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The San Antonio Fire Department has, at its core, a dedicated group of 13 officers and four civilians who design, schedule, and implement official training programs for our nearly 1700 uniformed firefighters. Through the Fire Training Academy (FTA) all official training is managed. The San Antonio Fire Department maintains its own Cadet Training Program on campus as well as numerous Incumbent Training programs designed to continue our firefighter’s education and enhance our firefighter’s expertise throughout their careers. Our FTA is located at 300 South Callaghan on our city’s Westside. Hours of operation for the FTA are from 7:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday.
Our Fire Cadet Training Program is perhaps our most visible and the most enduring program conducted on campus. Individuals who have passed the Civil Service Exam and who have completed applicant processing begin Cadet Drill School and are taught fundamentals of firefighting, Emergency Medical Technician-Basic, and selective advanced skills prior to being considered eligible for graduation.
The process of training a Cadet from beginning to end takes 25 weeks and is an academically challenging and physically demanding feat. We graduate some of the finest firefighters in the world who will go on to serve our community for the next 30 years. It is a responsibility we take seriously at the FTA and it is commitment to our community and to excellence that motivates our Cadets. Training does not end with graduation from Drill School for an SAFD firefighter. For us, graduation is only the beginning.
The SAFD-FTA dedicates a great deal of time and energy into our Incumbent Training Program which builds on the concepts and ideologies that were established in Drill School. Our incumbent firefighters compose the majority of our Department’s membership and necessarily receive increasing attention as training programs evolve and improve.
At the core of our Incumbent Training Program is the Officer Development Program which currently educates and trains our officers to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) standards of Fire Service Instructor-I, Fire Officer-I, and Fire Officer-II. Other critical programs housed within the Incumbent Training Program are Hands-On-Training (HOT Sessions), Transitional Training, Re-immersion Training, Professional Development, and the Probationary Firefighter Evaluation and Training Program (PFET). While formal education and training is important, for a firefighter the ability to execute our duties is equally important and physical fitness is paramount in all SAFD Firefighter’s minds.
Firefighting is a brutally physical job. We endure hardships that others never will and we endure these hardships on a regular basis. The wear-and-tear endured by a firefighter’s body demand high standards for physical fitness. Our FTA began an innovative program in March of 2012 that sought to educate and train our personnel on how best to exercise and maintain their own bodies for a successful and productive career.
Because of the constantly varied physical demands placed on a firefighter during every shift, we elected to begin the most versatile and applicable exercise programming available: CrossFit. SAFD CrossFit began in earnest in March of 2012 and the FTA houses a fully functional and operational CrossFit facility which conducts multiple classes daily Monday through Friday. Our firefighters have responded in an amazing fashion and our sisters and brothers continue to impress us with their fitness levels, physical strength, and dedication to excellence in all aspects of our profession.
In addition to our CrossFit facility we also employ a fully functional burn building, various gas props, a derailment prop, and command simulators to provide a well rounded and complete learning environment for our firefighters. If you need to contact our Fire Training Academy, then please call our main line at 210.207.5950.