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Pass The Torch Academy

The Pass the Torch Academy consists of nine weekend sessions. The program provides participants with the opportunity to learn about their community, fire department, and emergency medical services response in a safe, controlled, and educational environment. Participants are able to engage in activities that include vehicle extrication, swift water rescue, emergency medical procedures, and fire extinguisher training. The program is designed to give individuals a glimpse into the firefighter occupation and a first-hand feel for life in the fire service.

Under the guidance of experienced AFD firefighters, you will be able to participate in a variety of activities including but not limited to:

  • Handle a charged fire hose;
  • Participate in physical training similar to what is used during an actual academy;
  • Practice with vehicle extrication tools;
  • Use high-tech fire and medical equipment;
  • Climb ladders, and perform search and rescue techniques;
  • Wear the gear and participate in simulated fire scenes; and
  • Learn about fire science from trained instructors.

Why participate?

Not only will you get to take home a CD full of pictures and videos of your experience, as well as some brag-worthy certificates and trophies, but you will also take with you:

  • Amazing memories of this once-in-a-lifetime experience;
  • A more realistic understanding of firefighting;
  • A network of firefighters to help answer your questions;
  • A network of peers that you can study with during our next hiring process; and
  • A sense of whether firefighting is a right career choice for you.

What sort of commitment will you be making?

Attendance is mandatory, so be sure you can commit to the schedule before signing up!  In addition to the class dates, you will be required to do at least two rideouts, complete 12 hours of community service (AFD will provide opportunities with recruiting events and smoke alarm installations) and complete homework assignments.

Guidelines for participation

  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 30;
  • Have no felonies on your record;
  • Commit to at least eight of nine sessions;
  • Complete homework assignments and community service;
  • Willing to participate in physical activity;
  • Able to provide a current passing physical; and
  • Complete and return the Pass the Torch Application.

Physical expectations

Pass the Torch applicants can expect a certain amount of physical activity during the academy.  Examples of physical activities and the expected numbers include but are not limited to:

  • 36 pushups;
  • 2 minutes of plank;
  • 10 pull ups;
  • 30 burpees;
  • 50 air squats;
  • Stair climb equivalent to nine stories with a bundle (approximately 35 lbs.);
  • Run 1.5 miles in less than 12 minutes; and
  • Run three miles in 30 minutes.

Applicants for the Pass the Torch Academy should feel comfortable with this level of physical activity, but should not be discouraged from applying if they feel they are not able to meet those numbers.  No applicant will be excluded from this program based on their perceived fitness level.

Session Dates

If selected, you will be required to attend the Orientation and 9 out of 10 of the sessions in order to graduate.

Please note:  These dates are subject to change.

  • Application Open - October 15, 2016
  • Application Deadline - January 15, 2017
  • Application Interviews - TBA
  • Orientation - January 21, 2017
  • Session 1 - February 4, 2017
  • Session 2 - February 18, 2017
  • Session 3 - March 4, 2017
  • Session 4 - March 18, 2017
  • Session 5 - April 1, 2017
  • Session 6 - April 22, 2017
  • Session 7 - May 13, 2017
  • Session 8 - June 3, 2017
  • Session 9 - June 17, 2017
  • Session 10 - July 8, 2017
  • Graduation - July 22, 2017
  • Exit Interview - August 12, 2017

For more information

Contact AFD Recruiting at 512-974-0292 or melanie.liner@austintexas.gov.

If you will be submitting a paper application via postal service, please download the application in the following Downloads section and follow the instructions on the application.