Firefighter Program


The purpose of the Freedom House EMS Fire Academy is to provide young adults from the inner city training to become certified Firefighters. Students will prepare to take the upcoming (early 2019) Erie, PA Firefighter exam. The Erie Fire Department is expected to have a large number of openings coming up in 2019. The Fire Academy division of Freedom House EMS provides another level of education and valuable experiences for our students that will contribute to their success.

Erie, PA Fire Department Benefits 

  • Current schedule is 24 hours on, 72 hours off with 24 hour shifts
  • New hires start at $43,273. Scheduled pay increases occur at 18 and 36 months, at which time the salary is $72,121. A longevity increment will be applied to the annual base salary starting in year 5.
  • 14 paid holidays, including two personal days and the firefighters birthday.
  • Vacation time after one year of service, increasing incrementally with service.
  • All Fire personnel hired on or before the 30th of June will receive six (6) vacation days in that calendar year. All Fire personnel hired on or after the 1st of July will receive three (3) vacation days in that calendar year.
  • 22 sick leave days per year converted to 12hr block for suppressor at time of hire.
  • Medical, prescription, dental and vision coverage is provided for the employee & family with a small biweekly contribution. 
  • Life insurance is also provided with double indemnity for accidental death.
  • Any employee with twelve years of service shall be vested for pension rights.
  • 457b/40l(a) plans available.
  • Clothing & uniform allowance.

Program Cost

All training and equipment is at no cost to the student. Freedom House EMS will also provide:

  • Textbook
  • Turn-out gear
  • Uniform
  • Background checks

Program Components

Our program is a highly selective, and rigorous training program. We cover a wide range of subjects that focus on the mind first then technical skills needed to give a sense of efficacy in the world.

  • Life Coaching
  • Mentorship
  • Healing Circle
  • Academic Tutoring
  • Study Hall
  • Case Management
  • Community Service
  • Firefighter Training

Program Goals

At the completion of the program, the graduates will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to comprehend, apply, and evaluate the technical information relevant to their roles as entry-level Firefighter. To ensure technical proficiency in all skills necessary to fulfill the role of entry-level Firefighter or any other allied health career professional.
  • Personal behavior consistent with professional and employer expectations for entry-level Firefighter or other healthcare related field.

Applicant Requirements

  • Interest in a career in the fire science specifically Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
  • High School Diploma or GED (No Exceptions)
  • Over the age of 18
  • Disadvantaged or underrepresented background
  • Attend all classes, internships, and community events as required
  • Attend orientation upon acceptance to the Freedom House program
  • No more than THREE (3) absences during the program
  • Attend graduation ceremony upon completion of the program
  • Proof of a physical exam and TB test within a 12 month period
  • Current resume
  • Meet all PA Department of Health requirements.