Have you thought of becoming a firefighter but don’t know where to start? Are you already in a public service profession where specialty skills could advance your career?
DCCCD’s new Fire Protection Technology program could be the start of a rewarding new career for you — or give you valuable advancement potential if you’re already working as a peace officer or in another area of public service.
The program includes a core of technical subjects, along with academic courses such as computer applications, speech communication and business so you get a well-rounded education.
Program-specific courses include:
- Building Construction in the Fire Service
- Fire Administration
- Fire and Arson Investigation
- Fire Chemistry
- Fire Prevention Codes and Inspections
- Fire Service Hydraulics
- Firefighting Strategies and Tactics
- Firefighter Health and Safety
- Hazardous Materials
- Legal Aspects of Fire Protection
Degree and Certificate Options
The Fire Protection Technology program is offered at DCCCD’s El Centro College. Technical classes are taught at El Centro’s Bill J. Priest Campus at 1402 S. Corinth St., just south of I-30 and downtown Dallas. Academic courses are offered at its main campus in downtown Dallas on Elm Street between Lamar and Market streets.
You can earn an associate degree or two certificates in Fire Protection Technology. The certificate hours can be applied toward the associate degree:
- The Fire Protection Technology Associate in Applied Sciences degree integrates professional, technical firefighting skills related to the everyday demands of the profession. Courses are geared toward helping graduates advance into supervisory positions and include fire service organization, strategy and tactics, fire codes, and alarm and extinguishing systems. The associate degree requires 60 to 62 credit hours over four semesters.
- The Fire Science certificate prepares students to advance into supervisory or management-level positions. The certificate can be completed over three semesters with 39 to 41 credit hours.
- The Fire/Arson Investigation certificate is designed for students who are looking for a career in arson investigation or seeking certification as an arson investigator. The certificate can be completed in two semesters with 18 credit hours. (To be certified as a basic arson investigator, you must be a licensed peace officer, among other requirements; note that DCCCD offers state-certified Basic Peace Officer training courses and certification.)
How to Get Started
To get started in the Fire Protection Technology program, complete the admissions process at El Centro College. When you meet with an academic advisor, mention your interest in the Fire Protection Technology program so he or she can help you determine which courses you should take.
Our Fire Protection Technology faculty members have not only relevant academic degrees but also impressive professional experience, which makes them able to relate to the challenges you’ll face in the workplace.
You might work in small or large municipal fire departments, fire protection districts or industrial fire departments. Using skills learned in the Fire Protection Technology program, you could be eligible for jobs as:
- EMTs and paramedics
- Fire inspectors and investigators
- Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists
- First-line supervisors of firefighters and prevention workers
- Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
Projected job growth in fire protection-related fields is expected to be high through at least 2016, particularly in Texas. Jobs such as EMTs and paramedics, firefighters and first-line supervisors of fire-protection workers are expected to grow by at least 21 percent in Texas. Other related jobs also are projected to show high growth.
So if you’ve ever thought about being a firefighter, check out our program. It might be the career you’ve been waiting for.