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  1. #1
    EngineCoGirl
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Fire Protection Engineers

    Just curious... Are you guyz actually Fire (Protection) Engineers? Because i'm planning on pursuing a career in this field and just like to get general information on what the job is like. Thanx!

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    ~Real heros wear SCBA, not capes~


  2. #2
    SBrooks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Forgive me if I insult anyone, it's purely intentional.

    The title 'engineer' in the fire service usually applies to the person who steers the fire engine and pulls the levers on the side.

    In different departments this person goes by different names: Driver, Chauffer, Pump Operator, Operator, MPO (Motor Pump Operator), Engineer, Technician, etc. If the driver is for an Engine company only, you can call him 'hose monkey', as in 'move over, hose monkey, squad's coming through'. This is especially effective if you're wearing SCBA and can't really hear you. We call our particular driver 'Wookiee' or 'Chewie', but its more of a nickname rather than a title. Actually, the engineer is usually outside at the engine's pump panel.

    The top dog of some fire departments is given the title of 'Chief Engineer'. I believe LAFD or LACoFD does this. Not sure though.

    In society, the title 'engineer' refers to a variety of occupations, from sanitary engineer (trash man) or custodial engineer (janitor) to operating engineers (licensed boiler men) and building engineers (licensed)
    When you refer to Fire Protection Engineers, you are referring to a class of people who may be licensed by the National Society of Professional Engineers. Your Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, Civil, Industrial, Computer, Aerospace, Ocean, Agricultural, and of course Fire Protection Engineers, among others are in this group. These are people with pocket protectors and tape on their glasses. They also tend to wear ties with short sleeve shirts. I believe Dilbert is a Computer Engineer. You can look up more info at the www.nspe.org web site, but all of these engineers require the successful completion of a four year undergrade engineering program, accredited by ABET. After graduation they have to take a couple of tests and work as an engineer for a few years and then take another test. After all this they can use the title of Professional Engineer.

    As far as FPEs go, the ones I know spend the majority of their time designing, reviewing, or approving sprinkler systems. They also do life hazard analyses, deal with means of egress issues, etc. You can find out more by looking around on the web. University of Maryland and I believe Oklahoma State have FPE programs.

    As for me, I hold a BS degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic and State University (VA Tech), and currently work as a Safety, Health, and Environmental Consultant for an international consulting firm. (Beware of titles, they can be decieving) I volunteer for a suburban fire dept.

    As for you, If you wan't to be an engineer, you'll probably have to study a lot. Most colleges require you to be a General Engineering student as a freshman, before you choose a specialty such as FPE, ME, or IE. Personally, I recommend Electrical, Computer, Wireless, Software, etc. type degrees...they'll be in hot demand for a while, and with such a degree you'll be much more likely to be able to write your own meal ticket. Now if what you really want to do is ride the red trucks, and you still want to go to college, go as an undecided student, figure out what classes you feel like taking, and major in that. Become a Paramedic if you can. Majors such as Public Health, Public Administration, Business, Management, etc. may help you get hired, but more than likely, if a Dept. gives any preference for education, they won't discriminated between degrees. The above degrees will help you advance after you're hired. Also, for fire jobs, apply to a lot, because there's almost always several hundred applicants for each position.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    EngineCoGirl
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Geeze! I didn't expect a small novel But..i didn't exactly know what type of "engineer" this message forum was for, that's why i asked. And, i'm going to college in the fall for fire science, at least i'll have that. And i plan on going for FPE after that. Oh..and i'm gonna become and investigator in the middle of all that. I'm still in my good ole volunteer department, so as far as positions go, i'm kool

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    ~Real heros wear SCBA, not capes~

  4. #4
    EngineCoGirl
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    P.S.

    ....at the top of my screen, for these message boards. I see that it says "fire protection engineers"

    ------------------
    ~Real heros wear SCBA, not capes~

  5. #5
    engr2869
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default


    hey enginecogirl....
    i am an engineer on my fire department.
    and i also have a bachelors degree in fire protection engineering. where are you planning on going to school for your degree? i went to OSU. let me know if i can be of any assistance.

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    Chris Grande
    Engineer/Paramedic
    Village of Posen Fire Department
    Posen, Illinois

  6. #6
    Chops
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    EngCo,
    As described above FPE's are not really involved directly with the fire service. Some do work for depts., but as inspectors, plans reviews, etc.
    Be careful picking your school. To this date, I believe U of Maryland offers the only BS in FPE that is ABET accredited. That means it is reconized throughout the USA. Other schools have programs but you can't get all the fancy letters after your name to be important (PE, for example).
    I'm currently attending UofMD FPE program. Feel free to e-mail me if you want more info. By the way, most depts. in the area (incl. the one I belong to) offer a "live-in" program for students attending school in trade for vol. FF/EMS skiils. It really helps out on the wallet/pocketbook.

    Dan Nichols
    dan.nichols@hvfd.com
    http://www.hvfd.com

  7. #7
    SBrooks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default


    Yeah, but you want to be careful where you live...


    Sean Brooks
    Berwyn Heights V.F.D.

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