The Associate in Science degree in Fire Science Technology is designed to allow fire service or fire protection professionals to enhance their technical competencies and prepare for career advancement. The program emphasizes scientific understanding of fire hazards and their control, effective operating procedures at fires and other emergencies, and preparation of students for leadership and managerial positions.
*Note: If a student is not currently a firefighter and would like to become one, he or she must complete a state certified Fire Academy such as the one at Ridge Career Center. The Fire Academy is a separate program from the Associate degree in Fire Science.
The Fire Science Technology Associate Degree: This degree is designed to allow fire service or fire protection professionals to enhance their technical competencies and prepare for career advancements.
The program emphasizes scientific understanding of fire hazards and their control; effective operating procedures at fires and other emergencies; and preparation of students for leadership, emergency risk management, and managerial positions.
The program is normally designed for students who have completed Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training Certifications; however there is an option available for non-certified firefighters.
Job Opportunities and Potential Salary: This degree places a strong emphasis on the individual pursuing a career in a fire department. Most modern fire departments mandate degrees in supervisory positions. Some of these positions exceed salaries of $50,000. Also, there are some opportunities for employment in risk-safety management; fire investigations; safety inspections; insurance divisions; and the State Fire Marshal’s office, which places higher emphasis on Investigation and law enforcement.
Accreditation and Program Overview:
Polk State College and all of its academic programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Students may earn 24 to 36 articulated fire credits (FFP courses) from different combinations of Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training Certifications. A group of these FFP courses comprise the Fire Officer, Inspector, and Investigator’s Certificates (http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/SFM/BFST/default.htm); these combinations can then be articulated into college credit; these are outlined in Table A or B on the reverse side.
The FFP courses that prepare students for these certificates are normally offered at any vocational fire school.
The local fire academy is at Ridge Career Center in Winter Haven; and has a longstanding working relationship with Polk State College.