You are here

How to Become a Certified Georgia Firefighter

January 31, 2017
Firefighters serve their communities daily.

Many people are called to public service in their lives. But often, they’re not sure what that career might look like. It could be working as a police officer, social worker, in a homeless shelter or as a firefighter. No matter what career path a public service worker chooses, there’s no doubt they make daily sacrifices and may even risk their lives to help others.

If you’re just getting ready to start your career or want to switch careers, becoming a firefighter is a great way to do that. With non-traditional work hours and the ability to serve others, it’s a career path that can be flexible and very rewarding. But, where do you start?

Minimum Requirements

Before you can begin the process of becoming a certified Georgia firefighter, you need to meet a few requirements. You must:

  • Be at least 18 years old,
  • Be in good physical condition as determined by a medical examination,
  • Hold a high school diploma or G.E.D.,
  • Show good moral character, and
  • Successfully complete the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council’s physical agility test.

The Georgia Fire Academy

If your local county or city has their own fire school program, you can become certified by completing that department’s local course. However, most city and county fire departments in the state don’t have their own fire schools, so you can also train through the Georgia Fire Academy at the Georgia Public Safety and Training Center in Forsyth.

If you want to be able to serve anywhere in the nation, you can also get a National Professional Qualification (NPQ). You can receive an NPQ in one of 2 ways:

  1. Attend the Georgia Fire Academy’s “Basic Firefighter NPQ 1” Program, or

  2. Complete the “Basic Firefighter NPQ 1” course through a local in-house program, and then schedule testing through the Georgia Fire Standards and Training Council.

Upon completion of the Basic Firefighter Training Course (BFTC), you’ll have the opportunity to sit for the written portion of the GFSTC-mandated NPQ I Firefighter test. If you successfully pass that test, you will be a state certified firefighter.

Where to Start

By successfully completing each of the following steps, you will become a certified Georgia firefighter.

  1. Medical Release Form
    Prior to your first day of BFTC, you must have a medical exam completed and signed by a physician. Bring the signed release to your first class.

  2. CPR Certification
    Your CPR Certification must be completed by the American Heart Association or an equivalent course prior to starting BFTC. Bring your certification card with you on your first day of class.

  3. Online Courses
    You must complete 2 online courses before graduating from BFTC — NIM 700 and 100 Level Training. These courses are available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  

  4. Student Registration & Tuition
    Finally, you must register for the Basic Firefighter Training Course through the GPSTC Access page. If you are currently employed as a firefighter, you should have your Training Officer register for you using the agency ID and password. For those who are not currently employed, you can create a student account and register yourself. Once registered, GPSTC will contact you with your student ID and other information.

  5. Getting Your Certification
    On the last day of your 8-week BFTC, you will have the option to get a National Professional Qualification by taking the GFSTC NPQ Firefighter I skills test. The test gives you State Certification and is completely optional. It’s administered on the last day of training and is completely separate from from the pass/fail criteria of the course itself.

Be sure to check the 2017 Course Schedule for upcoming classes throughout the year to find a date that will work for you.

Basic Firefighter Training Course Tuition

To attend the Georgia Basic Firefighter Training Course, you need to pay tuition fees of $5,175 in advance and provide your own NFPA compliant gear. Pay the fees with check or credit card:

  • Mail a check to the training center or bring it to the Registrar’s Office on the first day of class, or
  • Call the Registrar’s Office at 478-993-4458 to pay with card.

Obviously, the Georgia Basic Firefighter Training Course is not for the faint of heart and should not be taken lightly. But, if you have the drive and desire to become a firefighter, the course will fly by and help you land a rewarding career in the State of Georgia.

Keep In Touch

Chelsea Stephens

About the Author

Chelsea Stephens is the Marketing & Training Lead for Digital Services Georgia. A Georgia native herself, Chelsea enjoys writing on topics that citizens and visitors of Georgia can enjoy and learn from. 

You might like...

June 28, 2018

Georgians have enjoyed fireworks legally for three years now, but do you know the latest tweaks to the law? Find out what’s legal and how to be safe!

June 25, 2018

The legislative session is over and done, and all that’s left to do is obey the new laws, most of which take effect July 1.

While many of this year’s new laws will have little or minor impact on Georgians’ day-to-day lives, there is one big act that could have a drastic effect on highway safety.

February 15, 2018

Human trafficking is considered a form of modern-day slavery. Women, children, and men are coerced and manipulated every day to perform acts and services that are against their will. The United States government and Georgia government are working hard to combat this epidemic. Here’s how you can also get involved to help.