Fire Protection Technology
Every year, fires and other emergencies take thousands of lives and destroy property worth billions of dollars. Fire fighters help protect the public against these dangers by responding to fires and a variety of other emergencies. In addition to putting out fires, they are frequently the first emergency personnel at the scene of a traffic accident or medical emergency and may be called upon to treat injuries or perform other vital functions.
CTC's Fire Protection Technology degree program is offered to the individuals seeking professional recognition, knowledge, and skills in the pursuit of their career as firefighters. Today's professional fire science practitioner must be able to analyze and ethically solve complex issues involving firefighting, dealing with hazardous materials, management, budgeting, administration, and health and safety.
General program course work provides a basic knowledge of the organization and functions of firefighting agencies, while specialized courses provide specific knowledge and skills required to serve and be promoted within an organization. In addition, students study English, mathematics, sociology, American Government, speech, humanities/fine arts, computer technology and physical education. Students seeking a degree are required to complete 36 credit hours of fire protection studies and 32 credit hours of academic courses.
Evaluative credit toward this degree may be awarded if a student has completed a state fire academy or corrections academy and has worked for one year as a firefighter; through equivalent military or civilian work experience; or through evaluation of College-Level Entrance Program (CLEP) scores and college entrance scores (ACT/SAT).
Completion of community college courses, or in some cases, an associate degree, in fire science may improve an applicant’s chances for a job. In recent years, an increasing proportion of new fire fighters have had some education after high school.
- Fire fighters work in a variety of settings, including metropolitan areas, rural areas with grassland and forests, airports, chemical plants and other industrial sites. They have also assumed a range of responsibilities, including emergency medical services.
- In addition, some fire fighters work in hazardous materials units that are specially trained for the control, prevention, and cleanup of hazardous materials.
- Workers specializing in forest fires utilize different methods and equipment than other fire fighters. In national forests and parks, forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists spot fires from watchtowers and report them. When fires break out, crews of fire fighters are brought in to suppress the blaze with heavy equipment and water hoses.
- Most fire departments have a fire prevention division, usually headed by a fire marshal and staffed by fire inspectors. Workers in this division conduct inspections of structures to prevent fires by ensuring compliance with fire codes. These inspectors also work with developers and planners to check and approve plans for new buildings and inspect buildings under construction.
- Some fire fighters become fire investigators, who determine the causes of fires. They collect evidence, interview witnesses, and prepare reports on fires in cases where the cause may be arson or criminal negligence. They often are asked to testify in court. In some cities, these investigators work in hazardous materials units that are specially trained for the control, prevention and cleanup of hazardous materials.
Employment of fire fighters is expected to grow by 19 percent over the 2008–18 decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Prospective fire fighters are expected to face keen competition for available job openings. The number of qualified applicants in most areas far exceeds the number of job openings, even though the written examination and physical requirements eliminate many applicants. Applicants with the best chances are those who are physically fit and score the highest on physical conditioning and mechanical aptitude exams. Those who have completed some fire fighter education at a community college and have EMT or paramedic certification will have an additional advantage.
- Most job growth will stem from volunteer fire fighting positions being converted to paid positions.
- In recent years, it has become more difficult for volunteer fire departments to recruit and retain volunteers. This may be the result of the considerable amount of training and time commitment required.
- Furthermore, a trend towards more people living in and around cities has increased the demand for fire fighters.
- When areas develop and become more densely populated, emergencies and fires affect more buildings and more people and therefore require more fire fighters.
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, www.bls.gov
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Fire Protection Technology Course Descriptions
Click on Download Syllabus to see the complete syllabus. Click on Schedule Locations to see what Central Texas College Europe locations are offering this course for this term and the next few terms.
Overview to fire protection, career opportunities in fire protection and related fields, philosophy and history of fire protection/service, fire loss analysis, organization and function of public and private fire protection services, fire departments as part of local governments, laws and regulations affecting the fire service, fire service nomenclature, specific fire protection functions, and basic fire chemistry and physics. Includes introduction to fire protection systems and introduction to fire strategy and tactics.
In-depth study of basic fire and arson investigation practices. Emphasis on fire behavior principles related to fire cause and origin determination.
Study of local building and fire prevention codes. Emphasis on fire prevention inspections, practices, and procedures.
Introduction to the organization and management of a fire department and the relationship of government agencies to the fire service. Emphasis on fire service leadership from the perspective of the company officer.
Principles of the use of water in fire protection. Includes application of hydraulic principles to analyze and solve water supply problems. Not offered in Texas.
Study of the chemical characteristics and behavior of various materials. Topics include storage, transportation, handling hazardous emergency situations, and the most effective methods of hazard mitigation.
Study of firefighter occupational safety and health in emergency and non-emergency situations.
Examination of building codes and requirements, construction types, and building materials. Topics include walls, floorings, foundations, and various roof types and the associated dangers of each. Not offered in Texas.
Introduction to the chemical nature and properties of inorganic compounds as related to the fire service. Topics include fundamental laws of chemistry, states of matter, gas laws, chemical bonding, and thermodynamics with applications to various industrial processes. Not offered in Texas.
Design and operation of fire detection and alarm systems, heat and smoke control systems, special protection and sprinkler systems, water supply for fire protection, and portable fire extinguishers.
In-depth study of mitigation practices and techniques to effectively control hazardous material spills and leaks. Not offered in Texas.
Study of industrial emergency response teams and specific concerns related to business and industrial facilities. Not offered in Texas.
In-depth study of fire service management as pertaining to budgetary re- quirements, administration, organization of divisions within the fire service, and relationships between the fire service and outside agencies. Not offered in Texas.
Analysis of the nature of fire problems and selection of initial strategies and tactics including an in-depth study of efficient and effective use of manpower and equipment to mitigate the emergency.
Chemical compounds related to the fire service. Includes effective selection of extinguishing agents and method of application. Not offered in Texas.
Continuation of Firefighting Strategies and Tactics I. Emphasis on use of incident command in large scale command problems and other specialized fire problems.