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Fire Science and Safety

A group of Firefighters training by putting on equipment and ensuring the hose works

Department: Emergency Services

Program Type: Fire Science and Public Safety

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ECC's emergency services training programs are designed to teach the fundamentals of several emergency services disciplines. ECC courses provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities to prepare for a fire service career.

If you are already working in Emergency Services as a firefighter and EMT, you can enroll at ECC to update your skills and continue your education. All training at ECC complies with local, state, and national certifying agencies, leading graduates toward job-ready certifications.

Program Accreditation

Our program is approved by the Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM), and completion qualifies students for the State Fire Marshal Certification Tests for Fire Service Vehicle Operator and Technical Rescue Awareness.

Enrolling in ECC's Firefighter Academy (Basic Operations Firefighter Program)

Sponsorship by a fire department is optional and no longer required. Enrolling in this program at the ECC Center for Emergency Services in Burlington, Illinois, is the first step. Choose from the Spring or Fall semester. In the same semester, You'll complete all five courses (Basic Operations Firefighter Module A, B, and C, plus Vehicle Operator/Rescue Awareness and Hazardous Materials Chemistry) to complete the Basic Operations Firefighter program and work toward OSFM certification.

Program Admissions

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The future career outlook for Fire Science is generally positive, with employment opportunities expected to grow in the coming years. As populations grow and cities expand, the demand for trained firefighters and emergency responders will likely increase. Additionally, changes in fire safety regulations and technological advancements may create new opportunities within the field.

Some specific areas of growth within Fire Science may include roles in fire prevention and investigation, as well as emergency management and response. With an increased focus on preparedness and risk mitigation, these fields are expected to expand and require specialized skills and knowledge.

Overall, a career in Fire Science can offer a range of opportunities for those interested in public service, community safety, and emergency response. However, it is important to note that competition for jobs in this field can be fierce, and candidates may need to meet strict physical and educational requirements to qualify for specific roles.

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the fire science and safety plan of study and course descriptions.

Associate of Applied Science

What does a basic operations firefighter do?

A basic operations firefighter is an entry-level firefighter responsible for providing the public with firefighting, fire-prevention training, and emergency services. They are trained to operate equipment and tools to extinguish fires, rescue people from dangerous situations, and respond to various emergency service calls, such as medical emergencies and natural disasters.

They also assist with other emergency services by securing scenes and controlling crowds. Emergency services are a vital part of their duties, and they work closely with other emergency services to ensure the safety and well-being of the public. In summary, a basic operations firefighter is a first responder who performs a wide range of duties related to firefighting and emergency services, working to provide assistance and ensure public safety.

What do firefighters do?

Firefighters are responsible for responding to emergency calls and providing firefighting and emergency services. They are trained to extinguish fires, rescue people from dangerous situations, and respond to various emergency service calls, such as medical emergencies, search-and-rescue situations, and natural disasters. 

A critical part of the team, firefighters work closely with other emergency services, including police and ambulance crews, to ensure the safety and well-being of the public. In summary, a career as a firefighter means you'll be working to provide emergency services, respond to various 911 situations, and keep people safe in their communities.

Are all firefighters paramedics?

Not all firefighters are paramedics, but many are trained as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics. Firefighters may be required to perform essential life support (BLS) or advanced life support (ALS) services in addition to their firefighting duties. While many firefighters have medical training as EMTs or paramedics, it is not a requirement for all firefighters.

Paramedic education at Elgin Community College is part of the emergency services training program. It includes the study of their role, medical/legal considerations, ethics, EMS Systems, personal wellness, injury prevention, general patient assessment, communications, documentation, assessment-based management, and life span development. EMTs and paramedics Courses emphasize hands-on, practical applications to help prepare for employment with ambulance service companies, local governments, and hospitals. Some also work as volunteers with local fire departments, but many are career firefighters.

Is being a firefighter a promising career?

Firefighters are in demand in many parts of the world, as firefighting and emergency services are essential for public safety. Various factors, including population growth, the frequency of natural disasters, and changes in fire safety regulations, influence the demand for firefighters. Firefighting and emergency services remain a critical part of society, and the demand for firefighters will likely continue to grow as communities continue to grow and face new challenges.

Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 4 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Firefighters.

Student Stories

Jeanette started with the EMT program and fell in love with fire science, giving her a lifelong career path.

Learn more about Fire Science at ECC!

With an Emergency Services degree or certification from Elgin Community College, you can change—and save—lives.

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