Firefighting is a skilled occupation that takes specialized coursework just to meet minimum hiring qualifications. At the Cal-JAC, we recognize that the time and money it takes to meet the entry level requirements for a firefighting job can be a barrier to some. We also recognize that California fire departments are working to ensure that their departments demographically represent the communities they serve. Unfortunately, many times, the candidates fire departments would like to hire do not have the resources or time to take the prerequisite education and training. This is where the Cal-JAC Academy comes in.

The California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee started the Cal-JAC Academy as a pre-apprenticeship program, designed to help underrepresented candidates achieve some of the pre-requisites to a firefighting career.  Successful cadets will earn either their EMT certification or Paramedic license, as well as passing the Candidate Physical Ability Test and Firefighter Entry Level Written Test. All three of these achievements are minimum requirements for a majority of fire departments in California.