Directed by a Deputy Chief, the Philadelphia Fire Academy is responsible for training new firefighting candidates, administering Officer development programs, and training our Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians.
Additionally, the Fire Academy oversees the activities of the Safety Office, qualifies Philadelphia Fire Department members to drive fire trucks and ambulances, manages funeral planning and operations, and coordinates and administers the Department's in-service training for our veteran members.
The Philadelphia Fire Academy has been training Firefighters and recruits since 1913 when the “Training School” was located in the rear of Engine 23’s Station at 2031 N. 7th Street. Fire class Number One was comprised of 33 Firefighters assigned to various firehouses throughout the City and was taught by two instructors: Captain George Moodie and Captain William Barrett. A total of 101 Cadet classes were instructed at this site until the new Fire Department Training College opened in 1952.
The new facility was located in the rear of Engine 39’s Station at Ridge Avenue and Cinnaminson Street. This site was dedicated on October 7, 1952, and the first class to graduate from this location was Class 102. This class included 63 members of whom 9 were already stationed in firehouses throughout the City, while 54 were new hires. The Department, seeing the need for an even larger training facility, once again relocated in 1980.
This time, the move took the training staff to the Northeast section of the City, specifically to 5200 Pennypack Street. On December 19, 1980, the Department took occupancy of a brand new facility located directly adjacent to the Delaware River. The building was dedicated on May 18, 1981, and the first fire class at this facility, Class 152, graduated on October 9, 1981 with 37 members. The first Fire Service Paramedic class graduated from the Academy on April 28, 1989.