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Fire science is the area of study that firefighters pursue prior to entering a fire department. Though many regions require only a high school education, higher levels of education in this field allow for diversification in job opportunities within a given department. Firefighters are responsible for putting out fires and rescuing individuals that may be contained in buildings or locations that are dangerous and possibly deadly at great personal risk.
Education and Schools
Individuals typically receive an education in fire science through schools that offer it as a postsecondary certificate or degree. Some schools offer bachelor level education, though this is comparatively rare. Individuals will learn about fire, specifically how fires are started, what types of fires may be encountered, how to combat such fires, how to handle fires in different settings, and other important information. Individuals armed with this education are able to apply to the fire department, and assuming physical standards are met, will begin their career.
A curriculum may include:
- Fire Prevention
- Strategy and Tactics
- Hazardous Materials
- Fire Protection Hydraulics
Individuals will generally seek out school or community colleges that offer a fire science program. Individuals should ensure that the education offered is current and relevant. Connection to local fire departments is also a plus, as it ensures that it meets the standards set forth by the specific department or area. Schools may also have additional resources, that allow for practical experimentation, and if so should also factor into a final decision.
Individuals who complete their education in fire science will continue their physical training through the fire department. Fire departments require individuals to meet both physical and mental conditions in order to qualify. Once accepted, firefighters go through a probationary period, followed by permanent assignment to a house, particularly in larger cities where many houses are required to provide coverage. Job growth should remain steady as the potential for fires to break out is a constant.