Protective Services

Course Description:

Our instructional program focuses on three areas of learning: firefighting services, emergency medical technician training, and law enforcement. Students will apply technical knowledge and skills required to work in the public safety sector and will be expected to learn a minimum level of proficiency in all areas of the training program. Students have the ability to earn various certifications during their time in the program. The program focuses on personal safety and the relationship between the public safety agencies. Skill sets within the program include vehicle and equipment operations, application of math skills, communication skills, and pre-hospital emergency medical assessment and treatment. Students will participate in live fire exercises in a simulated residential burn building.

Skills Learned:

Some of the skills a student will learn are:

Emergency Medical Services:

The emergency medical services section of the program is designed to prepare the student to sit for the Pennsylvania Department of Health First Responder and Emergency Medical Technician certification examinations. The section covers anatomy and physiology; patient examinations and assessments; and emergency care for cardiac and respiratory problems, fracture, bleeding and shock, childbirth, psychiatric and other medical emergencies.

Law Enforcement:

The law enforcement section offers the student an overview of the criminal justice system and the police officer's role within it. The student will explore the development and structure of criminal justice and policing; the impact of the Constitution and Bill of Rights on the police officer; the Pennsylvania Crimes and Vehicle Codes; criminal behavior; corrections; investigations and evidence collection; patrol procedures; traffic control and safety; as well as arrest procedures and the use of force. This section will help to prepare the student to pursue post-secondary training and education in a criminal justice or criminology program, or to enter a municipal police officer training academy.


The firefighting section will introduce the student to engine and truck company operations. The program covers fire chemistry and behavior; prevention and inspections; apparatus; fire hose, appliances and tools; fire extinguishers; water supplies; sprinkler systems; salvage and overhaul and ventilation. Students will also be eligible to receive certifications for Essentials of Firefighting Module I, Incident Management, Structural Collapse Operations Level I and II and State of Pennsylvania Fire Academy Basic Vehicle Rescue.

Students will be enrolled in a State of Pennsylvania Essentials of Fire Fighting class and will be taught how to extinguish live fires during the Interior module of the EBM program in a Class A training structure located at the PSTC in Smithton. This courses involve hands-on training in fire and smoke conditions.

Many Academy courses involve heavy physical and mental exertion, usually while wearing protective clothing, under simulated or actual hazardous conditions. Since participation in all class activities is a requirement of graduation, students should be sure that they are in adequate physical condition to cope with the demands placed on them by such activity. Fire Academy staff reserves the right to limit or deny participation by any student when (in their opinion) his or her physical or mental state poses a safety threat to themselves or others. Students who participate in courses with practical exercises will be monitored through Rehab for their mental capacity, vital signs, and general well-being for the safety of each member and the integrity of the operation.

All protective clothing (pants, coat, helmet, gloves and footwear), personal alarm devices (PASS) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) MUST meet the requirements of NFPA Standards. Inspection of protective clothing and equipment by the Academy instructional staff will precede all training exercises. The Academy staff reserves the right to approve or reject any or all protective clothing or SCBA equipment used in training which may result in the student being excluded in practical activities.

It shall be the policy of the PSFA that persons taking part in any class whose subject matter involves the use or potential use of SAR/SCBA in any real or simulated hazardous or Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) atmosphere as defined by NIOSH and OSHA shall be clean shaven, except for the option of a well-trimmed mustache.


The rescue portion of the program deals with vehicle rescue as well as rescue with ropes and technical rescue. Covered are subjects such as vehicle stabilization, control of hazards, use of hand and power tools, extrication of patients, construction of mechanical advantage systems to haul patients from below ground, construction of A-frames, rigging of various rope systems, and construction of knots and repelling. The construction of temporary shoring systems as they apply to trench rescue and collapsed structures will also be covered in depth. Students will be given the opportunity to become eligible for certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as Basic Rescue Practices Technicians, Basic Vehicle Rescue Technicians and Special Vehicle Rescue Technicians provided students pass the practical and written portions of the state exam.

Interdisciplinary Topics:

There are many aspects of public safety that cross lines between police, fire and EMS agencies. Personal safety, radio and oral communications; disaster planning and response; stress prevention; development of ethics; incident command systems along with job seeking skills. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to become eligible for Hazardous Materials Awareness certification through the National Fire Academy.

Related Occupations and Earnings:

Related occupations include Police Officers, Firefighters and EMT Workers. Earnings range between $13-$23/hour.

Post-Secondary Opportunities:

Articulated credits can be earned toward an Associate’s Degree at Institutions such as Lackawanna College and Westmoreland County Community College.


Miss Adamson & Mr. Dortenzo – Protective Services Instructor
Phone Number – 724-925-3532 x. 1380
Office Hours: 7:15am to 7:45am
2:30pm to 2:45pm
Please leave a voicemail message outside of these times.

Suggested Prerequisites:

Industry Certifications:

Student Requirements:

Student Costs:

Text Book: