Berkeley Safety Training & Education Pathway (B-STEP)

What is a pathway?



Students are engaged in a supportive learning environment with enthusiastic, knowledgeable and passionate instructors. They are also matched with mentors from the Berkeley Fire Department who provide support and insight into creating a career in public safety.


Students are placed in fire department work experience programs, hospital clinical rotations and paramedic ambulance internships to gain the necessary hands-on experience to function as integral members of the fire and emergency medical services workforce.



The goal of B-STEP is to prepare students for jobs that exist in local fire and emergency medical providers. B-STEP partners with these providers and offers assistance to its students through the job application and testing process.

Pathway Overview

Module One: Fire Science

Berkeley High Students interested in the B-STEP program should notify their counselor and prepare to enroll in their Junior year.


This course will introduce the ideas on concepts that are essential to attaining success in emergency response and health science careers. This course will strengthen students' grasp of chemistry by creating practical opportunities to understand the chemistry involved in different types of fires and fire suppression, and increasing the amount of instructional time in that field with a course that emphasizes chemistry in a practical context and to lay a firm foundation of scientific reasoning, organization, and laboratory skills.

Students will learn the proper use of basic fire fighting equipment, methods of rescue, emergency procedures, fire department organization and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Students will prepare for career service industries by participating in mock interviews, taking the written and physical tests required of the profession.


FS-1 meets for an hour each school day and to allow students to begin the formation of a strong cohort that will be a support group through the duration of the pathway, through the Paramedic Academy.

Module Two: EMT Academy

This course is dual enrolled with Berkeley High School (BHS) and Berkeley Adult School (BAS) students. Students in the pathway program are offered primary enrollment - remaining positions are made available to outside applicants through BAS. 


The EMT-Basic program provides the student with an outline of the EMS system, introduces medical and trauma patient assessment skills, as well as teaches the anatomy and pathophysiology of common neurological, respiratory, and cardiac related emergencies. The course provides students with the skills and knowledge currently required to practice as a nationally certified emergency medical technician, and emphasizes the development of the students’ critical thinking skills in the recognition of signs and symptoms of illnesses and injuries and proper procedures of basic emergency medical care.


Next EMT Academy Starting in August 2016

Module Three: Paramedic Academy

This 18-month, 1500 hour college level course trains students to become state/nationally licensed paramedics.


Paramedics function as emergency medical responders for both private ambulance companies and for most fire departments in California. This paramedic course is specifically tailored for those individuals who strive to achieve the best education available and have a sincere desire to serve the local community as an emergency responder. The course is challenging, academically rigorous, and exceeds the industry standards for pre-hospital education.


Paramedic Academy Starting in 2017