefighter I & II Academy Coordinator and Fire Science Program Adjunct Faculty at Paradise Valley Community College.  Captain Finn is currently a Captain with the Phoenix Fire Department.

The Firefighter Operations Academy exposes student to the physical demands of a firefighter, such as live burns, vehicle extrication, hose lays, ventilation, and more.  Students are also introduced to fire department culture within the fire service.  Firefighter curriculum is presented in a condensed, 17-week format consisting of in-class instruction and hands-on skills training, totaling over 300 training hours.  Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:00pm-10:30pm, as well as Saturdays from 7:00am-5:00pm.  Student recruits will also be required to co-enroll in FSC134: Fitness and Conditioning for Firefighters, with the option of attending Monday or Wednesday nights from 5:00pm-7:00pm.  Upon successful completion of the academy, student recruits will receive fourteen (14) total college credits that may be applied toward an Associate's degree, and will receive the Professional Certificate of Completion in Firefighter Operations.

In order to register for the Firefighter Operations Academy (FSC102), you must participate and be selected thru a selection process (timeline of selection process listed under "Requirements" section below).  The selection process consists of submission of an academy interest form by the deadline listed above, participation in a 20-minute interview with academy lead instructors and staff, and verification of completion of all academy prerequisites.  The selection process will be conducted approximately two months prior to the start of each semester.  Once the applicant has been selected for the academy, it is up to them to ensure that all prerequisites will be completed by the academy start date in order to maintain student recruit position in the academy.  There is no sponsorship required for the academy.

Please visit this website frequently for important academy information and deadlines.  For further information on the Firefighter Operations Academy, please contact the PVCC EMT/FSC Office at (602) 787-6782, or Captain Sunder at (602) 787-6736 /


Timeline of Selection Process by Semester


  • Academy Interest Forms Due: End of May/Beginning of June
  • Notification About Start of Selection Process: First week of June
  • Interviews Held: End of June
  • Interview Result Notifications: One (1) week after interviews
  • Orientations: Middle to End of July
  • First Day of Academy: Generally Third Saturday in August (depends on semester start dates)


  • Academy Interest Forms Due: End of October/Beginning of November
  • Notification About Start of Selection Process: First week of November
  • Interviews Held: End of November
  • Interview Result Notifications: One (1) week after interviews
  • Orientations: Second or Third week of December
  • First Day of Academy: Generally Third Saturday of January (depends on semester start dates)

Course Prerequisites

The following courses are prerequisites for the academy. You must successfully pass each course with a "C" or better, or provide documentation from an outside agency showing completion of courses:

  • EMT104- Basic Emergency Medical Technology (9 Credits)
    **You do not need to be certified as an EMT to qualify for the academy, however, if your EMT certification is expiring during the academy, please make every effort to complete all refresher courses prior to the start of class due to the nature of the coursework and time needed to be successful during the academy.**
  • FSC105- Hazardous Materials/First Responder (3 Credits)
  • Current/Valid Passing CPAT
    A CPAT is a required prerequisite for the academy, and must have been completed within 12 months from the academy start date. Please refer to the CPAT Testing Page for official CPAT offerings. Also, please see class schedule for CPAT class offerings (FSC130).**
  • FSC130- Fitness for Firefighters/CPAT (1 Credit) - OPTIONAL
    **If you use FSC130 for the CPAT prerequisite, the course end date must be within twelve (12) months from the academy start date.  You do not have to take FSC130 to satisfy the CPAT prerequisite.  As stated above, you may use a passing CPAT test from any Maricopa Community College or outside agency, permitting it is within twelve (12) months from the desired academy start date.**

IMPORTANT: You can still fill out an academy interest form even if you don't have EMT104 & FSC105 completed already.  You must complete both classes by the start date of the academy with a “C” or better.  Students may enroll in the "Redshirt" preparation class during completion of prerequisite courses by sending interest to Captain Paul Sunder.

Academy Interest Form

Due to the number of prospective applicants, this form is required. Please see the top of this page, or the EMT/FSC Homepage under "Fire Science News & Information", for deadline dates to submit an academy interest form for the desired semester academy.


Applicants will need to download, fill out, and bring an application to their interview.  Failure to do so may result in dismissal from selection process.  Application can be found at the top of this page.

Oral Interview

Participation in a 20-minute interview with academy lead instructors and staff is a required step during the selection process.  Candidates will be notified within one (1) week after interviews have ended of their status for the upcoming academy.


Classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:00pm-10:30pm, and on Saturdays from 7:00am to 5:00pm (Please note classes may last longer at instructor’s discretion)Very strict attendance is REQUIRED!

Tuition, Fees & Other Costs*

  • FSC 102 Tuition (11 Credits) = $924.00
  • FSC 134 Tuition (3 Credits) = $252.00
  • One-time College Registration Fee = $15.00
  • Lab Fees = $350.00
  • AzCFSE Firefighter I & II Test Fee = $100.00
  • NFPA/IAFC Fundamentals of Firefighter Skills Textbook = New: approx. $90.00 / Used: approx. $45.00 - $50.00
  • Academy Apparel - click here for Pricing of Uniform Items = $125.00 - $150.00 (depending on # of items ordered)

*Tuition cost per Maricopa County Residency status.  Costs are subject to change per Maricopa Community College District Board approval.


Can I take FSC105 (Hazardous Materials/First Responder), FSC130 (CPAT) , and EMT104 (EMT) co-currently during the Fire Operations Academy?

Unfortunately the answer is no. The reason is, in order to take the State of Arizona Fire I & II examination you must have passed a 24-hour Hazardous Materials/First Responder course, have a passing CPAT on record, and completed EMT104 or an equivalent course to EMT104. FSC134 is a co-requisite for the academy, and must be attended and passed in order for successful completion of the academy. However, we recommend that you already be in top physical shape due the physical demand this class requires.

Which Fire Departments requires the Fire Operations Academy (Fire I & II)?

See our Career Page for a complete list of department who require this certification.

Will I receive any continuing education hours for my EMT certification?

Yes, since continuing education requirements for the Arizona Bureau of Health Services Department change all the time we will go over the continuing education requirements on the first day of class.

What sort of questions will there be in the oral interview?

You will be asked questions such as "How do you plan to use this class?", "What are your career goals?" and "Tell us a little about yourself and why you want to take this class", etc.

What will happen when I am done with the Fire Operations Academy?

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, the student will earn the Firefighter Operations Course Completion Certificate, and will participate in the Firefighter I & II testing and certification process with the Arizona Fire Services Institutue Center for Fire Service Excellence (AzCFSE). By demonstrating successful performance in the Firefighter I & II written and skills competencies, the state certification may meet academy requirements by various state and local fire agencies.

What sort of preparation will the Fire Operations Academy help me with in pursuit of becoming a professional Firefighter?

Even though most metropolitan fire departments require the applicant to go through their agency’s own academy, this academy is designed to prepare the applicant for participation in a testing process as well as providing a foundation for successful participation in a firefighter academy.

Is the Fire Operations Academy accredited?

The Firefighter Operations Academy (FSC102) is sanctioned and approved by the Arizona Center for Fire Service Excellence(AZCFSE) through the Arizona Fire Service Institute, and is accepted state-wide. The Arizona Center for Fire Service Excellence is accredited nationally through the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC).  Pro Board accreditation is still being determined.

Is there a limit to how many people you take each semester for the Fire Operations Academy?

Yes. The Firefighter Operations Academy (FSC102) is designed to be small to be able to give you, the student, more repetitions and exposure to fire department operations.  Currently we accept no more than 48 students per academy class


The PVCC/PC Firefighter Operations Academy would like to thank the following people, companies, and agencies for their continued support of our program:

Paradise Valley Community College Administration
            President: Dr. Paul Dale
            Vice President Of Academic Affairs: Dr. Mary Lou Mosley
            Dean of Academic Affairs: Dr. Denise Digianfilippo
            Health & Exercise Science Division Chair: Ms. Lori Anonsen

Phoenix College Administration
            President: Ms. Chris Haines (Interim)
            Vice President Of Academic Affairs: Dr. Casandra Kakar
            Dean of Industry & Public Service: Dr. Sharon Halford
            Criminal Justice, Emergency Response, Legal Studies Department Chair: Mr. Richard Wilson

Arizona Fire Services Institute
            AZ Center for Fire Service Excellence

Phoenix Fire Department
            Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner
            Assistant Chief Ron Jamison
            Deputy Chief Chris Stewart
            Captain Chris Healey
            Logistics Coordinator Billy Lucus

Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)
            A Division of Texas A&M University

Arizona Public Service (APS)

Extrication Concepts
            Fred Dimas

Southwest Gas
            Tom McBroom
            Keith Johns

Bureau of Land Management
            Ken Shaver

United Fire Equipment

5 Alarm Fire & Safety Equipment
            Gerry Fleisher

Professional Firefighter Mentors
            Phoenix Fire Department
            Surprise Fire-Medical Department
            Sun City Fire & Medical Department
            Mesa Fire & Medical Department
            Rural/Metro Fire Department

PVCC/PC Firefighter Operations Academy Alumni
            Lab Techs
            Student Interns
            Student Volunteers


Firefighter Brochure

Contact Us

Phone: (602) 787-6782
Fax: (602) 787-6715
Location: L Building (Map)

Fall & Spring Semester Hours
Monday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Summer Hours
Monday-Thursday: 8:00am-6:00pm
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: Closed

**Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).  For more information please visit the PVCC Accreditation webpage.**


Paul Sunder
Fire Science Program Director
Captain, Phoenix Fire Department (Retired)
(602) 787-6736

Dan Donahue, MS NRP
EMT Program Director
Captain/Paramedic, Phoenix Fire Department
(602) 787-6552

Robert Dotterer, MEd NRP
Paramedic Education Program Director
Phoenix Fire Department (Retired)
(623) 640-6633 - cell

Bill Loughran, RN
Paramedic Education Program Resident Faculty & Lead Instructor
(602) 565-8532

Alyssa Harris
Part-time EMT/FSC Lab Tech
(602) 787-6782

Travis Guinta
Part-time EMT/FSC Lab Tech
(602) 787-6782

Kyle Netzel
Part-time EMT/FSC Lab Tech
(602) 787-6782

Kacie Chavez
Part-time EMT/FSC Lab Tech
(602) 787-6782

Brandon Sunder, BA NRP
EMT/FSC Program Assistant / Website Admin
(602) 787-6782

Adam Sutter
EMT/FSC Program Assistant
(602) 787-6782

Paul Honeywell, NRP
Paramedic Education Program Lead Instructor

William (Bobby) Finn
Firefighter I & II Academy Coordinator
Captain, Phoenix Fire Department

John Sheridan
Technical Rescue Coordinator
Engineer/TRT, Phoenix Fire Department

Tim Venard
Technical Rescue Coordinator
Captain/Paramedic/TRT, Phoenix Fire Department

PVCC Fire Science/EMT