TJC Fire Academy graduates 12 cadets | TJC

TJC Fire Academy graduates 12 cadets

The Tyler Junior College Fire Academy recently graduated 12 cadets from its 17th academy class.

Jace Phillips of Lindale was class valedictorian, and Byron Wade of Golden was salutatorian.

Graduates and their hometowns included: Victoria Barrera, Tyler; Chance Brock, Mabank; Braden Campbell, Azle; Iesha Collins, Whitehouse; Justin Forsyth, Tyler; Marcos Gallegos, Mabank; Peyton Garner, Ben Wheeler; Benjamin Lee, Trumbull, Connecticut; Dakota Lipe, Rusk; Jace Phillips, Lindale, valedictorian; Jose Vega, Gun Barrel City; and Byron Wade, Golden, salutatorian.

The cadets were about halfway through the program when in-person classes were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. During the shutdown, they kept up with lectures and tests via online learning methods, but hands-on training was delayed for several weeks.

They completed their live-fire training on May 22 and took their final exams on May 26, with all cadets passing their exams and graduating from the program.

“These cadets overcame great obstacles to complete this academy,” said Andy King, TJC Fire Academy director. “They are a resilient group, and I know they will do well in their fire service careers.”

Enrollment open for next TJC Fire Academy class
Enrollment is currently underway for the next fire academy class. Application deadline is Sept. 4.

To work in Texas as a paid firefighter, applicants must earn a Texas “basic structure fire suppression” certificate. As part of this process, applicants must also submit their fingerprints and undergo a criminal history background check. Students must meet the standards set forth by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, and NFPA 1001-2013, Standards for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications.

Upon successfully passing the state exam, graduates will receive certification as Fire Fighter I, Fire Fighter II, Hazmat Awareness and Hazmat Operations. They also qualify for national accreditation by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). Once a student receives firefighter certification and upon application with 3 credit hours to TJC, credit may be awarded for up to 30 hours of college credit.

Space is limited, so early registration is recommended. For more information, go to

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