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Fire science deals with the science and techniques of firefighting. Fire science degree programs offer essential training in fire behavior, fire prevention, fire management and fire extinguishing. Fire science degree courses include information about building plan reading, safety and salvage procedures, arson investigation, terrorism incident management, natural disaster relief, public fire safety and education, and hazardous materials control.
This knowledge is crucial for firefighters for protecting lives and property. A good educational background can also help develop other required qualities like personal initiative, leadership skills, teamwork ability, critical thinking and mechanical aptitude. Many fire service companies prefer candidates with a fire science bachelor degree over those with just a high school diploma.
The first step towards getting a fire science degree would be to research different fire science careers. Find out the knowledge requirements for each. This will be helpful in determining the type of study courses to pursue.
Research different colleges offering fire science degree programs. Check whether the colleges have national or regional accreditation. Get information about location, fee structures, the fire science degrees offered, college reputation, teaching standards and record of student job placements.
Some colleges offer both regular and online fire science degree programs. Decide whether to attend full-time, part-time or to study online. Decide whether to study for an associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral or certificate program. Find out what courses are offered in each and what the prerequisites are for admission.
Research and get information about grants and scholarships. Make a list of selected fire science degree colleges and their requirements. Prepare and send the college applications.
Studying for a fire science degree requires a lot of work. Be sure there is sufficient time for study. In addition to a degree in fire science, consider taking courses in business administration, management and communication. These are required for high level jobs in fire service management and administration.
Courses in engineering and chemistry are helpful for some specialist positions, such as fire prevention specialists in the construction industry. It might help to acquire a Paramedic or a Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-Basic) certification. Many fire service companies require this as firefighters often have to administer medical aid in emergencies.
Stay in good shape. Given the arduous and often dangerous nature of the work, firefighters must be physically strong, mentally alert and have good stamina. Firefighter applicants have to pass a physical exam as well as a written one and an interview before they are selected for the job. Once hired, they may undergo extensive job-related training.
A lot of schools are now offering online degrees in fire science and fire service. While you don't need a degree to become a firefighter, an associates, bachelors or masters is usually necessary for career advancement.
Schools include Anna Maria College and Lewis University.
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