Firefighters on a roof

Basic Firefighter Indoctrination Training (BFIT)

Course Overview

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, together with city and county fire departments and the NC Department of Insurance is proud to announce “BFIT”: Basic Firefighter Indoctrination Training, a program designed to train and prepare students to take the Firefighter Certification Exams for the state of North Carolina. The next BFIT Fire Academy will start August 1, 2016. It will be a Day Academy running from 8:00am. to 5:00pm daily. This is a comprehensive training program that will be challenging physically, mentally and academically. Student feedback will be provided in the form of test scores and subjective evaluations collected by the instructors. Successful participants in the BFIT Academy will receive their NC Firefighter and Hazardous Materials Level I Responder certifications.


To apply for the Fire Academy, complete the following steps:

Contact us at (828) 782-2355 to request a application Packet or to be placed on our contact list. (Packets will be available November 2015).

Contact the secretary at the Woodfin Site (828) 782-2355 to leave your personal contact information and to request a packet be mailed to you. You may obtain an application packet at the AB Tech Woodfin Campus, 24 Canoe Lane Woodfin, NC. in the registrars office.

Application Packets Must Be Complete Prior To The Agility Test. Test dates will be listed in the packet.

Application to the BFIT Fire Academy is a competitive process. Applicants will be scored based on reading comprehension, physical ability. Acceptance into the academy will be based on the highest scores.

The application consists of:

       1. A physical evaluation (in packet) performed by a physician or clinic.

       2. Provide high school transcripts or GED in Application packet.

       3. Take the reading comprehension test (TABE). The TABE is offered on the Asheville campus of A-B Tech in the Hemlock Building, Monday through Thursday 8:30-11:30am, 12:00-4:30pm and from 5:00-8:30pm. It is also administered on Fridays, 8:30-12:00. Out of State applicants may consult with their local Community College to secure this test. Students must perform at a 10th grade Reading level to be accepted into the program. Students that have a College Degree and appropriate documentation may opt out of this requirement.


Application Packets Must Be Complete Prior To The Agility Test!

The physical agility test consists of:

    5. The agility tests will be held following packet review. Contact Tommy Brooks at or John Witherspoon at in A-B Tech's Fire Service Continuing Education Office, or call 828-398-7139 with questions or concerns. (Applicants must have physical exam prior to agility test.)

We are currently reviewing the Physical Testing requierments for the academy. This information will be updated following that review.

The Davis Dotson Combat Challenge, as described by a BFIT graduate:

When you hear that name, you’re about to face one of the toughest physical and mental challenges of your firefighting career. It will literally take your breath away.

A firefighter dons about 50 pounds of personal protective gear including a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus and starts by carrying almost 50 pounds of fire hose up several flights of stairs. At the top of the stairs, the firefighter drops the hose bundle and pulls up a second roll of hose at the end of a long rope. Back down the stairs, still carrying the original bundle of hose, the firefighter simulates a forcible entry by pounding a sledge hammer against a five-foot railroad tie, moving the heavy wooden beam five feet along a steel track. By this time, only a couple of minutes have passed and your strength and breath are failing, but there’s more!

The firefighter race-walks about 140 feet, picks up the nozzle of a charged (full of water) one-and-three-quarters-inch hose line and advances the hose 100 feet, opening and closing the nozzle at the end of the advance. After that, the hardest part of the challenge is staring you in the face – the dummy drag. The firefighter must drag a 185-pound mannequin (nicknamed Rescue Randy) 50 feet. Once you cross the line, you don’t know whether to throw up, pass out, or cry – but you’re finished and you just hope you’ve completed the challenge in under seven minutes – the minimum requirement for graduation. ~ Bentley Andrews