CATEC’s Fire Science program introduces students to the equipment and procedures necessary to fight live fires, operate in hazardous materials incidents, and conduct search-and-rescue operations. Students react to multi-faceted situations such as accidents, natural disasters, and simulated terrorism as part of an emergency response team. They become familiar with emerging technologies like communications dispatch, geographic information systems mapping, incident reporting, and simulation programs. They also study multimedia inputs, thermal imaging, cameras, and hazardous gas detectors.

Additionally, students gain valuable workplace skills necessary to become successful firefighters, including teamwork, critical thinking, public service, research, report writing, and incident management skills. This course challenges students academically, mentally, and physically. 



Students receive up to 3 high school elective credits each year for successful completion of the program. Passage of the certification exam will award the student 2 student-verified elective credits, one of which can be substituted for a verified credit in either science or history.


Virginia Department of Fire Programs Firefighter I and II

American Red Cross Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers

Virginia Workplace Readiness Skills Assessment

  • VDFP Firefighter I
  • VDFP Firefighter II
  • VDFP Hazardous Materials Operations
  • American Red Cross Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers
  • VDFP Agency Overview
  • VDFP Active Gun Shooter for First Responders
  • VDFP Introduction to Technical Rescue
  • Highway Safety During Incidents for First Responders
  • FEM 100 – Introduction to Incident Command
  • FEMA 200 – ICS for Single Response and Initial Action Incidents
  • FEMA 700 – National Incident Management System
  • FEMA 800 – Nation Response Framework an Introduction
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction through Texas A & M
  • Responding to Vehicle fires
  • Bloodbourne Pathogen – Required by Albemarle County to be a Volunteer


The Fire Service program is dual-enrolled with Central Virginia Community College and Piedmont Virginia Community College. Students successfully completing the program will receive 14 college credits towards an Associates Degree in Fire Science Technology.

ClassState CodeDurationGradesDual EnrollmentCredential(s)AM or PM
Firefighting I & II8705
1 yearAge 16 or older by start of schoolCVCC – 12 creditsPVCC – 2 creditsPlease See Below*AM Only

Students successfully completing the Fire Science program may receive college credit for the courses listed below.

College Course CodesCollege Course NameCredit Per CourseCollege
FST110Fire Behavior & Combustion3CVCC
FST115Fire Prevention3CVCC
FST235Strategy and Tactics3CVCC
FST121Principle of Fire & Emergency Services3CVCC
HLT100First Aid/CPR2PVCC


Germanna Community College

  • Fire Science Technology, A.A.S.
  • Fire Science Technology (Certificate)

Piedmont Virginia Community College

  • EMS-Advanced
  • EMS-Intermediate
  • EMS-Paramedic (Career Studies Certificate)

Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, B.A.


  • Career Opportunity: Firefighter

Control and extinguish fires or respond to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk. Duties may include fire prevention, emergency medical service, hazardous material response, search and rescue, and disaster

  • National Wage Average: $45,970.00
  • Virginia Wage Average: $44,700.00
  • Projected Job Growth in Virginia: +14.1%
  • Career Opportunity: Arson Investigators

Collects evidence, eyewitness accounts & other information to determine what might have caused the fire; furthermore, who might be responsible.

  • National Wage Average: $56,730.00
  • Virginia Wage Average: $54,890.00
  • Projected Job Growth in Virginia: +1%
  • Career Opportunity: Forestry Fire Prevention Specialists

Work in the forest inspecting for potential fire hazards, enforcing fire regulations; such as, appropriate permits or “burn times” & instituting control measures when it appears a fire is eminent.

  • National Wage Average: $40,000.00
  • Projected Job Growth Nationally: +29%