A growing trend in fire service nationwide is the creation of a college-educated fire-fighting workforce. The goal of the Fire Science and Safety program is to enhance technical competencies in the following areas: fire suppression, fire prevention, fire service management, life safety, and other related topics. Although this program is primarily directed toward the professional firefighter, it also provides training and education for personnel of insurance organizations and other industries involved in fire safety and protection. The HCC Robert Garner Firefighter Academy is a part of the Public Safety and Automotive Technology Center of Excellence located at the Northeast Campus, 555 Community College Drive.

Degrees and Certificates

Fire Officer I - Certificate

Fire Instructor - Occupational Skills Award

Fire Science and Safety - AAS

Fire Inspector - Occupational Skills Award

Basic Firefighter - Certificate

Program Information

General Requirements - Fire Science and Safety Technology

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) allows students to earn only one AAS in Fire Protection and Safety Technology. Students must choose from one of the following three specializations: Fire Officer, Fire Fighter, or Industrial.
You can not be placed in any Fire Safety AAS plan until you have completed the TCFP certificate (Basic Fire Fighting Academy).

TSI testing required prior to first enrollment for all AAS degrees and Level II certificates.

Program Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Name the principles, theory, and practices associated with leading edge fire science and management, including issues associated with tactical fire operations, fire safety, firefighting leadership and management, and community fire issues.
  • Recall aspects of fire department organization, operations, tools and equipment, the role of the fire fighter, hazardous materials awareness and the mission of the fire service.
  • Use fire ground operations and fire suppression, hazardous materials operations and rescue techniques.
  • Complete certifications by successfully passing a written and practical state exam in the specialty discipline by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection based on National Fire Protection Association standards. This reflects professional preparedness.

General Requirements - Fire Instructor

The series of three courses provides training required to apply for the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) Fire Instructor I, II, and III certifications.These courses also provide a three-course certification step to becoming a Training Program Manager. To obtain the TCFP Fire Instructor I, II, and III certification, participants must have a Basic Fire Fighter certification with TCFP and pass the Knowledge and Skills tests for each level of certification. An application fee of $15 per certification must be paid to TCFP when submitting an application to take the final assessment from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

TSI testing required prior to first enrollment for all AAS degrees and Level II certificates.

Program Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a lesson plan using instructional aids and evaluation forms.
  • Develop a lesson plan, schedule training sessions, and conduct a class using lesson plans.
  • Develop a comprehensive training curriculum and write equipment specifications from specific curriculum information.


There are 5,471 Municipal Firefighters employed in the Greater Houston Area. This number is expected to increase by 8.4% over the next four years.

  • The estimated annual job openings is 293 jobs a year.
  • Median Wages - $24.18 hourly, $50,000 annually

Basic Fire Academy Orientation

Mandatory orientation will be held at 6 p.m., June 5 in the amphitheater at the Codwell Campus for classes beginning in the fall.

Continuing Education Programs


Continuing Education certificates offer contact hours, not academic credit. One Continuing Education Unit, or CEU, is 10 contact hours of successful participation/completion in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction. CEUs are not substituted for college credit hours, but rather are a means of reporting continuing education activities. Transcripts listing CEU credits satisfactorily completed are available on request. CEUs are recognized internationally as a measure of substantial professional education and training.

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