Frequently Asked Questions

1.  I am interested in becoming a firefighter.  Do I start with an Associate's degree or where do I start?

  • To be eligible to be hired as a firefighter you must become a state certified firefighter.  This is accomplished by completing the minimum standards (fire academy) program.  This is the "boot camp" of the fire service.  Most all fire departments in the Tampa Bay area are also Advanced Life Support providers and require candidates to be a minimum of EMT certified and yet more preferably; Paramedic certified.  (If not Paramedic certified upon hiring, candidates will be required to obtain the certification within an established time frame by the agency).  The fire academy operates from the Ybor City Campus and the EMT / Paramedic programs operate from the Dale Mabry campus.  Firefighters normally come to the Accredited Fire Science Program (our area) for courses required for additional certifications and courses to be eligible for promotions (i.e. "Officer Candidate School").  Students who may be on a waiting list to get into either the fire academy, EMT or Paramedic programs are welcome to take our courses if the content of the courses will not be above their comprehension.  Please contact our office for more guidance and information.  Completion of the Associate's degree will not allow you to be eligible to be hired as a firefighter in the State of Florida.  A common or general career course could look something like this: 
  • (1)  Check the employment requirements for the fire department you desire to make application with. 
  • (2) Complete the required programs: Fire academy, EMT, and Paramedic.  
  • (2) Make application for employment.  
  • (3) Once hired, waiting to get hired or with time in between entry into programs, begin taking higher level courses towards additional certifications and promotion eligibility. 

2.  In comparing FFP course names and numbers either from years ago to today or between the Florida State Fire College and HCC, the names and numbers are not all matching up?

  • We attempt to keep our current course names the same as the current course names at the Florida State Fire College.  We do not get to choose the FFP number that gets assigned and they are occasionally different.  The curriculum is the same and you should not have any problems proving course completion.  If you are comparing older HCC data to current data or need further assistance, call our office at 813-253-7779.

3.  I see that many of your classes are offered online.  Can I take the class in a traditional classroom setting?

  • All of our courses are offered online with the exception of Fire Service Hydraulics, Apparatus Practices, Aerial Operations, and Hazardous Materials Scene Management which all require hands-on applications.  We can provide traditional classroom setting courses for a minimum of 10 students who need the course and willing to register for the class.  If you are working for a fire department and have a group of people who all need the same course, we can provide it for you.  Even if you are a few students shy, we may can advertise the class and acquire the other students needed.  Please call our office for more information - 813-253-7779.

4.  I called the Ybor City campus bookstore to acquire a book for a class I am registered in and they were out of it.  What else can I do? 

  • If you are a working firefighter, check with your training or prevention bureau to see if they have the book and if it can be borrowed.  We also provide the ISBN numbers in the Course Description page and encourage to check online resources such as or other similar sites.   

5.  I just saw on your schedule that a course I need has just started.  Can I still get in? 

  • No, we are not allowed to enter students who are not registered by the first day of class.

6.  I've never taken an online course before.  I don't know if my computer is compatible or not.  How do I register and how can I find out more about this?

  • To register, the process is the same as long as you are already a HCC student.  All you need is the FFP number, course name and section number.  If you have internet access (you apparently do if you are reading this) with a modern connection speed you should be fine.  We do have some applications in Powerpoint, Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat formats.  Adobe Acrobat Reader is available online as a free download to be able to view .pdf files.  Usually we'll duplicate Powerpoint and Word documents in .pdf format to keep everyone as accessible as possible. 

Per the HCC Distance Learning Department, they recommend the following system minimum requirements:

  • Pentium III class computer or higher
  • Windows 98, ME, or XP - OS 10 for Macs
  • 56k modem
  • A broadband Internet connection is highly recommended
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 or  higher
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Speakers
  • If you have any other concerns, feel free to call our office at 813-253-7779 and we'll be glad to talk with you more.    

7.  I registered for a class and now I can't get in.  What happened?

  • It could be a couple of things. 
    For all courses -  
    (1) If you register for a course and do not pay for it at the same time, you may have been purged for non-payment. 
    (2) If you paid by credit card, it could be a card issue. 
    (3) Some classes have a cap on how many students are allowed in.  If the cap was met, you should not have been able to successfully register.  Online courses do not have a cap.  Call our office if you need further assistance.

    For online courses -
    (1) Make sure on the login screen that the system shows it is "AVAILABLE".  Sometimes the system is taken offline for maintenance work to the system or database.  It should become AVAILABLE again soon.  If you are at a deadline when the system is UNAVAILABLE, we will make allowances for the system being down.  We are also notified when the system is UNAVAILABLE.
    (2)  Make sure you are logging in properly.  If you have never logged in before, use your first initial, last initial and seven digit HCC student ID number in both spaces.  Once you are in you may change your password to something of your choosing.  If you have forgotten your password, follow the instructions on the screen for