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Fire Science Overview

Local fire departments are looking for qualified men and women who want to devote themselves to this challenging and satisfying career. Entry level requirements are rigorous, but firefighters report a high degree of job satisfaction. A Fire Science degree from a reputable institution like Prairie State College may soon be required for those who hope to be promoted and rise through the ranks. Although firefighters can find work in a variety of business and industrial settings, most work in municipal fire departments.

Firefighters must undergo stringent physical and mental testing to compete for jobs in local departments. Upon completion of a degree in Fire Science, students will be prepared for this testing. Our Fire Science classes are approved by the Illinois Office of State Fire Marshal for state certification.

Prairie State College (PSC) offers the classes you need at a fraction of the cost you would pay anywhere else.

Fire Science Degree and Certificate Programs

Degrees / Certificates Description
Fire Science A.A.S. Degree This curriculum prepares the student for employment as a volunteer, paid-on-call part-time, or full-time municipal firefighter.
Fire Science Technology Certificate This curriculum prepares the student for employment as a volunteer, paid-on-call part-time or full-time firefighter.
Basic Firefighter Operations Certificate This program is designed for students seeking employment in fire service by preparing them for the State Firefighter II certification exam. Students receive training in areas that include fire behavior, safety, fire control, communication, hazardous materials and fire prevention. Students demonstrate basic firefighter skills such as the use of ladders, hose, ropes, and breathing apparatus in a supervised setting.

Students must complete FST 101 Introduction to Fire Science Technology with a grade of C or better, or document current affiliation with a fire department prior to admission to this program.
Advanced Firefighter Certificate This program continues the study of fire department organization, fire behavior, safety issues, and rescue techniques begun in Basic Firefighter Operations. Students with valid Basic Firefighter Operations certification prepare to sit for the State Fire Marshal Firefighter III and Rescue Awareness certificate exams.

Program Requirements: 6 credits, FST 120 Firefighter III.
Firefighter/EMT Certificate The Firefighter/EMT certificate will provide the beginning student in the emergency response occupations with fundamental skills in basic fire fighting techniques and emergency medical care. Both areas have independent certification exams that must be successfully completed to obtain employment in the field.
Degrees and Certificates

View the curriculum for each program in the current Academic Catalog. You can also access the entire catalog online. An archive of previous catalogs and addenda is also available.

Please visit Career Programs and Transfer Degrees, where you will find information describing the requirements needed to complete a degree or certificate.

Courses

A listing of course descriptions is available in the current Academic Catalog. For a listing of when courses are offered, consult the current course schedule or WebAdvisor.

Fire Officer/Operations Courses

Summer 2018 Online Courses

Class Code Cost Dates
Fire Service - Instructor II

GSFST-009-PS $150 May 29 - July 19
Register by: Aug 25

Book: Required - IFSTA - Fire and Emergency Service Instructor - 8th Edition
Online except for on on-campus demo. OSFM exam will be scheduled for same day as demo.

This course is continuation of Fire Service - Instructor I. It provides basic information on program management development, lesson plan development, instructional development, and techniques used to created evaluation instruments.

Fall 2018 On-Campus Courses

Class Code Cost Dates Location
Fire Prevention Principles

GSFST-028-PS $150 S, Su - Sept 8 - Sept 22
Register by: Aug 31

Health-Tech Bldg
North Campus, Rm 116

Book: Mandatory - IFSTA - Fire Inspection and Code Enforcement - 8th Edition
Class final is OSFM certification exam.
Fire Apparatus Engineer GSFST-006-PS $225

M, Th, S - Oct 15 - Nov 17
(Two practicals Nov. 10 and Nov 17)
Register by: Oct 5

Park Forest Fire Department
156 Indianwood Blvd.

Book: Recommended - "Fire Service Pump Operator", Principles and Practice - Jones and Bartlett
Basic Operations Firefighter GSFST-019-PS $1,310

M, Th, S - Aug 20 - Dec 14
(Orientation: Thursday, Aug 16, 7 - 9:50 p.m.)
7 - 9:50 p.m. (M, Th) 9 a.m . - 5 p.m. (S)
Register by: Aug

Main Campus
L-116

Book: Required - "Fundamentals of Fire Fighter Skills" 3rd ed., Jones and Bartlett
Instructor: R. Atwood
Requirements: Must register in person only, 18 years of age, placement into English 101, and documented affiliations with a fire department.
Hazardous Materials Operations GSFST-004-PS $150

Oct 15 - Dec 9 (Days and Time TBD)
Register by: Oct 5

Crete Township Station 1

26730 S. Stony Island

Book: Recommended - "Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations", Jones and Bartlett 3rd Edition
For more information contact Chad Vliestra.

Fall 2018 Online Courses

Class Code Cost Dates
Fire Department Management I

GSFST-010-PS $150 Oct 15 - Dec 14
Register by: Oct 5

Book: Required - "Fire and Emergency Service Company Officer," IFSTA, 5th edition
Online except for final. Class final is OSFM certification exam. Must be taken in person at PSC.

Fire Department Management III GSFST-012-PS $150 Oct 15 - Dec 14
Register by: Oct 5
Book: Required - "Fire and Emergency Service Company Officer," IFSTA, 5th edition
Online except for final. Class final is OSFM certification exam. Must be taken in person at PSC.

The Prairie State College (PSC) Fire Science program prepares students to pursue a career in the fire service through a combination of classroom learning and simulated fire situations. Courses are offered at convenient times to accommodate busy schedules.

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

Fire Science Technology This degree program prepares students for employment as a volunteer, paid-on-call part-time, or full-time municipal firefighter.

Certificates of Achievement

Fire Science Technology
Basic Firefighter Operations
Firefighter III
Firefighter/EMT

Gainful Employment Disclosure

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges with financial aid eligible programs that “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation” to disclose certain information about these programs. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who have completed the program, and other important information related to the program, please visit our website at prairiestate.edu/ge. We hope that this information is helpful in making informed choices about your education.

Admissions PSC offers open admission that encourages diversity and admits all high school graduates or the equivalent. Here’s how to start your college career at PSC: • Provide a high school diploma or GED. •Take the COMPASS Placement Test or submit a copy of ACT scores. • Meet with an advisor from Counseling and Advising to select courses. For questions, contact an academic advisor at (708) 709-3506.

PSC offers open admission that encourages diversity and admits all high school graduates or the equivalent. Here’s how to start your college career at PSC:

  • Provide a high school diploma or GED.
  • Take the COMPASS Placement Test or submit a copy of ACT scores.
  • Meet with an advisor from Counseling and Advising to select courses. For questions, contact an academic advisor at (708) 709-3506.
 Fire Officer I
Certificate of Completion  
Program Requirements    15 credits
*FST-102  Fire Prevention Principles I  3
*FST-104  Fire Tactics and Strategy I  3
*FST-212  Fire Service - Instructor I  3
*FST-207  Management I  3
*FST-208  Fire Department Management II  3
Program Total    15 credits
Fire Service Instructor
Certificate of Completion
Program Requirements Class 9 credits
*FST-212  Fire Service Instructor I  3
*FST-213 Fire Service Instructor II  3
COMM 101  Principles of Communication  3
ED 160  Technology for Teachers (recommended)  3
 Program Total    9 credits
12 credits recommended
 Fire Officer II
Certificate of Completion  
 Program Requirements   Class  18 credits
 *FST-213  Fire Service - Instructor II   3
*FST-204 Fire Tactics and Strategy II   3
 *FST-218  Fire Department Management III   3
 *FST-219  Fire Department Management IV   3
 BUS 105   Human Relations   3
 BUS 109    Principles of Supervision  3
 Program Total     18 credits
Fire Science Technology (A.A.S. Degree)
This curriculum prepares the student for employment as a volunteer, paid-on-call part-time, or full-time municipal firefighter.
I. General Education Core Requirements  19 credits
 Area A: Communication    6
 ENG 101   Composition I - with a grade of C or better   3
 COMM 101   Principles of Communication   3
 Area B: Humanities and Fine Arts
Select one course from Area B
 3
Area C: Mathematics
Select one course from:  
 3
 MATH 112  General Education Mathematics  3
 MATH 115   General Education Statistics   3
Area D: Physical and Life Sciences 
Select one course from:
 4
 BIOL 100   General Education Biology   4
 BIOL 112   Organismal Biology   4
 CHEM 105   Survey of General Chemistry   4
 PHYSC 111   Physical Science   4
 PHYSC 112  Earth Science  4
 PHYSI 101    Conceptual Physics  4
 Area E: Social and Behavioral Sciences   3
 PSYCH 101   Introduction to Psychology required   3
 I. Program Requirements    37 credits
 BUS 127    Business Communications  3
 FST 101   Introduction to Fire Science Technology   3 
 FST 102  Fire Prevention Principles I   3
 FST 104  Fire Tactics and Strategy I   3
 FST 105  Construction and Fire Systems   3
 FST 106  Hazardous Materials Operations   3
 FST 119  Basic Firefighter Operations   7
 FST 202   Vehicle and Machinery Operations   3
 FST 204  Fire Tactics and Strategy II   3
 FST 210   Fire Apparatus Engineer  3
 FST 212  Fire Service - Instructor I   3
III. Electives  credits
Select 6 credits from:
6
 EMS 101   Emergency Medical Technician  7
FST 121  Introduction to Homeland Security   3
 FST 201   Arson Investigation   3
 FST 205   Hazardous Materials Technician A  3
 FST 207  Fire Department Management I   3
 FST 208 Fire Department Management II   3
 FST 209  Fire Prevention Principles II   3
 FST 213    Fire Service - Instructor II  3
 FST 218   Fire Department Management III   3
 FST 219   Fire Department Management IV   3
 FRESP 101  First Responder  3
 PHOTO 171   Intro. to Black and White Photography   3
 Program Total   62 credits 
Fire Science Technology (Certificate)
This curriculum prepares the student for employment while updating skills and industry knowledge.
 Program Requirements  Class  24 credits
FST 101   Introduction to Fire Technology  3 
FST 102   Fire Prevention Principles I 3
FST 104   Fire Tactics & Strategy I
FST 105   Construction & Fire Systems
FST 207   Fire Department Management I
FST 208   Fire Department Management II
FST 210   Fire Apparatus Engineer
 FST 212  Fire Service - Instructor I
 Program Total    24 credits
Basic Firefighter Operations (Certificate)
This program is designed for students seeking employment in fire service by preparing them for the State Basic Firefighter Operations certification exam. Students receive training in areas that include fire behavior, safety, fire control, communication, hazardous materials, and fire prevention. Students demonstrate basic firefighter skills such as the use of ladders, hose, ropes, and breathing apparatus in a supervised setting. Students must document current affiliation with a fire department prior to admission to this program.
 Program Requirements  Class 7 credits 
 FST 119  Basic Firefighter Operation   7
  Program Total    7 credits
Firefighter/EMT (Certificate)
The Firefighter/EMT certificate will provide the beginning student in the emergency response occupations with fundamental skills in basic fire fighting techniques and emergency medical care. Both areas have independent certification exams that must be successfully completed to obtain employment in the field.
 Program Requirements  Class 14 credits 
 FST 101 Emergency Medical Technician 
 FST 119 Basic Firefighter Operation 
 Program Total    14 credits 
Firefighter III  (Certificate)
This program continues the study of fire department organization, fire behavior, safety issues, and rescue techniques begun in Basic Firefighter Operations. Students with valid Basic Firefighter Operations certification
prepare to sit for the State Fire Marshal Firefighter III and Rescue Awareness certificate exams.
 Program Requirements Class   6 credits
 FST 120  Firefighter III  6 
Program Total   6 credits

Contact Us

Name Phone Email
Carol Fawcett
Dean, Allied Health and Emergency Services
709-2947 cfawcett@prairiestate.edu
Chad Vliestra
Assistant Professor / Coordinator, HVAC
709-2941 cvlietstra@prairiestate.edu