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Fire service is a challenging and rewarding career. Fire technologists encounter a broad spectrum of problems and must be well versed in many subjects, as the work of fire technologist is seldom routine. An effective fire technologist continually improves the world in which we live by making it a safer place and by reducing the devastation caused by uncontrolled fire. They must recognize the need for fire prevention activities, the necessity of educating both children and adults in fire safety, and the importance of enforcing fire prevention codes.
Fire suppression is only one of a wide variety of duties performed by the firefighters. In fact, approximately 85% of all fire departments responses are to emergency medical calls. Other typical assignments may include fire prevention education, commercial and residential fire inspections, community outreach and service, post-fire salvage and cleanup, and equipment maintenance.
Many satisfying positions exist in the field of fire service, at local and state levels, and in commercial or private industry. Firefighters work in many different settings, including both urban and suburban areas, airports, chemical plants and other industrial sites, and rural areas like grasslands, agricultural locations, and forests. In addition, some firefighters work in hazardous materials units, and training is now being offered in combating the effects of bio-terrorism.
It must be recognized, however, that firefighting in general involves hazardous conditions and long, irregular hours. Although positions in the fire service are generally open to high school graduates, keen competition for positions has increased the desirability of a fire technology degree. The degree has appeared to improve an applicant's chance for full-time employment.
Fire Technology is the study of the organization and function of fire prevention and suppression techniques; fire behavior, combustible materials, extinguishing agents, hazardous and toxic material; fire protection techniques and systems; and fire command and fire management (supervision).
Imperial Valley College offers a Certificate of Achievement in Fire Technology and an Associate of Science degree. The certificate of achievement is designed to provide students with skills necessary for employment or advancement as an entry level firefighter. The Fire Technology degree program is designed for students intending to enter the fire service as a career, as well as for in-service fire personnel wishing to enhance their professional and academic expertise. Students earning an associate's degree in Fire Technology may pursue positions as a firefighter, paramedic or firefighter/EMT or may choose to continue their study in fire technology or fire service toward a bachelor's degree.
The program is designed for part-time attendance.
Note: Less than 10 completed this program in academic year 2011 - 2012.
The course load described herein is subject to change. Students should consult a counselor and appropriate materials/websites as directed to receive the most current requirements.
* Assumes CA residents. Non-Resident tuition is $200/unit and is subject to change without notice.
Some of the career opportunities listed may require additional training or completion of a four-year college/university degree. Students intending to transfer to a four-year college should consult a counselor for specific requirements.
Fire Technology courses may advance the fire fighter options in careers at the city and county Fire Stations. Some of the career opportunities listed may require additional training or completion of a four-year college/university degree. Students intending to transfer to a four-year college should consult a counselor for specific requirements.
*Standard Occupational Classification Code
OSFM Certificates dependent on courses and state exams taken
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