Nature of Work
Every year, fires and other emergencies take thousands of lives and destroy property worth billions of dollars. Members of the fire service help protect the public against these dangers by responding to fires and a variety of other emergencies. Although they confine, control, and extinguish fires, firefighters more frequently respond to other emergencies. They are often 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.
During duty hours, firefighters must be prepared to respond immediately to a fire or other emergency. Fighting fires is complex and dangerous and requires organization and teamwork. At every emergency scene, firefighters perform specific duties assigned by a superior officer. At fires, they connect hose lines to hydrants and operate pumps to send water to high-pressure hoses. Some carry hoses, climb ladders, and enter burning buildings — using systematic and careful procedures — to put out fires. At times, they may need to use tools to make their way through doors, walls, and debris, sometimes with the aid of information about a building’s floor plan.
Some find and rescue occupants who are unable to leave the building safely without assistance. They may also provide emergency medical attention, ventilate smoke-filled areas, and attempt to salvage the contents of buildings. Firefighters’ duties may change several times while the company is in action. Sometimes they remain at the site of a disaster for days at a time rescuing trapped survivors and assisting with medical treatment.
Firefighters held about 307,000 jobs in 2012. The vast majority — about 91 percent — worked for local governments. Most of the remainder worked for federal and state governments. A few worked at airports, chemical plants, and other industrial sites. These employment numbers exclude volunteer firefighters. There are approximately twice as many volunteer firefighters as there are paid firefighters. Volunteer firefighters share the same duties as paid firefighters and account for the majority of firefighters in many areas. One source indicates that about 69 percent of fire departments were staffed entirely by volunteer firefighters in 2012. Employment of firefighters is projected to grow by 7 percent from 2012 through 2022.
Credentials You Can Earn
The Higher Education Act requires all colleges and universities to notify students and prospective students of the all program costs for which they will be responsible. Students will be responsible for the following expenses:
- Nonrefundable application fee ($25)
Outside Vendor Fees Prior to Beginning FRSC Courses
- Physical Examination (Approximately $125 for the Firefighter I and Firefighter II programs)
- Personal Protective Equipment (Approximately $800 to rent for the Firefighter I and Firefighter II programs; personal/organizational gear is acceptable if it meets NFPA standards and passes inspection)
- Uniform (Approximately $100 for Firefighter I and Firefighter II programs)
- Tuition ($89 per credit hour)
- Accident Insurance Fee ($4 per term)
- Campus Supply Fee ($40 per term)
- Instruction Fee ($55 per term)
- Lab Fees ($100 for the Firefighter I and Firefighter II programs)
- Parking Fee ($20 per term)
- Campus Safety Fee ($25 per term)
- Registration Fee ($50 per term)
- Student Activity Fee ($30 per term)
- Technology Fee ($105 per term)
Throughout the Program
- Textbooks (Approximately $180 for Firefighter I and II) (Approximately $200 a semester for degree)
- Supply Fee (Varies — See course descriptions for exact amount)
These expenses are based on costs in effect at the time this catalog was published. Prices are subject to change.
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Phone: (706) 357-0162