Minimum Standards

Program Coordinator:

Jim Craw, Lieutenant

Lakeland Fire Department

    Bunker Gear Rental









Fire Fighter 1 & 2 Program:  398 Hours



The technical certificate program for firefighting is a comprehensive course consisting of lectures, practical, and “LIVE” fire training. The program is designed to prepare the student to become a State Certified Firefighter.

Florida Requirements for Firefighter Certification: By State law, any full-time paid firefighter working in the State of Florida must be certified by the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training (BFST) as a minimum Standards Certified Firefighter. A candidate for State firefighter minimum standards must;

Be a non-user of tobacco. Tobacco use is strictly prohibited by Florida Statute 633.34.6. If you are a tobacco user, you will not be accepted into the class and cannot become a firefighter in the State of Florida. Applicants must sign an affidavit stating they are not a user of tobacco.

To apply for admission into the Firefighting I and Firefighting II Recruit Program, each applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.

  • Not have been convicted of any felony or of any misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude.

  • Be a high school graduate or have its equivalent (GED).

  • Have passed a physical examination including EKG and hearing test by a licensed Florida physician within the past six months, meeting the requirements of the Division of State Fire Marshal Bureau of Fire Standards and Training Medical Examination Form, FST-2.

  • Be of good moral character.

  • Possess a valid Florida Driver’s License.

  • Applicants with excessive points or license suspended within the last three years will be disqualified.

  • Hospitalization/accidental medical insurance is automatically provided for the students during the MSC course.

All adult students interested must either call the Ridge Fire Academy at (863) 419-3060 ext. 4501 or come see someone at the Academy for more information.


EMR is a pre-requisite for Firefighter I & II. Students will not be admitted to class until they have completed EMR or a higher level of training such as EMT or paramedic.


Ridge Fire Academy Application Procedure:

1.     Take mandatory TABE test unless you possess an A.A., A.S., B.A., or B.S degree. Bring original college certificate or college transcripts to Ridge Fire Academy to qualify for an exemption. The TABE test is given at the Ridge Career Center (863) 419-3060 Monday thru Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at a cost of $15.00. TABE test must be a Full Battery Level A test. A grade level of 10.0 must be achieved in all areas of Reading, Math, and Language. Please make an appointment with the receptionist at the above number. Picture ID is required.

Veteran Benefits:  Eligible veterans may be certified for VA benefits through the Financial Aid Office.  Mr. Wetherbee will see anyone interested in benefits after receiving an acceptance letter into the Firefighting program.

Financial Aid: Eligible veterans may be certified for VA benefits through the Financial Aid office. Mr. Wetherbee will see anyone interested in benefits after receiving an acceptance letter into the Firefighting program.

Admission to the program will be based on the following:

  • Medical examination, including EKG and hearing test, required before PAT evaluation.
  • Applicant must pass Physical Agility Test Evaluation and orientation held at Ridge Fire Academy.

Withdrawal Refund Policy:

1.     A refund will be granted if a student withdraws on or before the second day prior to entering class. $90.00 are non-refundable, which includes the application fee, background check, student ID, and parking fees. Partial tuition will be refunded depending on how many days in class.

2.  There will be no refund after 30 days.

3.     All refunds will be issued by check from the School Board of Polk County.  Students should allow thirty to forty-five (30-45) days for receipt of a refund check.

7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Monday through Thursday
(Approx. 12 weeks)




Tuition (398 Hours x $2.88per hr.)



Lab Fee:                                                                          $1421.61

Ridge Registration & Background Fee's                                 $ 90.00






Breathing Apparatus Charge:

There is an additional cost of $500.00 for the rental of SCBA. This is a mandatory fee. (Already included in above fees).   Students are not allowed to provide their own Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus equipment. This is a separate fee from bunker gear. Bunker gear can be rented from Municipal Fire Equipment.  Contact Municipal at 407.843.3071 for more information on rentals.


Books are the responsibility of the Student. To purchase the Essentials of Firefighting plus Fire Department Operations 6th edition book (click here..)

IFSTA Essentials 6h Edition (set)                                                               

ISBN: 13-9780879395094
Author: IFSTA

Additional Expenses (estimated costs):

Application Fee for the State Fire College: $30.00

Fingerprint Fee (Required by the Florida State Fire College) $94.00

All students must have the proper safety equipment. Items must be purchased prior to first day of class. If you already have personal safety equipment and/or bunker gear, it must pass inspection by the instructor on the first day of class to ensure it meets the program’s standards. (Additional expenses may be incurred.)


PHYSICAL AGILITY EVALUATION (To view a powerpoint of the exam, click here....)

The cost for the Physical Agility Exam (Practice $25 and Test $50), payable the day of the practice and/or test.

A Physical Agility Evaluation dates will be announced during the informational meeting prior to each Fire Standards program.

The test is comprised of seven evolutions. Failure to complete any of the seven evolutions will result in failure to continue in the class. This physical test is designed to evaluate the student’s ability to perform various tasks used in the firefighting profession. These tasks are required if one is to become a Certified Firefighter in the State of Florida. The various evolutions involved in this test require no skill to perform; only strength and stamina are necessary to successfully pass the test.

Prior to taking the test, students must provide a completed medical form (FST 2) meeting the State requirement. The form is provided as part of the application packet.

DRESS: Students must arrive for the test in appropriate attire required for tasks to be performed.

Attire to include:  (It is highly recommended that each candidate bring his or her own bottle of water or Gator Aid)

a. Tee shirt, shorts or sweats with no advertising, offensive messages or suggestive comments. No tank tops.
b. Shorts or sweat pants meeting the above criteria.
c. Tennis style shoes. No flip flops, sandals, or boots.
d. Bring work style gloves.

Students not properly attired or equipped will not be permitted to take the test. Rules of the test will be explained at the time of the test.



Once the test has begun, the student may not stop. There will be no rest periods between evolutions. The test may not be stopped for any reason within the student’s sequence as listed. If the student stops to rest, or hesitates during the test, the evaluator will assume the student has quit the test voluntarily. The evaluator has the right and responsibility to stop the test any time he/she feels the student’s health is threatened. The student shall wear proper clothing for physical training: shorts, tee shirts, shoes (jogging, tennis, cross training) or sweats. No lettering or offensive pictures on any clothing. YOU MUST FURNISH YOUR OWN WORK GLOVES.

Ridge Fire Academy Physical Ability Test (RPAT) will start with a One mile and a half run.  The candidates will be given a 30 minute break/cool down period after their run before starting the evolutions.

One mile and a half run:  Candidate SHALL run 1.5 miles.  Candidate cannot stop for any reason.

Failures – Stopping or walking.  No warnings will be given.  Time:  MAX 18 minutes



EVOLUTIONS: (Running or other unsafe acts will result in a “failed” evolution.  Candidate will be given one warning for each evolution.  Candidate SHALL pass all evolutions in a safe act and timely manner.
Work gloves will be donned before the test begins.  Candidates will wear a 50 pound weighted vest, hard hat, gloves and long pants throughout the entire test.

1.      STAIR CLIMBING/HOSE HOIST: Candidate will carry a high-rise pack up the interior stairway starting at the ground floor.  Candidate SHALL hit every step to the fourth floor, drop the pack in the marked area, pick up the pack on the opposite shoulder and carry it back down. Repeating (2) two times. On the second trip up, candidate will drop the high-rise pack on the fourth floor, walk out the door to the parapet wall, grab the ˝” rope and hoist a 2 ˝” hose to the top floor. Candidate will then go back pick up the high-rise pack and proceed down to the ground floor. Candidate must use the handrail.

Failure: Not completing

Rationale: This simulates activities firefighters may perform in multi-story buildings.

2.      HAMMER SLIDE: When instructed to begin, the candidate shall move the weighted block the full length of the sled using the sledgehammer provided.

Failure: Throwing down the hammer, or not completing

Rationale: This simulates some of the procedures required during ventilation and forcible entry in the fire service and the strength and stamina required accomplishing those tasks.

3.      HOSE PULL: The student shall put the end of the hose over the shoulder and pull it a distance of 75 feet. A 150 ft. of 1ľ hose charged with water shall be used, connected to a water supply. (Do not STOP until instructed to do so by the instructor)

Failure: Dropping or throwing down the nozzle is an automatic failure or not completing

Rationale: This simulates advancing with a charged hose line at a fire scene.

4.      EQUIPMENT CARRY: Candidate will carry the hydraulic spreaders & the hydraulic cutters 50 feet to a cone, walk around the cone and back to the starting point. Total length of 100 feet.  

Failure: Dropping tools, or not completing.

Rationale: This simulates part of the lifting required in the fire fighting profession

5.      RESCUE DUMMY DRAG: The candidate shall drag a 165-pound rescue dummy a distance of 50 feet, around the cone and back to the starting point. The rescue dummy's entire body must pass over the designated line. A total of 100 feet. The candidate may stop to re-position their hands. A rope harness will be attached to the dummy.

Failure: Not completing.

Rationale: This simulates one of the fire grounds activities that may be performed by firefighters.

6.      SEARCH: Candidate will crawl through the maze following the hose while a Scott SCBA mask. Time will be stopped steps into the marked square to place the SCBA mask on their face. The candidate will be given 30 second to don the mask. Time will begin again once the candidate steps out of the designated square.

Failures: Removal of the mask, or not completing.

Rationale: This simulates searching for a victim under low light conditions that could be

      encountered on a fire ground.