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Fire Science and Leadership - A.A.S. Degree (Career)

As a partnership between Howard Community College and the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, this curriculum is designated specifically for firefighters employed by the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.

This program prepares students for a career in fire services by providing an understanding of fire causes, fire hazards, and fire behavior, emergency control and fire suppression, building and fire codes and the role they play in building construction, and organizational structure. A deep understanding of fire behavior and combustion is provided with a focus on firefighter safety and survival. 

The curriculum is a partnership between Howard Community College and the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services and is designated specifically for firefighters who volunteer in or are employed by the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services. The program has also been designed to offer degree opportunities to firefighters in jurisdictions other than Howard County and to students with no fire service experience who are interested in an affiliation with the fire service.

Students will complete 20 credits of required general education courses at Howard Community College and 40 credits of fire and rescue science courses in the firefighters program administered by the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services or other Accredited Fire Service Educational Institution in accordance with the National Fire Protection Agency Standards and the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications.

This program prepares students for a career in fire services by providing an understanding of fire causes, fire hazards, and fire behavior, emergency control and fire suppression, building and fire codes and the role they play in building construction, and organizational structure.

A deep understanding of fire behavior and combustion is provided with a focus on firefighter safety and survival. The national fire problem will be analyzed for professional development with a focus on the National Fire Protection Development model.

As a graduate, you should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the components of building construction related to fire and life safety, including inspections, pre-incident planning, and emergency operations.
  2. Compare the benefits of fire protection systems in various types of structures.
  3. Demonstrate basic technical skills and knowledge of fire chemistry and physics as they apply to fire prevention, strategy, and tactics.
  4. Demonstrate an interdisciplinary perspective on the issues which face fire science professionals and local governments.
  5. Identify, explain, evaluate, and apply ethical reasoning within emergency services in a professional context.
  6. Demonstrate and use basic interpersonal, group, and public communication skills.
  7. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the field of fire science through a balance of theory and practical application.
  8. Summarize and explain the basic theories and concepts of how and why fires start, spread, and are controlled.
  9. Apply basic mathematical models to fire and fire safety.
  10. Compare the basic responsibilities of company officers including supervision, delegation, problem solving, decision making, communication, and leadership, and demonstrate the ability to perform those roles.
  11. Demonstrate an understanding of and apply the laws, rules, regulations, and codes relevant to fire prevention of the authority having jurisdiction.
  12. Understand and foster the national firefighter life safety initiatives, focusing on the need for cultural and behavioral change throughout the emergency services.
  13. Identify, examine, evaluate, and implement policies and procedures that affect the safety and health of emergency responders.
  14. Employ the basic skills and tools needed to perform effectively as a leader in the fire science environment.

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