What is the Cal-JAC Academy?

The Cal-JAC Academy is designed to provide an opportunity to qualifying candidates to earn their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification as the first step toward a career in the fire service. 

In addition to obtaining the skills required of a nationally registered EMT, academy cadets will physically train for the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), receive preparatory instruction for the Cal-JAC written exam, and hone their interview skills through the guidance of a firefighter mentor.  

All graduating cadets will also be invited to interview for a position with the Sacramento Fire Department and be added to FCTC’s Statewide Eligibility List, which is used by fire departments throughout California that are looking to hire. 

Who Can Apply?

Acceptance into the Cal-JAC Academy's 2018 recruitment class is open to candidates who meet the following prerequisites:

  • Demonstrate financial need
  • At least 18 years or older on or before January 23, 2018
  • Background Check
  • Drug Screening
  • Doctor’s clearance for physical activity
  • Up-to-date vaccinations (Hep A, Hep B, TB test)
  • Must pass Cal-JAC provided written assessment measuring reading and math skills
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Valid driver's license

How Much Does the Cal-JAC Academy Cost?

Thanks to a grant provided by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, accepted candidates will be able to attend the Cal-JAC Academy free of charge.  

What Can I Expect from a Career in the Fire Service?

When Will the Academy Take Place?

The Cal-JAC Academy will begin classes on January 23, 2018 and run through June 30, 2018. Classes will be held at the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center  in Sacramento, located at 2560 River Plaza Drive, Sacramento, CA 95833. Classes will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays (tentative).

Attendance to each of the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday sessions is mandatory and candidates should confirm their schedules prior to applying for a spot in the academy. 

What Qualifies as Financial Need?

To be accepted into the Cal-JAC Academy, candidates must meet one of the financial requirements listed below.

Option 1:

Receive AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), CalWORKS, CalFRESH, General Assistance, TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). You are required to submit proof of benefits with this application.

-OR-

Option 2:

Meet the following income standards:

Family Household Size  (Include Yourself)                                               Total Family Gross Income
                         1                                                                                               $42,650 or less
                         2                                                                                               $48,750 or less
                         3                                                                                               $54,850 or less
     Each Additional Family Member                                                                  Add $6,100

Applicants using Option 2 must include a copy of your 2016 tax return. If you did not file a tax return last year, please contact the Cal-JAC Academy.

If I Do Not Have Financial Need, Am I Still Eligible to Apply for the Cal-JAC Academy?

No. The Cal-JAC Academy was developed for the purpose of providing individuals who would not have this opportunity otherwise. If you do not meet the financial need criteria, please visit www.fctconline.org to find out how to get onto the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center (FCTC) Statewide Eligibility List, which is used by departments throughout California who are looking to hire.

If my Financial Situation Has Changed Since Filing my 2016 Tax Return and I Now Meet the Financial Need Criteria, Will I Qualify for the Cal-JAC Academy?

If there has been a change in your financial situation since filing your 2016 tax return, please call the Cal-JAC Academy at 916-648-1717 to discuss options. 

How was the Financial Need Standard Established?

The financial need standards were established utilizing the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development State Income Limits for 2017 for Sacramento County. 

What are the Requirements to Graduate from the Cal-JAC Academy?

To graduate from the Cal-JAC Academy, cadets must:

  1. Complete the EMT-Basic Course
  2. Pass the Candidate Physical Ability Test
  3. Pass the Written Exam

Will all Graduates who Receive an Oral Interview with the Sacramento Fire Department also Receive a Job Offer?

No, all graduates of the Cal-JAC Academy will receive an oral interview with the Sacramento Fire Department, however this does not guarantee a job offer. The candidate must meet the minimum requirements set by the Sacramento Fire Department; at this time the requirement states that you must be at least 21 years of age. For candidates who are under the age of 21, this is great practical experience in preparation for a career in the fire service. All graduates from the Cal-JAC Academy will be placed on FCTC's Statewide Eligibility List, which is used by fire departments throughout California who are looking to hire. Each fire department sets their own minimum qualifications which means candidates who are under the age of 21 may still be extended other opportunities to interview and be offered a position before they reach the age of 21. 

Will Graduates of the Cal-JAC Academy Receive a Firefighter 1 Certificate?

No, the graduates of the Cal-JAC Academy will receive their EMT-Basic course completion certificate, which will allow them to take the NREMT exam and become a certified EMT. In addition to becoming an EMT, cadets will take Cal-JAC’s Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) and written exam. Graduates of the Cal-JAC Academy will also be placed on the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center (FCTC) Statewide Eligibility list, which is used by departments throughout California who are looking to hire. 

If I Already Have My EMT Certificate, Am I Still Eligible to Apply for the Cal-JAC Academy?

No. The Cal-JAC Academy is designed to provide an opportunity to qualifying candidates to earn their EMT-Basic certification. If you are already an EMT, please visit www.fctconline.org to find out how to get onto the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center (FCTC) Statewide Eligibility List, which is used by departments throughout California who are looking to hire. 

If I Already Have my Cal-JAC CPAT and/or Written Test, Am I Eligible to Apply for the Cal-JAC Academy?

Yes. The Cal-JAC Academy is designed to provide an opportunity to qualifying candidates to earn their EMT-Basic certification.  

How Much Does an Entry Level Firefighter Make and What is the Typical Work Schedule?

An entry level firefighter with Sacramento Fire Department makes on average of $63,000 per year and generally works ten 24 hour shifts per month.

About the Cal-JAC

The California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) is a joint labor-management partnership between California Professional Firefighters and the California State Fire Marshal and is the established leader in recruitment, outreach and standardized training programs for firefighters in California.