Earning a Fire Science Degree to Become Florida Firefighter
Becoming a firefighter is a great way to become involved in and serve your community, for those who wish to spend their careers helping other people and working as part of a team.
There are different levels of firefighting, from the volunteer level to the paid professional level. If your aim is the latter, earning a degree in fire science may be the best way to get started in your service career.
Entering a Fire Science Program
Before entering a fire science associate’s degree program such as the one offered here at HCI, there are several prerequisites candidates must meet. The candidates must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and clean driving record, be in good physical condition with good eyesight and have no misdemeanor or felony convictions.
Firefighters in many regions also may be required to perform emergency medical actions, so an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic certification (EMT-B) is also required in the state of Florida.
A fire science associate’s degree, in combination with certifications granted by the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, Division of State Fire Marshall and an EMT-B certification, can help candidates advance in their careers. Fire chiefs, fire inspectors, and fire prevention specialists all typically hold additional schooling, such as this fire science associate degree.
Education for firefighters
Upon completion of the combined 398 hours of training and education for a Firefighter II certification, candidates may enroll in the fire science degree program. Throughout this 60-credit program, topics covered include:
● Fire prevention best practices
● Fire codes and standards
● Firefighting tactics and strategies
● Fire investigation
Non-fire-specific coursework required includes:
● English composition
● General psychology
● American history
Here at HCI, students must also select three elective courses from the following:
● Basic ICS
● Intermediate ICS
● Ethical & Legal Issues For The Fire Service
● Fire Department Administration
● Fire Hydraulics
● Fire Apparatus & Equipment
● Fire Chemistry
● Fire Investigation & Arson
● Hazardous Materials I
● Hazardous Materials II
● Hazardous Materials III
● Latent Investigation
● Private Fire Protection Systems II
● Public Information Officer
Successful completion of the program awards students an associate of science degree.