The mission of the Suffolk County Fire Academy is to provide the most cost effective, up-to-date training available to its customers – the volunteer firefighters, career firefighters, and emergency responders of Suffolk County.
- We work to anticipate our customer’s needs and requirements, then design and develop state of the art training programs to deliver this information
- We provide our training staff with various instructor development programs to enhance their teaching abilities and to elevate their individual qualifications to the nationally certified level
- We work with the Administrative Staff of Suffolk County Fire Rescue and Emergency Services to secure capital funding to continue improving the infrastructure of the Fire Training Grounds at the Academy
- We think and act professionally, and be courteous when dealing with our customers, co-workers and others
- We establish working partnerships with the Fire Service Organizations of Suffolk County to make Suffolk County’s bravest the best-trained fire service community in the United States.
On May 24, 1943, the Vocational Education and Extension Board of the County of Suffolk was created by resolution of the existing Board of Supervisors to establish a fire school and deliver training programs for the volunteer firefighters of Suffolk County.
During the early years, programs were conducted primarily at local fire stations. Hands-on training was either received at out of the County Fire Schools or from improvised facilities provided by resourceful departments.
In 1959 the Fire Training Center at Yaphank, New York was commissioned. Although its facilities only consisted of a training tower, smokehouse and oil pits, it formed the basis for the development of today’s training complex. Between 1959 and 1981, the Class A residential burn building, the Railroad Tank Car, Taxpayer facility, Pump Test building, LP Gas facility, maze facility and the classroom/administration building were added. Over the years improvements were made to the LP Gas facility and vehicle fires were added, as were Electrical Emergencies and a Natural Gas mock up installed in a classroom.
For many years we were simply known as the Fire Training School. During the mid 80’s the Vocational Board changed the designation to the Suffolk County Fire Academy to better reflect the variety of programs offered.
The last ten years brought many changes and improvements to the Fire Academy’s facilities. Our instructors built a confined space simulator and New York State Fire Academy recognized the Suffolk County Fire Academy as the downstate Regional Confined Space Training Facility. The Taxpayer burn building was converted to natural gas and an LPG Car prop was installed. The Tower building was opened with natural gas burning props over the years an extension of the original Tower building was added. With the addition of specially designed movable interior partitions, the layout can be changed annually. Power Jam doors were added to enhance training. Then a new Class A burn building came online. This building, approximately 5,000 square feet, with a front porch, attached two-car garage, basement, and attic. This building reflects the type of homes most commonly constructed in Suffolk County today. The old Class A building is being used for New Recruit training and Firefighter Survival courses. A wood frame, two-story building was constructed by Academy Instructors to demonstrate different construction characteristics and is used for Rapid Intervention Team hands on training. A cellar window prop and another forcible entry door for the Advance Forcible Entry class were added.
In the year 2006 we have seen the arrival of a Flashover Simulator to the field. We added a second Flashover Simulator in 2018. These facilities enabled our instructors to further enhance the County’s firefighter’s interior firefighting skills. The construction of the Pump Test/Storage building was constructed. The new pump test facility allowed us to test pumps up to 4000 gallons per minute. With the addition of the Long Island Railroad Prop in 2019 we will begin new fire training for railroads incidents in the upcoming future.
Fire Academy classroom facilities have been updated with the latest audio-visual equipment. There are dedicated rooms for Gas emergencies, Tabletop Scenarios, Technical Rescue and HazMat courses. We have revamped some of our classes such as the Firefighter I and Firefighter II courses. These courses along with the Intro to Fire Officer, Fire Officer I, and RIT classes are college-accredited courses. We have added Marine Firefighter Classes along with Fire Service Instructor I and II classes.
Currently there is a capital improvement project to add a live burn prop to simulate “garden apartment style housing”. This will add to our facility with the ability to train in multiple residential housing fire scenarios. There has also been an upgrade to the vehicle fire prop and will be ready in the fall of 2022. One additional note is the Fire Academy did remain operational during the COVID pandemic of 2018 – 2022, this was accomplished with offering online classes to provide for the continuing education for our first responders.
We look forward to this year’s training schedule and will continue to provide the firefighting communities of Suffolk County with the best training available.