Why 

Oakdale ?

About Us

Our owner and Lead Instructor, John F. Smith, MBA (retired) is a 35 year veteran of the California fire service and has held the rank of Firefighter through Battalion Chief. His experience ranges from engine and truck company operations in large city departments to rural/metro fire districts with target hazards ranging from heavy industrial to wildland/I-Zone. John also served as a Fire Inspector and Fire Investigator. During his 35 year career, John has responded to many large scale incidents including; The Oakland Hills Fire, the Loma Prieta Earthquake, as well as numerous strike teams statewide for wildland fires.

John is a registered California State Fire Instructor, Certified Fire Officer, Hazardous Materials Specialist, Swiftwater/Flood Rescue & Motorized Rescue Boat Instructor, and Emergency Medical Technician. He also served as the Stanislaus County Haz-Mat Team Leader and filled the role of Division/Group Supervisor on hazardous materials incidents.  Additionally, John co-authored the Stanislaus County
Multi-Agency/Multi-Jurisdictional Response Plan for Swift Water/Flood Rescue.

As President of IAFF Local 3399 he worked with all labor groups and administrations of the Modesto Fire Department, Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, Salida Fire Protection District and the Stanislaus County Fire Wardens Office in the alignment of all contractual issues in the potential merging of those agencies.
John holds an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science, a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science/Management and graduated Summa cum laude with an MBA in Public Administration.  Additionally, Captain Smith is a graduate of the FEMA Professional Development Series for Emergency Managers and the Department of Justice Weapons of Mass Destruction School for Incident Commanders at Fort McClellan in Anniston, AL.

He is also a Public Safety Ambassador for Columbia Southern University and can assist you with attaining your higher educational goals, Associates, Bachelors or Masters Degrees.



Fire Instruction

Superior Continuing Education for California's Emergency Service Providers
Learning Partner Tuition
Discount Program


Learning Partner Tuition Discount Program Benefits include:

​10% Tuition Discount
Exclusive Scholarship Opportunities Spouses and children of partner organizations are also eligible for these benefits.

Textbooks are included at no cost for all CSU students through the CSU Book Grant / Loan-a-Book Programs.

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