1. #26
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    Rob,

    I assume you are looking at going to WCCC. They have a good fire science program, I know several people that have gone through it. There is a good mix of classes on command, building codes and construction, suppression systems, tactics and the usual mix of other classes. One thing you might want to try to explain to your dad is that the program isn't trying to train you to be a full time volunteer firefighter. In fact, most of the work isn't really fire suppression related. There are a lot of different career opportunities that can come out of it.

    I also suggest you look into the Fire Protection Engineering field. I believe that WCCC's program is set up to transfer to a 4 or 5 year program. The University of Maryland has a very good ABET accredited program. The accreditation is important for when you take the Professional Engineer's exam. There is a specific PE exam for Fire Protection Engineering.

    One thing that you will want to do if you go that route. WCCC used to offer both technical math and science classes and college level classes. For example, you could take Tech Math 1 and 2 or College Algebra and Calculus up through Calc 3. If you want to transfer you need to take the college level classes. They aren't really any harder anyway. I am not sure if they still do this.

    Anyway, good luck.
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  2. #27
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    Default

    The info on the math classes is good advice. If I go back for my MS in FPE, I will probably have to take 6 credits of undergrad calculus before they will accept me. DO IT NOW! I can't even spell calculus anymore.

    Just a word about the PE exam. The FPE specific PE exam is not in every state. NJ does not presently have a specific license for FPE.

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    George-

    I'm not "suggesting" that EKU and New Haven aren't accredited, I'm stating it. As far as I can read, you've proven my point. Just because there are "other forms of accreditation", doesn't mean it follows an accepted degree path in the right disciplines for an engineering/technology degree.

    Stating facts and a little college competition is hardly unprofessional. I'm a professional when I'm on the job or doing something job related. I don't get paid or compensated for stating opinions and facts so step off my nuts.

    BTW, where exactly did you gain your degree in fire protection engineering?

  4. #29
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    Default College Degrees

    More and more Chiefs are looking for educated Firefighters to lead their organizations. Some departments will pay you extra for degrees that you have obtained. Some departments will pay you to go to school. Would you rather get it out of the way now or wait until you have a job, family, children, and other things you want to do to go to school. I got my Associates degree before my career and I am now working on my Bachelors. I kinda wish I got them at the same time. There are pros and cons. However I think whatever you do you should get the degree. Your father is not in tune with what is going on unfortunatly and cannot give you proper advice.

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    Well you hit a nerve with me.

    I tried to let it go with you but you just couldn't. I guess I am just stupid and have no right in the field because I didn't go to OKU. Sorry the EKU isn't ABET certified. But that doesn't mean I know any less then you my friend. My boss is ABET and feels that I am equal to him. The problem is you are stuck on this one thing ABET. So since you know what is the difference between EKU and OKU other then ABET. I choose EKU over WPI and I could have gone there. I choose EKU becuase of the people, the program and price. I looked at OKU too back in 1996. EKU was coming up as a better school then OKU. Ok maybe we have short comings but every school does. If you want to compare some thing like campus life you need to look at cost. EKU is a very small school at least were I some from it is. Its there to Educate Kentucky Students and its original idea was for those in Eastern Kentucky a well known poverty section of Kentucky at one time.

    I have no problem with someone saying hey I LOVE my School. But to pretty much put everyone else that has a degree in Fire and Safety under you becuase they didn't go to OKU is uncalled for. And I feel since I can keep up and understand my boss who is ABET certified, complete what is given to me with out trouble. Then the school I went to did something right.

    Heck I even willing to take the ABET test see if I can do it.
    Last edited by MacInnis; 02-10-2005 at 10:44 AM.
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  6. #31
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    Default Just a clarification on UNH

    From their website (while it doesn't list fire eng., it's not fair to say they're not accredited when in fact some programs are):

    Accreditation

    The University of New Haven is a coeducational, non-sectarian, independent institution of higher learning, chartered by the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut.

    The university is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states. Membership in the association indicates that the institution has been carefully evaluated and found to meet standards agreed upon by qualified educators. The university's bachelor of science degree programs in chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, and mechanical engineering are also accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology(EAC/ABET).

    The university holds membership in the American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Academy of Criminal Justice Science, the College Entrance Examination Board and is a member of other regional and national professional organizations.

    Individual programs, departments and schools hold various forms of national professional accreditation, listed under relevant department pages.

  7. #32
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    Default My 2 cents

    Robby:

    First leave no doubt that I believe in education. If you want to get a Public Administration, Engineering or any other degree as a career track, great. Don’t think it will be the key to get into the fire service to ride big red.

    Using a screen name of Robby, you’re probably still young enough and certainly have plenty of time. But where are you going to get the most bang for your buck? We have enough chiefs. We need more Indians.

    What’s the time line? If you’re just starting college and want to get your BA, it could take you 4 maybe 5 or more years depending on when you can line up and complete all your classes and requirements. Then, if you wanted to go further the timing it to get into and academy and or paramedic school and get some street time another 2+ years? So around 7 years give or take to get in position to go after the badge. Are you going to need student loans? Do you have a special person in your life who is going to wait while you pursuit your career? How long can you tread water?

    Now if I read what you wrote correctly, you’re currently a volunteer with an EMT and your main goal in life is to become a firefighter?

    Everyone has an opinion, there are exceptions and more than one road to a badge and there are no guarantees in life which ever path you take. This might help:

    Ask yourself who is getting the badges? The vast majority of candidates we see get hired do not have advanced degrees. They're more in the line of EMT, FF1 academy, working on or have an AA or AS degree or medics. Some have no fire education or experience. Their biggest asset was they leaned how to take an interview.

    For most entry-level non medic tests degrees aren’t required. Often all you need to apply is minimum age, EMT and a drivers license.

    We do see candidates on a regular basis who went to B.S./BA route with unrelated degrees and have trouble getting hired. Yea, maybe if you got to the chiefs oral it could be a factor, but you have to get through that snoot nose rookie entrance level oral first.

    As Steve Prziborowski, Fire Captain - Santa Clara County Fire Department wrote:

    Do what you have to do be more marketable so you can take more tests and have something more to offer a department, but remember that it all comes down to that 15 to 30 minute oral interview. I've seen some awesome candidates with resumes packed full of accomplishments that couldn't sell them self in an interview to even make the top 50%.

    I’ve coached several candidates who have had B.S./BA degrees in Public Administration and Engineering areas. I believe they have been misguided by counselors that said this would be an asset to get into the fire service. What ends up happening is these candidates show up at an entry-level oral board boasting to the board with their degree. What they don’t understand is not many on the other side of the oral board table have this degree. And most of these candidates will never have a chance to use it in the fire service. Can you get hired going the education route? Sure. It happens all the time.

    An associate sent me this information from a fire officer who instructs Fire Protection and Fire Management programs at California State University Los Angeles. With the subject of wanna-bees desiring to get their BA/BS degrees confirmed what you and I already know about candidates in interviews showing up with BA/BS degrees. And that is they get either laughed out of the room or the interview panel becomes resentful and down goes the interview score! DUH!

    An oral board rater just sent me this:

    Out of the fifteen interviews that I was a panel member on, about four candidates held BS degrees. Mostly Finance and Management.

    While these candidates told us how they have always "dreamed of being a firefighter" and "helping people", when I asked them what they were doing "right now" and "what have you done" to become a firefighter, not a one of them could tell me that they had taken fire science classes.

    So, so far, my original theory of those with BA degrees expect to get handed the badge just because they have an BS degree remains right on target.

    This from a SF candidate: I'm currently on the SFFD H-2 list "4th Generation hopefully SFFD"! I'm also a volunteer firefighter/EMT. My volunteer Fire department requires Paramedic certifications for entry-level firefighters. After graduating from a four year university... I had an administration internship with my volunteer department where I wrote and designed the District's Master Plan and preformed statistical analysis for "time respond" for Fire suppression and medical calls. I also went on ride alongs with the engine, truck and even with the chief himself. I was told by the chief if I went out to get my paramedic license... I would be hired on the spot. Becoming a paramedic is not my cup of tea... it's been beaten in my head as a child "from my grandfather and father" to be a firefighter not a medic... ! All of the paid firefighters like my work ethic and all say they should let me in as a Firefighter/EMT.

    My reply: With all due respect to your family members, the playing field has changed. It must be killing you to see these guys hired and it's not you. Like it or not, understand that 75%+ of calls are medical in nature. Eighty percent of the job offerings are for fire medics. Had you gone to medic school as I encourage candidates to do, gained the valuable in service medic street time, you wouldn't be trying to fight your way into a department as an EMT. You would be wearing the H-3 badge for SFFD (I'm 3rd generation San Franciscan myself) or another department.

    John came in for a coaching session after not being able to pass any oral boards. He was one of those candidates who I think was misguided into a Public Administration Degree. During his coaching, he kept trying to come back to his degree. I finally told him, "Screw you! You want to come into my oral board and try to hammer me with a degree you may never use?" You’re applying for a snotty nose rookie position as a firefighter!" John dropped his head and said, "Maybe that’s why I can’t get through any orals."

    John ended up going to paramedic school (which he should have already done instead of the B/A degree). Although he mentioned the B/A degree in his oral board answer "What have you done to prepare for this position" he focused on his personal life and paramedic experience. He got his badge!

    I look for the shortest distance to the badge. If I were starting out and had the interest in the EMS side, I would run to paramedic school. You could accomplish the goal and you would be near home.

    Yes, you can get on without it. I have candidates all the time who get a badge without being a medic. But for the time spent and with more than 80% of job offerings being fire/medic, the odds are better.

    Before you start a dog pile and ranting, remember I started this posting out with “First leave no doubt that I believe in education.” Yes, there are always exceptions. But if you respond bring in facts and real people, not just ideas. If you’re real passionate about this also be prepared to direct us to your postings where you helped motivate, encourage and directed candidates to resources that helped them achieve their badges.
    The proof is in the badge.

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter and
    Conquer Fire Department Oral Boards

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    888-238-3959

  8. #33
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    I was disputing the fire protection program at UNH only, more specifically, the fire protection engineering degree. Everyone has an accredited civil/mechanical/chemical engineering program.

    I too looked at EKU and I found that the lab facilities and faculty were, at the time, sub-standard. My guidance counselors in high school actually persuaded me not to go there because of how it ranked among other universities and the less stringent admission policies.

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    Well I understand what you are saying. I myself feel that the faculty at EKU are some of the best. A few are fairly well known in the Arson and Fire and Explosion Community and bat least two have been teaching at Eastern for almost 30 years. The sprinkler lab we have beat many of the labs in the professional world. Yes I agree other parts were a little low. But you have to know the history of that to understand.

    Has in the admissions part. Let me try to explain a little better. Yes it is easy to get into EKU. But as a 3 year student worker for the University Archives. Trust me that was done to hlpe allow the students who hadn't recieved a good education in the past or come from a section of the state that was hit hard with poverty. EKU was started simply to help those people get a chance at school. I don't agrue that Eastern's admission is easier then others the following link unless changed will explain more.

    More about EKU:
    http://www.library.eku.edu/collectio...rn/history.php

    But I feel that students at EKU get alot then they are given credit for. 1321 should know how many internships / Co-Op's are shared between OKU and EKU. Our students are involved in FDIC, IChiefs, NAFI and much more. I left EKU with the feeling of knowledge in the field in safety and fire. Some people do how ever think we are a Engineering school. No we are a Enineering Technology school. When I looked into schools for this I didn't know the difference between Fire Science and Fire and Safety Engineering Technology. Now I do and am glad I made the choose. Its not the fact of who as this and who as that. It what you put into it and get out of it. And I feel I got alot out of EKU. It took me a while and I know several others who went else where. The professors at EKU stood behind me and pushed me to finish and I thank them. The others I know left because no one cared. Look what ever you decide you should feel good about. If you want to look at EKU I will be glad to help get in touched with the right people.
    Thanks
    DM
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  10. #35
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    Originally posted by engine1321
    George-

    I'm not "suggesting" that EKU and New Haven aren't accredited, I'm stating it. As far as I can read, you've proven my point. Just because there are "other forms of accreditation", doesn't mean it follows an accepted degree path in the right disciplines for an engineering/technology degree.

    Stating facts and a little college competition is hardly unprofessional. I'm a professional when I'm on the job or doing something job related. I don't get paid or compensated for stating opinions and facts so step off my nuts.

    BTW, where exactly did you gain your degree in fire protection engineering?
    Excuse me, junior, but where did I say that I had a degree in FPE? My degree is in Fire Science. I have stated on here a million times (you probably missed them if they didn't have computers in your HS library) that IF I HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN IW OULD HAVE GONE FPE. In addition, you can note on my post that I clearly typed
    The info on the math classes is good advice. If I go back for my MS in FPE, I will probably have to take 6 credits of undergrad calculus before they will accept me. DO IT NOW! I can't even spell calculus anymore.
    WPI is the premiere engineering school in this country, bar none, but you spoke negatively about it. U Md is probably the overall best fire-oriented programs at least east of the Miss, but you spoke negatively about it. Yuo trashed every single school but OK State. It may be good, but it is not the only one out there.

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    Feels like we're having this conversation every other week. To start off I'm currently a sophmore at Eastern Kentucky University. I work full time for the City of Richmond as a CO-OP firefighter through the University along with 15 of my fellow students.

    The first thing that stands at to me is the fact that all the talk is focusing around fire protection engineering. Eastern also offers BA programs in Fire Protection Administration and Fire Arson and Explosion Investigation. Those are two programs I know OK State doesn't have, and something I really feel sets EKU apart from the rest.

    Now I'll go into my only contact with OK State. I visited both EKU and OK state before making my decision. OK State had one of the most beautiful campuses I had ever been on hands down(Engine, we'll have to meet at Eskimo Joe's for some cheese fries to discuss this sometime:-) However my impression of the fire program was pretty discouraging. At the time of my visit the fire program's facilities were basically the upstairs portion of a fire station that felt like it was falling down around me. From what I understand you have built a new facility, but none the less thats what it was when I visited. The one thing that most turned me off was my interview with one of your faculty. He told me and I quote word for word, "If you want to be a firefighter this isn't the place for you." Now I didn't understnad how a place that sells a t-shirt with the "West Point of the Fire Service," on it would have professors saying such things.

    Now I go to my visit at EKU. A brand new fire and safety laboratory built in 1999. We JUST completed our brand new facility for conducted live burns and explosions. I would like to know just who it was that talked with you from EKU. As anyone can tell you, they're more like family than professors down here. That goes for the whole program. As far as the whole EKU not being great academically as a whole, I don't know what to tell you. If you're taking the advice of your high school guidance counselor on where to go for the best fire program than you're out of your mind. A degree in a fire fighting related field isn't like getting a degree in business where you need a name like Harvard to be taking serious. EKU, OK State, Maryland are the Ivy League schools of the fire service.

    Gotta cut it off short, gotta throw the uniform in the wash for tomm. Then its time to head out for the night.

    Later

    Check out the student website to see some of the current happenings:
    http://www.fireandsafety.eku.edu/ORG...AFST/index.htm

  12. #37
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    Where I work, almost all our new hires have some college. Many have bachelor's degrees. College doesn't hurt. Better educated persons seem to interview better. While attending college, consider applying and testing for departments.

    Mike

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    Default

    Before you start a dog pile and ranting, remember I started this posting out with “First leave no doubt that I believe in education.” Yes, there are always exceptions. But if you respond bring in facts and real people, not just ideas. If you’re real passionate about this also be prepared to direct us to your postings where you helped motivate, encourage and directed candidates to resources that helped them achieve their badges.
    Now Cap'n Bobby sets the rules, too! You mentioned one real person. The others are first name psuedonyms that don't mean a thing.

    You're a real piece of work. First the drinking thing (buy a breathalyzer, beat the system) and now a recommendation against attending college.

    You want real people, Bobby? Ya got one. Me!

    I was three years into college when I bagged it all to take a law enforcement job FT and ultimately an EMS job PT. My thinking was that I didn't need the degree and that I would get my promotions by performance. WRONG!

    I watched people promoted ahead of me who were less skilled than I was because they had degrees. It also took me about 20 years to get myself into a position to go back and finish. There was always something more pressing; family, a new case, a new house whatever.

    This is a different world today, Bobby. There are so many kids going to college that a degree is now the benchmark in most places. Your "I believe in education" line is about as credible as if I said "I believe in Cap'n Bobby's program and I recommend you buy it, but...". To receommend to a young man who is contemplating college NOT to go is the most irresponsible advice (next to buying a breathalyzer) that I have ever heard.

    "The proof is in the badge" is a bunch of BS.

    BTW, Bobby, where is your degree from? What year?

  14. #39
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    Default

    The first thing that stands at to me is the fact that all the talk is focusing around fire protection engineering. Eastern also offers BA programs in Fire Protection Administration and Fire Arson and Explosion Investigation. Those are two programs I know OK State doesn't have, and something I really feel sets EKU apart from the rest.
    UNH has these programs, too (well maybe not Explosion Investigation).

  15. #40
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    Default Which path

    He told me and I quote word for word, "If you want to be a firefighter this isn't the place for you."
    Better educated persons seem to interview better.
    Two friends, Dave and Scott were volunteers in their city. Dave had been convinced that he needed to get a degree in order to be hired. Scott told him to stay, become a medic and they would get on. Dave went off for six years, got his BA degree in business and still couldn’t get hired. Scott became a medic and was hired by his volunteer department. He now has 6 years seniority, made more than $100,000 each year with OT ($140,000 last year---that’s real money) and enjoys the good life, more toys than you could imagine and has traveled everywhere.

    Guess what? Dave finally figured out he needed to become a medic (yes, he enjoys the medic side) to get hired. He still couldn’t get hired. He had to figure something else out first.
    Dave’s dad is one of the guys I work out with at the gym with. Dave had been trying to get a fire job. He has all the usual credentials. Firefighter 1, BA degree, 3 seasons with CDF, rode ambulance yada, yada, yada.

    He has been testing for over 6 years. His dad gave him a coaching session just prior to his oral for his dream department. Dave had been practicing with a tape recorder. During the coaching session, Dave expressed his burning desire, passion, “my life won't be complete until I get a badge” compassionate longing, agonizing story.

    One problem. Dave sucked big time! Even after testing for 6 years, he wasn't ready for any oral board. His answers were garbage. This should be no surprise, because most candidates are not ready either. Bottom line most candidates don’t do enough testing to get good at it. It’s the same with many promotional assessment center candidates too. More on that here http://eatstress.com/promo.htm

    What most candidates do if they don’t place high enough on the oral is go back and try to pack on more credentials. “Oh, I have to finish my degree or get through that academy” They do little to nothing in gaining the skills for the oral board, which is usually 100% of the score. If you don’t do anything to improve your oral board skills nothing is going to change, you will never, ever see that badge. The oral board is for all the marbles. This is where the rubber meets the road.

    “Stop looking in the magnifying glass at others . . . and start looking in the mirror at your self. That’s where the problem is.”

    Coaching usually takes about an hour. Dave’s session lasted 2 hours. His closing was a dog and pony show (I wished this candidate would just end and get out of the room) pathetic mess.

    I asked Dave how he expected to get a badge when he hadn't spent the time to get ready for an oral. He said, like most candidates, (a big clue here), he thought he was. This is what most candidates think. Captain Bill Long is an oral board rater. He said you knew which candidates were really prepared. Those prepared candidates caused you to straighten up in your chair.

    The important point to realize is it doesn't take much to improve your situation and separate yourself from the clone candidates. Dave only had a couple of days to review his coaching tape and redial his approach.

    He called me the day after his interview. He sounded like he didn't step on any land mines, wasn't stumped and was able to put it together to make a real good presentation.

    A few days later, there was a message on my recorder. A guy was yelling, Captain Bob, you are the man. It was Dave. He had just received the call that he was going to the Chief’s Oral. His first in the six years he had been testing. Not only was he going to the Chief’s Oral. He was number . . . 2! They were interviewing 30 candidates for 5 jobs. How do you like those odds?

    When you are going for all the marbles, you want to make sure you’re riding the winning pony!

    As one rate worte, “There's an oral board in your future, you just don’t know when.” Do you want to be telling yourself ‘I suck’ coming out of your next oral and you will do better next time. Or, have that feeling that you knew ‘I smoked it’ and it was going to get you that badge?”

    Dave got the job. His dad pinned his badge at graduation. Lots of tears.

    Where did he get hired? The same department he volunteered for 6 years ago.

    We report. You decide.

    The proof is in the badge.

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter and
    Conquer Fire Department Oral Boards

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959

  16. #41
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    Default my school

    Originally posted by firecadet598
    Not trying to stray off topic, but what kinds of classes are associated with a fire science degree. I am taking FF1 and some wildland classes. Do they count towards a fire science degree or just a degree in firefighting.

    Take a look:
    Associate’s Degree: http://www.lssu.edu/degrees/degree.php?id=5024
    Bachelor: http://www.lssu.edu/degrees/degree.php?id=5066

    We are accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. http://www.ifsac.org/
    Last edited by ffexpCP; 02-11-2005 at 08:57 PM.

  17. #42
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    Default Re: Fire Science Degree

    Originally posted by RobbyJR307
    Ok. Im thinking about going to college (in 6 months) for a fire science degree. I'v been talking with my father and he says that if I go for this nothing will come of it. So is it worth going to college for it and also what all will I get?
    Lets cut through the testosterone and turf wars and consider Robby's original question.

    There is a huge amount of diversity in "fire science" academic programs. From community college credit for Firefighter I to graduate engineering and hard science research university PhDs.

    First, I will agree with Robby's dad that, when considering a major in college, fire science provides a poor return on investment if the goal is a career as a paid firefighter.

    As Captain Bob repeatedly points out, most fire departments do not provide preferential considerations for someone with a two-or-four year degree. If you are going to college to prepare for a career in fire-rescue, your best investment is to obtain paramedic certification.

    TWO YEAR COMMUNITY COLLEGE FIRE SCIENCE PROGRAMS

    Terminal Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees are designed for a student to complete in PREPARATION for a career in a craft or trade (hospitality, allied medical technicians, mechanic, computer technician, business office skills, realtor, etc.) In general, completing an AAS in Fire Science DOES NOT increase your chances of getting hired.

    Most fire departments are still using 19th century municipal hiring practice. You are hired based on your potential (physical, mental and moral) and the recruit school will provide the needed job skills training.

    I run a fire science program with about 200 students. The majority of my students are already on-the-job and are taking classes to prepare for promotion to technician, Lieutenant or Captain.

    go to http://www.nvcc.edu/home/mward/ to see my fire science world. Spent 18 of my 25 years as a career firefighter teaching college fire science classes as part-time faculty, a total of 187 semester hours.

    FOUR YEAR FIRE SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAMS

    There are three flavors of a four year "fire science" degree.

    The most academic challenging is the Fire Protection Engineering degree that is offered at the University of Maryland (College Park) and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA). These degrees are similar to civil, mechanical or electrical engineering programs with two years of higher level math, one to two years of hard science and about twenty engineering courses.

    Completion of the program qualifies you to start working as a Engineer-In-Training (EIT) and eventually becoming certified as a Professional Engineer. Both universities offer Masters of FPE.
    http://www.wpi.edu/Pubs/Catalogs/Gra...t/fpedept.html
    http://www.fpe.umd.edu/program/proggrad.html

    One of the undergraduate degrees offered by the University of New Haven is for Fire Protection Engineering, but I am not sure if it is accredited by the appropriate engineering council. http://www.newhaven.edu/psps/firescience.html

    Many four year fire science degrees fall into the technology arena - not as academically robust as an engineering degree. Oklahoma State, Eastern Kentucky, John Jay (NYC), Arizona State Univ East are some examples.

    The third flavor is a four year non-science degree that will lead to a Bachelors in management, supervision. leadership, emergency services, you name it. For example, the completely on-line Fire Science Management (National Fire Academy Degree-at-a-Distance: offered at seven colleges/universities) is an example. Usually requires a year of english, a year of college level math, a year of science/lab and whatever other general education requirements are needed by that educational institution.

    Hope this helps.

    Mike

    Michael J. Ward, MGA, MIFireE
    Assistant Professor
    http://www.gwumc.edu/ems/ward.html

    EMS Management/Leadership - Emergency Health Services
    http://www.gwumc.edu/ems/about.html
    The George Washington University
    Washington, DC

    Fire Science Program Head
    Northern Virginia Community College
    Annandale, VA
    Last edited by MikeWard; 02-13-2005 at 01:38 PM.

  18. #43
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    I am working on getting my Fire Science degree right now and I am getting so much out of it that I will be certified in more things than many career firefighters. It is a great course and you learn more than you would ever imagine. I have learned things that I would never even dreamed would happen or have to be done. It is also very fun. Many things will come out of having the degree. Its like what was said before, that is how the working world works these days. Its almost like if you have no degree, you have no job. Its probably a good idea to take it if you are interested. I am getting Firefighter I and II and EMT-B certification, Hazmat Tech., and much more. Its really fun and for once I enjoy school. Good luck to ya.

  19. #44
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    Default Is it just a myth?

    Its like what was said before, that is how the working world works these days. Its almost like if you have no degree, you have no job.
    Really? You might have missed the posting above yours.

    Is it just a myth?

    I wanted to know why this one candidate was in the hiring process? He had no academy, no college degree, no EMT, and no experience. I thought to myself, how could this guy be in the same group as me?

    Reply: That’s the myth. Candidates believe they have to accumulate a bunch of credentials to be hired. That this alone will get them the job. The truth is it’s not what you have or don’t have but how you present those credentials. The rubber meets the road in the oral board.

    Don’t get me wrong, credentials are great, but we’ve had numerous candidates, like the one you described above with few or no fire related credentials that get hired. They realized they couldn’t compete with candidates with overwhelming credentials. So, they improved their chances by concentrating on the most important part of the process. THE ORAL BOARD!

    They converted their personal life experiences into proven oral board skills needed to get that badge! Like you, many believe that it is how the working world works these days. If you have no degree, you have no job. This baffles the other candidates. They can’t or won’t believe it can be done. Right now we have several of these candidates with seemingly no credentials, in the hiring process in major cities across the United States and Canada.

    Question from a candidate: Are you trying to tell me that a city would hire a candidate with no fire education or experience? No way!

    This from a new recruit from Anchorage:

    My name is Casey Johnson. I recently became a PROUD employee of The Anchorage Fire Department. Tomorrow night, my recruit class of 24 will graduate. In the class is a group of guys with widely varying backgrounds, many of which have nothing to do with Fire Departments at all. This goes to prove that fire departments aren't always looking for people with experience, but are more likely looking for individuals with great Firefighter characteristics.

    Response from another candidate who did it:

    There is a real simple answer to your question . . . most, if not all big city departments require almost none, if any, experience or certifications. Says so right on the job announcement. Unless they are required by the department to test, certs and experience mean squat.

    The people who get the jobs are those who can show during the oral board process that they possess the personality, willingness to learn, ability to adapt, and how all of their past life and work experiences have made them well suited for the career. These are the people who blow right by the other wannabes.

    You have to be pretty blind and ignorant not to understand why the bigger departments run their own academies . . . so they can teach the recruits “their way”. None of these departments care one bit how it was done at whatever academy you have been to before.

    Even with no fire experience and just a lowly EMT cert, I had 4 conditional job offers over a two-week period. My secret? . . . I learned how to take an interview.

    Thanks Captain Bob!!!!!! Larry

    The proof is in the badge.

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter and
    Conquer Fire Department Oral Boards

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-12-2005 at 12:49 AM.

  20. #45
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    Default

    College is more than jobs, promotions and credentials. College gives you a few things that are vital in life, no matter what your career path.

    College provides a young person an opportunity to grow up and gain independence. The opportunity to get away form home, be forced to plan yor activities in a responsible fashion, independently manage your courseload and begin to act as an adult is given to you. For may kids, this is the first time away from home and the first time they get the opporunity see if they have what it takes tp function in the adult world.

    College also expands the mind. It exposes you to diverse people and to diverse thought. It entices you to consider viewpoints and subject matter that you may not have been asked to consider before. It forces you to become a member of a community that is quite different than your old HS.

    College is also not about learning facts. College teaches you more about theory and research and criticial thinking and where to go to find that information. Completion of a college degree is a very fulfilling chapter in a person's life.

    College may also show you that you (gasp) may want to do something different than be a FF. That is why Cap'n Bobby tries so hard to dissuade you from going to college. Because he hasn't written a book yet about being a fire protection engineer or a loss control representative or an occupational/fire protection safety and health specialist or a Special Agent with BATFE-all of which require a college degree.

    If you are a college age student and you have an inkling to go to college, disregard the archaic, nonsensical advice of Cap'n Bobby and go to college. You absolutely will not regret it. Skip college now just for the moronic purpose of "getting the badge" and you may regret it for the rest of your life.

  21. #46
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    Default

    From my life experiences, I can tell you that GW has summed it up perfectly.

    I started out wanting to be an anaesthesiologist. Haha, my how things changed!

    Like he said, it's not just about the piece of paper. It's about learning from the entire experience.
    Last edited by Resq14; 02-12-2005 at 02:54 PM.
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  22. #47
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    Default Your Choice

    George I agree with the all the benefits you mentioned and more about attending college. That’s why I started off my posting with, “First leave no doubt that I believe in education.” But, is what you say going to get this young lad the J-O-B before he runs out of time, money, hope, and putting other jobs and relationships on hold?

    As Assistant Professor Michael J. Ward, MGA, MIFireE http://www.nvcc.edu/home/mward/ wrote above, “I run a fire science program with about 200 students. The majority of my students are already on-the-job and are taking classes to prepare for promotion to technician, Lieutenant or Captain.

    On another posting a candidate wrote, “As many firefighters have told me when I have asked them the same thing if you put off school now once you get hired, its ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to come back and finish . . .

    Well, everyone seems to be an expert once they’re hired. I'll start with me. I did it.

    And please don't tell Assistant Professor Michael J. Ward and those at the college and university level across the country, or the cities and agencies that are paying educational incentives this because they have numbers that show there is a healthy attendance in these courses.

    “The world is moving so fast these days that the person who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by the person doing it.”-- Harry Emerson Fosdick

    I took advantage of the educational incentive program to obtain my degree and received an additional 5% pay in the process. I was paid to go school. This 5% was included in my retirement.

    Life is full of priorities. If someone elects not to go to school once they get hired and go on different adventures and pursuits that's their choice.

    This from another fire oral board rater officer:

    . . .you can do what ever makes you happy. But what if you found out after you finished getting your four-year A/S or B/A that your dream department hired 20 people last year and they were on hard times and wouldn’t hire again until 2009?

    This is not my first Rodeo. I incorporate my experience from a 28-year fire career, three successful start-up businesses, manager of a fortune 100 company, twenty-five years of research and a 40-year marriage (29 years that were good according to my wife).

    By the way the only person that calls be bobby is my wife when she gets romantic.

    You ask about writing books? Actually, I have written four books and have started the fifth, more than 80 articles and two Special Reports, Conquer the Psychological Interview and Conquer the Promotional Interview. Two of the books, Fire Up Your Communication Skills and Eat Stress For Breakfast, have been translated and available in 22 countries including South Korea, India, Russia, Latin America and China. I’ve completed over 300 media interviews, including the Barbara Walters Show, featured in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.

    With over 4100 postings, your articulate writing skills and expertise to be able to pound out the above piece on the benefits of college, why haven’t you written a book on any of the many topics you have strong opinions about? I’m sure you have at least written and published some articles?

    It has been my passion for 30 years to assist candidates with information that will place them at the shortest distance between them and the infamous badge they are looking for. You can check out the success stories here: http://eatstress.com/New_Folder7/badgesnew.htm

    George, you seem so passionate about this topic. Instead of putting this into another one of your cute creative spins, why don’t you just direct us to your previous postings where you helped motivate, encourage and directed candidates to resources that helped them achieve their badges.

    We report, you decide.

    The proof is in the badge.

    You can find more on testing secrets in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter and
    Conquer Fire Department Oral Boards

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959

  23. #48
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    Rob,

    Something else to consider here are the budget times we have now. While many departments are hiring now, that may stop. Lots of places, on the west coast, are laying off people and browning out stations. The reason the rest are hiring is because we have so many people leaving, do to enhanced retirement benefits, as well as the large number of people hire in the early to mid 70’s.

    A lot of departments got huge incentives to hire guys coming back from Vietnam. That was 1970-75. They now have 30 years on, but were still too young to retire. With the 3%@ 50 benefit, they are leaving now. My department will loose up to 70 people by March of ’06. I don’t see us hiring many people after we fill those spots. Also the new retirement benefit makes it a better deal for the department to pay people overtime than to hire new people, because the costs they pay for us have gone up.

    I went to high school with a guy named Rob; we were both going to be firefighters. He went to Chico state and got a four-year degree in five years, and then got his firefighter and EMT cert.s. I got hired in 1988, I had my EMT,FFI, three years as a reserve firefighter, and four years on an ambulance. He had his degree and his EMT, and was in FFI and could not take that test. He did very well on the next test, in the top 20. He never got a job. After they hired my class, my department did not hire one person for seven years. Let me tell you, that is a long time to be the new guy, but at least I had a job.

    If you are planning on spending six or seven years to get: a four-year degree, FFI, EMT, and paramedics, that is great. Think about the order. If you get you fire stuff out of the way, you can work as a volunteer while you go through school. Work on an ambulance part time and during the summer. That way when you get you degree you can offer years of experience as a firefighter and EMT and also be ready to go right into medic school. Worst-case scenario, you get hired before you are through school. About 20% of my department has gotten their four-year degree while working here, and we have no educational incentive.

  24. #49
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    Please don't jump me too bad.

    But I believe Capt Bob is missing the whole point about college. You say the truth is in getting the badge. True maybe a degree can't help you get on the department. But like some others have mentioned it is the fact that many departments are moving towards officers with degrees. So you hold off a few years and go to school. YOU volunteer for those 4 years or so and you use that time to build your skills. I know guys who started out in their degree wanting to be firefighters. Got on at a volunteer station and didn't like the job one bit. Used their degree to do other fire related jobs such as arson, and safety.
    If you say getting your medic is more important, hey go get your 4 year degree in Paramedic Science. Wow you can get both at the same time. Its not the job entrance that matters is the fact of what someone wants to do in their life. Thats why I said there is a difference between Fire Science and Fire and Safety, etc.

    Everytime this topic comes up you show stories about guys getting THE BADGE with out degrees. Well like most stuff you can show and prove to anyone what you want. Lets see the stories of guys you got promoted faster, or was able to use their degree to advance themselves in the fire service. You can't just look at were you are going to be tom, you need to look at were you want to be in a year.

    I started on a volunteer department 10 years ago. Spent two years there and when i finished High school decided I wanted a college degree. Found a good school for Fire and Safety Engineering Technology. Now becuase departments are not highing much right now I am not flipping burgers at a local food place. I am a Safety Coordinator postion with a very large international company. I got something going on. If I get on the engine tom and hurt myself at least I have something I enjoy to fall back on.
    Thanks
    DM
    ___________
    "I am telling the truth, I was driving through the warehouse and the wall jumped in front of my fork lift. I honked the horn and it never listened."

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    George, something you and I finally agree on!

    What's the point of getting a badge if you can't advance because your department requires an advanced degree to promote? I know that I certainly don't want to be stuck at line firefighter my whole life.

    Bob, there are plenty of opportunities to gain firefighter and EMT-B training while attending a four year university. I earned my EMT-B and Firefighter I and soon Firefighter II here at OSU. I'm even considering starting my Paramedic while here too. Consider that arguement void. I even have a badge too, a shiny silver one that says "Firefighter" on it. It sits on my uniform at home, ready to be worn again when I get there.

    Myths, Bob, myths.

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