Fire Service Education Technical Standards

Purpose Statement

All students in the Fire Service Education program are expected to meet certain technical standards which are essential for the successful completion of all phases of the program, and which reflect industry requirements and standards. To verify the student’s ability to perform these essential functions, students may be required to demonstrate the technical standards below.

Meeting these technical standards does not guarantee employment in this field upon graduation. The ability to meet the program’s technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for any certification exams or successful completion of the program.


Technical StandardDefinition of StandardsExamples
Critical Thinking/Problem-Solving SkillsAbilities are sufficient for classroom, lab, and work in industry situations.
  • Receive, interpret, and correctly complete assignments (e.g.: reading, research, writing, and presentations).
  • Receive critical information and quickly synthesize a plan of action.
Interpersonal SkillsAbilities are sufficient to interact with individuals and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
  • Establish rapport with teammates and others participating in projects.
  • Respect and care for others whose appearance, condition, beliefs, and values may conflict with your own.
  • Demonstrate sufficient emotional health to perform under stress, exercise good judgment and promptly complete all academic and work-based learning responsibilities.
Communication SkillsAbilities are sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form.
  • Speak and write clearly and distinctly in interacting with team members and instructors and preparing documents and written tests.
  • Provide and follow directions from other members of the class or instructors.
  • Demonstrate active listening skills.
Coping SkillsAbility to maintain a state of harmony.
  • Solves personal and interpersonal problems.
  • Minimizes stress and conflict.
  • Balances internal needs and external demands.
  • Function and perform to standards in a simulated or actual rapidly changing, high-stress, dangerous environment.
  • Develop skills to become comfortable working in confined spaces and in constrictive clothing and masks.
  • Avoid the use of substances as a coping strategy.
  • Ask for help with stress before reaching personal limitations.
Mobility/Motor SkillsPhysical abilities are sufficient to move in one’s environment with ease and without restriction.
  • Most courses require motor skills (including but not limited to lifting and moving heavy ladders, pulling and lifting heavy fire hoses, and climbing stairs and ladders while carrying heavy equipment) to participate in demonstrations and skill instruction or observe activities.
  • Perform to standards in a physically demanding environment using firefighting equipment weighing 100 lbs. and dragging 165 lbs.
Auditory SkillsAuditory abilities are sufficient to work effectively and safely.
  • Discern instructors and team direction in a classroom, and outdoor, harsh, dynamic lab environment.
  • Understand spoken words over a two-way radio and public address systems.
  • Detect audible emergency signals in a loud environment.
  • Review videos in the classroom, online, and lab environment.
Visual SkillsVisual ability is sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in the classroom, lab, and other locations on the campus.
  • Discern visual information provided in the classroom and in harsh and rapidly changing firefighting lab environment.
Tactile SkillsSense of touch and feel.
  • Discern various levels of heat in the surrounding environment, particularly when heat is rising to dangerous levels.
  • Detect movement and resistance when operating equipment.
EnvironmentalAbility to tolerate environmental stressors.
  • Practice standard safety precautions.
  • Perform to standards in all varieties of environments, including but not limited to outdoor, cold, hot, dark, dangerous, loud, heights, confined, and wet.
Emotional/BehavioralEmotional stability is sufficient to maintain composure in stressful situations and assume responsibility/accountability for actions.
  • Adapt rapidly to changing environments and/or stress.
  • Calmly receive feedback and interact with others.
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity beyond reproach.
  • Demonstrate high levels of personal responsibility and accountability.


In the case of an otherwise qualified individual with a documented disability, appropriate and reasonable accommodations will be made unless doing so would fundamentally alter the essential training elements, cause undue hardship, or produce a direct threat to the safety of the patient or student.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is invested in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Support Services is part of Student Services and is located in the K. Ray Bailey Student Services Center. For detailed information or to request accommodations visit Support Services. An appointment is recommended prior to enrollment in order to discuss any special concerns.