Citizens Fire Academy

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a firefighter, this is the program for you! Citizens Fire Academy (CFA) participants learn about a different aspect of the fire service, ranging from emergency medical services, to the hiring and training of firefighters, to special rescue operations. CFA participants will spend time at fire stations and riding-out with the Fire Department to emergency calls. It’s a hands-on learning experience as you’ll wear bunker gear, learn how to use fire extinguishers, get your toes wet with swift-water training, and learn the operations of a ladder truck! CFA is an opportunity for the community members to engage with firefighters and learn the many disciplines supported by the San Marcos Fire Department. 

This academy is fun and informative for the citizens working or living in the City of San Marcos to see what it’s like to live and train as a firefighter. This free, fun academy is to help inform participants on the way San Marcos Fire Department operates and the ultimate goal is to learn fire safety. 

PURPOSE: To help the citizens of San Marcos gain awareness of the services that the Fire Department provides, increase fire and life safety awareness, and promote a positive image of the department to the community.

ELIGIBILITY:  Designed for adults ages 18 and older who either work or live in the City of San Marcos and meet program criteria, including a criminal background check. 

TIMELINE: Citizens Fire Academy (CFA) runs every Monday evening and a few Saturdays at Fire Station #5, 100 Carlson Circle from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (excluding holidays), for twelve weeks from mid-August to graduation night in early November. The best thing is to see a previous-year’s schedule, click on Related Documents (on the side of page), to view or print 2023 CFA Calendar. [pdf] This will also give you a good idea of what to expect while in the Academy.


THIS IS NOT A TCFP CERTIFIED ACADEMY: This class is not designed to train a person to become a firefighter nor qualify to get a job as firefighter.  It is not a certification course and not a TCFP approved fire academy. It’s a fun, community class. 

APPLICATION:  Due to financial and logistical constraints, the SMFD can only accept 15 cadets into the Academy. We Are No Longer Accepting Applications for 2023. Please check back for updates and the application window for 2024.


  • Welcome and Introduction of CFA Participants
  • CFA General Information
  • Overview of San Marcos Fire Department - Administration and Operations
  • 12 Weeks of Training
  • Graduation upon Completion

Hands-on Exercises

Personal Protective Equipment, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, CPR/AED Certification, Fire Extinguisher Training, Rope Rescue, Water Rescue, Aerial Operations, Ground Ladders, Vehicle Extrication, and Pump Operations.

Classroom Exercises

Command, EMS Overview, Fire Safety, Hazardous Materials Training, and Demo Live Fire Training.

After completing this program, participants will be able to use their knowledge to create a safer home and work environment, as well as educate others about the San Marcos Fire Department and the services provided to the community.

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