Firefighters are the public’s first line of defense against loss of life and property. They are frequently the first emergency responders on scene at accidents -- ready to treat injuries and perform vital functions. While firefighters are most often thought of as those who control and extinguish fires, much of their work focuses on prevention, providing public education programs on control and extinguishment of fires, as well as enforce laws, ordinances, rules and regulations that support a safe environment. In addition, they respond to non-fire emergencies such as terrorist activity, hazardous materials incidents, vehicle accidents, water main breaks and utility emergencies. They must be physically fit and able to deal with people in crisis. Their work environment is oftentimes stressful and dangerous and therefore the successful effective firefighter must be a critical thinker and an excellent communicator. Education in the field serves to produce a well-trained individual who is better capable of handling the emergency they're facing.
While some students earn degrees in broad subjects like Business Management or Human Services, employers are more interested in graduates from programs that teach skills that directly apply to the profession. This is especially true if you’re interested in a career in firefighting. Applicants with fire science degrees are almost certain to be hired more quickly coming out of college than their counterparts with more general degrees.
The Fire Science Technology Program at Metropolitan Community College focuses on the studies that will provide the successful graduate with the knowledge and tools to perform as a firefighter as safely and effectively as possible.
Is it for you?
If you have:
- motivation to serve,
- effective communication skills,
- physical, mental, emotional health,
- ability to exercise sound judgment,
- strong sense of responsibility,
- compassion (even when stressed),
- ability to work as team member,
- honesty and integrity,
- problem-solving skills,
- strong work ethic,
- sense of humor
firefighting may be for you!
Employment of workers in fire fighting occupations is expected to grow by 12 percent over the 2006-2016 decade, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. Most job growth will stem from volunteer fire fighting positions being converted to paid positions. The national median for salary is $45,264 (some city departments range as high as $76,000 annually).
- Jeffrey Strawn, Fire Science Program Director
- Peggy Dean, EMS Program Director
- Charlie Neumann, Adjunct Faculty
- Robb Gottsch, Adjuct Faculty
- Terry Barney, Adjunct Faculty
- Nick Gangwish, Adjunct Faculty
- Mike Davenport, Adjunct Faculty
- Brock Borhart, Adjunct Faculty
- Todd Morhead, Adjunct Faculty
- Joe Dekker, Adjunct Faculty
- Nolan Paulsen, Adjunct Faculty
- James Wisinski, Adjunct Faculty
- Earl Rudolph, Adjunct Faculty
- Sean Dean, Adjunct Faculty
- Brian Mead, Adjunct Faculty
- Kurt Theiler, Adjunct Faculty
- Toby Ingram, Adjunct Faculty
Credit Classes and Registration
Note: Students cannot register for classes until they have received an acceptance letter from the office of Health and Public Services. Once this letter has been received, students can contact Registration at 457-5231 or call Tina Pebley directly at 738-4791.