Cadet Phase

Third Step: Firefighting Cadets

cadets doing squats

Now its time for Training!!

This is the beginning of your career. What you learn here could very well save your life, or the lives of others some day!!!

The friends and associations you make while in Cadet Training will stay with you for at least the next 30 years!!!

Firefighter Candidates who are appointed to the San Antonio Fire Academy by the City Manager undergo about six months of extensive academic and physical training, including:

  • SAFD's 940-hour, 25 week fire fighting program, earning their certification as a Basic Structural Firefighter.
  • SAFD’s 200-hour Emergency Medical Technician curriculum, earning their Basic Emergency Medical Technician certification.

Upper body strength is essential in the fire department. Imagine you're on a ledge, with your gear on. You are either going to have to hold on or pull yourself back up.

The core is vital to every direction you move and is critical to protecting your back. Unlike the physical exertion you would perform at the gym or before a morning jog, no one has time to stop and stretch prior to a fire or other emergency.

Continued Emphasis on Physical Fitness

Cardiovascular fitness is foundational to the profession of firefighting, and if a Candidate is selected to attend the San Antonio Fire Academy, it is extremely important to show up in good shape. The Cadet Fitness Cover Letter (PDF) and the Cadet Fitness Program (PDF) outline the SAFD Cadet Physical Training Program.

Keep in mind that these documents indicate the minimum fitness level a Candidate should be at upon entry to the academy. We also recommend that incoming Cadets be able to achieve the following:

  • Run 1.5 miles in less than 13:00 minutes
  • Complete 30 push-ups in 1 minute
  • 5 pull-ups
  • Complete 40 sit-ups in 1 minute
  • Have a Body Fat index of less than 20%
  • Sit and Reach of 19 inches

Promotional opportunities to the next higher rank begin four years from the date a Firefighter entered the Fire Academy, they are eligible to take a promotional examination for the next higher rank. Examinations are given yearly and an eligibility list is formed with the passing scores. Individuals on the list are eligible for promotion as vacancies occur within the department. As employees are promoted, additional assignment opportunities will open up in areas such as:

Non-Firefighting Positions

SAFD also employs administrative and other support personnel. For information on open positions and this employment process, visit the City of San Antonio’s Human Resources website.

Wages & Benefits

The City of San Antonio works to provide a competitive compensation and benefits plan to attract, retain, and motivate its workforce. For general information, visit the City of San Antonio’s Human Resources website.

Job Fairs & Career Days

SAFD participates in numerous local and statewide career and job fairs each year. For information on our schedule or to request our participation, contact our Recruiting Office.