Fire and Emergency Services Technology

Overview

Program Description

The Fire and Emergency Services Technology program at South Puget Sound Community College is an IFSAC accredited and FESHE recognized degree program and educates men and women who are seeking careers in the fire and emergency services and/or who are already employed, but wish to earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Fire and Emergency Services Technology. Students have the opportunity to obtain IFSAC Firefighter I, Hazardous Materials Awareness Certification, Hazardous Materials Operations Certification, Emergency Medical Technician and NFPA 1002 Driver/Operator during their first year and IFSAC Firefighter II Certification, and NFPA 1670 Rope Rescue Operations  during their second year. Students enrolled in the Fire and Emergency Services Technology program are accepted once a year and courses begin in the fall. This is a limited enrollment program accepting 30 new students each fall.  

Career Opportunities 

Most graduates will seek entry-level positions as firefighters, firefighter/EMTs, hazardous materials technicians or fire prevention officers. See Government, Public & Nonprofit Administration » Fire and Emergency Services Technology for more career and employment information.

Program Outcomes

At the completion of the Fire and Emergency Technology Program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing situations, determining proper actions, understanding the costs and benefits of actions, and evaluating possible alternatives and unforeseen circumstances
  • Demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills with supervisors, peers and the public in emergency and non-emergency situations
  • Apply theoretical knowledge of hydraulic principles and utilize knowledge of building construction principles, fire protection systems, and fire prevention codes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the professional and ethical responsibilities associated with the practice of fire and emergency services
  • ​Explain how cultural values, behaviors, attitudes, and economic factors affect the delivery of emergency services in large and small communities

In addition, students who complete the program will demonstrate the following skills standards specific to Fire and Emergency Services Technology:

  • Meet the certification requirements of NFPA 1001, Firefighter I
  • Meet the certification requirements of NFPA 1001, Firefighter II
  • Meet the certification requirements of NFPA Hazardous Materials Operations
  • Meet the requirements of NFPA 1002, Driver/Operator
  • Meet the requirements of NFPA 1670 Awareness Level in trench rescue, confined space, and structural collapse
  • Meet the requirements of NFPA 1670 Technician Level in rope rescue
  • Meet the requirements of NWCGS Wildland Firefighter II
  • Meet the requirements of Emergency Medical Technician – Basic

Program Requirement

Basic skills and pre-college requirements must be met prior to enrolling in the Fire and Emergency Services Program. 

In order to continue to progress through the FEST program, all core FEST and general education courses must be completed with a “C” or better.

Program Information

Length of Program: Full-time students typically complete this program in six quarters, after basic skills and/or pre-college are complete.

Additional Costs:

Estimated Costs: The following are approximate additional costs for the Fire and Emergency Services Program per year.

  • Books     $ 550.00 per year
  • Boots      $ 165.00 - $225.00

Additional Program Information

Program Update FY15-16

Program Review

Special Admissions

Admission to Fire & Emergency Services Technology Program

Admission will be offered to the first 30 applicants to complete all admission requirements.  The FEST online Orientation must be successfully completed prior to your application to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology program. Admission to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology program is a separate procedure from admission to the college (see application to college below).

Minimum Age Requirement

Because state law (WAC 296-125-030 and WAC 246-976-041) prohibits exposing anyone under the age of 18 to hazardous conditions, ie., burning buildings, exposure to highway traffic, hazardous materials, wildfire, etc., applicants to the FEST program must be 18 years of age or older upon entering the program.

Complete the Online Orientation

Applicants must successfully complete the FEST online orientation before applying to the program.

Placement Test or Waiver of Basic Skills Testing

Complete the Computerized Placement Test (CPT) and place at college level in the basic skills (English and math), or complete the equivalent courses.  The test may be waived based on previous college courses in math and English.  The CPT should be taken as early in the application process as possible.  Test scores will identify the need for courses to meet enrollment requirements.  Applicants not meeting the minimums by the end of spring quarter may not be considered for admission into the Fire and Emergency Services Technology Program.

Application to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology Program

Applications can be picked up at the college or online. Completed applications need to be returned to South Puget Sound Community College, Building 22, Office of Enrollment Services. Applications will only be accepted after successful completion of the FEST online orientation.

Undergo and Pass a Routine Criminal Background/Driver's License Check

Due to the sensitive nature and confidential aspects of the work of a firefighter, all applicants must pass a routine Criminal Background Check and Driver’s License check.  Each applicant is responsible for submitting signed consent forms and payment of the appropriate record search fees.

A derogatory return of a background check or driver’s license check will prohibit the student from response activities with the cooperating agency, McLane/Black Lake Fire Department, which will result in a failing grade.

Attend and Pass a Physical Agility Test

You will be notified of your scheduled test date. It is mandatory that you attend. You must successfully pass the physical agility class in order to be accepted into the FEST program.

Successfully Pass a Doctors Medical Examination and Drug Screening

This examination will be conducted by the fire district’s physician, on a cost-sharing basis.  The exam forms must be signed by our doctor and returned to the Program Coordinator at McLane/Black Lake Fire Department Headquarters, 125 Delphi Road, Olympia, Washington 98502.

According to McLane/Black Lake Fire Department PPG# 2447: (1.0 Policy/Section 1.1) the student and department shall maintain entry level drug testing practices in order to achieve an alcohol and drug free workplace.

Application to the College

Application to the college is necessary in addition to application to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology Program. (Please follow special application procedure).

APPLY TO SPSCC

Recruit Academy

Applicants will be required to attend and complete a four and one-half week Firefighter Recruit Academy (FEST 100) , beginning approximately the second week in August.  This academy is designed to prepare the recruit firefighter with basic firefighting skills and techniques as well as to develop necessary teamwork and discipline in preparation of the FEST program and specifically the Fire Related Experience component of the program. You must successfully pass the Firefighter Recruit Academy (FEST 100) in order to continue in the FEST program. NOTE: This recruit class is strenuous in nature and could subject the applicant to physically demanding work in hot weather conditions.  Medical exam MUST be completed prior to this course.

Educational Plan

Fire and Emergency Services Technology


Associate in Applied Science
118 credits

Core Requirements

FEST 100 Firefighter Recruit Academy 10 Credits Search Schedule
A four and one-half-week intensive training course in basic firefighting skills and safety, concluding with live fire training. Covers basic fire department organization, safety, incident command system (ICS 100 and 200), accountability, forcible entry, fire extinguishers, tools, hose evolutions, ventilation, ladders, search and rescue, and Burn to Learn. Course meets the requirements of Washington State Firefighter - Modules 1 and 2 and prepares the recruit firefighter for the FEST program and particularly, Fire Related Experience. Must successfully complete FEST 100 to progress in the program. Minimum passing grade is a "C". Prerequisite: Admission to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology Program and instructor's permission.
FEST 101 Fire Related Experience I 6 Credits Search Schedule
Orientation to fire-incident-related experience, engine company organization, engine configuration, small tools and minor equipment, basic hose practices and lays, use of protective breathing apparatus, response, maps, communications and fire apparatus driving practices. A practical course providing the student with hands-on "live" experience as an emergency responder under the supervision of career personnel. Prerequisite: FEST 100 with a "C" or better.
FEST 102 Fire Related Experience II 6 Credits Search Schedule
Continuation of fire-incident-related experience, engine company organization, engine configuration, small tools and minor equipment, basic hose practices and lays, use of protective breathing apparatus, response, maps, communications and fire apparatus driving practices. Prerequisite: FEST 100, 101, 110, 117 and FEST 122 with a "C" or better.
FEST 103 Fire Related Experience III 6 Credits Search Schedule
Continuation of fire-incident-related experience, engine company organization, engine configuration, small tools and minor equipment, basic hose practices and lays, use of protective breathing apparatus, response, maps, communications and fire apparatus driving practices. Prerequisite: FEST 102, 111, 125 and FEST 120 with a "C" or better.
FEST 110 Principles of Emergency Services 5 Credits Search Schedule
Provides an overview to fire protection and emergency services; career opportunities in fire protection and related fields; culture and history of emergency services; fire loss analysis; organization and function of public and private fire protection services; fire departments as part of local government; laws and regulations affecting the fire service; fire service nomenclature; specific fire protection functions; basic fire chemistry and physics; introduction to fire protection systems; introduction to fire strategy and tactics life safety initiatives. This course meets the FESHE model curriculum for Principles of Emergency Services. Prerequisite: "C" or better in FEST 100.
FEST 111 Fire Behavior and Combustion 5 Credits Search Schedule
Theories and fundamentals of how and why fires start, spread, and are controlled. This course meets the model FESHE curriculum. Prerequisite: "C" or better in FEST 110.
FEST 112 Building Construction for Fire Protection 5 Credits Search Schedule
Components of building construction related to firefighter and life safety. The elements of construction and design of structures as key factors when inspecting buildings, preplanning fire operations, and operating at emergencies. This course follows the FESHE model curriculum for Building Construction for Fire Protection. Prerequisite: "C" or better in FEST 111.
FEST 115 Rope Rescue Operations 4 Credits Search Schedule
Rescue methods, patient packaging ropes and knots, low angle rescue techniques, and raising and lowering rope systems. Course meets the requirements of NFPA 1670 - Rope Rescue Operations. Prerequisite: "C" or better in FEST 111 and FEST 120.
FEST 117 Hazardous Materials Chemistry 4 Credits Search Schedule
This course provides the knowledge and skills necessary to safely respond to and manage the defensive operations involved in a chemical emergency, provides basic chemistry relating to the categories of hazardous materials including recognition, identification, reactivity, and health hazards encountered by emergency services. The course provides the firefighter with additional knowledge to assist in mitigating a hazardous materials incidents. Prepares students for the IFSAC Hazardous materials operations certification exam. Prerequisite: Admission to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology Program. Successful completion of FEST 100 with a "C" or better.
FEST 120 Emergency Medical Technician 8 Credits Search Schedule
Development of skills in recognizing symptoms of illness and injuries and proper procedures for care. Upon completion of this course students may test for Washington State "EMT" certification and NREMT certification. In order to practice in Thurston County, students must also successfully complete the Thurston County Medic One EMT protocol exam. Prerequisite: Admission to the Fire and Emergency Service Technology Program, FEST 100, FEST 101, FEST 117 and FEST 110 with a "C" or better.
FEST 122 Fire Hydraulics, Water Supply and Pump Operation 4 Credits Search Schedule
Foundation of theoretical knowledge in order to understand the principles of the use of water in fire protection and to apply hydraulic principles to analyze and to solve water supply problems. Exploration of the various types of fire pumps, pump construction, and operation. Prerequisite: Admission to the Fire and Emergency Service Technology Program, successful completion of FEST 100 with a "C" or better.
FEST 125 Fire Service Career Preparation 3 Credits Search Schedule
Firefighter written test-taking techniques, firefighter oral board techniques and practices, resume writing and preparation for Firefighter tests. Course will assist students in the Fire and Emergency Services Technology program to learn valuable skills necessary to be competitive in obtaining a career in the fire services. Prerequisite: "C" or better in FEST 100.
FEST 201 Fire Related Experience IV 6 Credits Search Schedule
Students are assigned to the Aid unit or Engine and will work regular shifts every third day. Duties include responding to actual fire and medical emergencies, conducting BLS patient transports, station maintenance, apparatus inspections and quarterly SCBA certification and extrication exercises. Students will study maps of the fire district, multi-company operations scenarios, incident command, fireground safety practices and accountability. Prerequisite: FEST 103, 120, 122 with a "C" or better and instructor's permission to confirm student has attained IFSAC Fire Fighter I and Washington State EMT- B Certification.
FEST 202 Fire Related Experience V 6 Credits Search Schedule
Advanced fire-incident-related experience, engine company organization, engine configuration, small tools and minor equipment, basic hose practices and lays, use of protective breathing apparatus, response, maps, communications, emergency medical care and patient transports, and apparatus driving practices. Prerequisite: FEST 201, FEST 210 with a "C" or better.
FEST 203 Fire Related Experience VI 6 Credits Search Schedule
Continuation of advanced fire-incident-related experience, engine company organization, engine configuration, small tools and minor equipment, basic hose practices and lays, use of protective breathing apparatus, response, maps, communication, emergency medical care and patient transports, and fire apparatus driving practices. Prerequisite: FEST 202, 211 and FEST 218 with a "C" or better.
FEST 210 Strategy and Tactics for Firefighters 4 Credits Search Schedule
Principles of fire ground control through utilization of personnel, equipment, and extinguishing agents. The course also uses materials from the NFA STICO series and follows the FESHE curriculum model for Strategy and Tactics. Prerequisite: "C" or better in FEST 112.
FEST 211 Firefighter Safety and Survival 5 Credits Search Schedule
Basic principles and history related to the national firefighter life safety initiatives, focusing on the need for cultural and behavior change throughout the emergency services. Rapid intervention teams and self-rescue also included. Prerequisite: "C" or better in FEST 210.
FEST 212 Fire Prevention and Protection Systems 5 Credits Search Schedule
Information related to the features of design an operation of fire alarm systems, water supply for fire protection and portable fire extinguishers, history and philosophy of fire prevention, use and application of codes and standards, fire inspections, and fire and life safety education. This course meets FESHE model guidelines for Fire Prevention and Fire Protection Systems. Prerequisite: "C" or better in FEST 211.

General Education Requirements
Communication: 
ENGL&101 English Composition I 5 Credits Search Schedule
Develops writing skills by focusing on strategies and techniques writers use to convey ideas, evaluate information, make a point, and participate in multiple discourse communities. Emphasizes both the process and the product of writing. This course was formerly known as WRIT 101, College Writing I. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement test scores OR appropriate completion of ENGL 095, ENGL 095X, or ENGL 098 OR concurrent enrollment in ENGL 110 with instructor's permission.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, GER-CIS, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION, AAS-COMMUNICATION: Reading/Writing, AAS-READING-WRITING

Additional Communication: 
Choose one of the following:
CMST&220 Public Speaking 5 Credits Search Schedule
Introduction to oral communication theory and to public speaking/listening practice as applied to a variety of settings and audiences. Students will learn to verbally inform and/or demonstrate and persuade an audience using a variety of speech types. Covers speech preparation, critical listening and thinking, and individual and group presentation techniques. This course was formerly known as SPCH 101, Introduction to Public Speaking. Prerequisite: None.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, AAS-SPEAKING-LISTENING, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION
-OR-
CMST&230 Small Group Communication 5 Credits Search Schedule
Studies communication in small groups to help students understand group processes and to be effective participants in problem-solving groups at home, in the community, and at work. Develops skills in decision-making, creative and critical listening and thinking, interpersonal and intercultural communication, conflict management, and leadership as applied to small groups. This course was formerly known as SPCH 115. Prerequisite: None.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, AAS-SPEAKING-LISTENING, AAS-HUMAN RELATIONS, GER-CIS, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION
-OR-
CMST 240 Intercultural Communication: Diversity 5 Credits Search Schedule
The study of intercultural communication theory and cultural adaptation processes, and the development of skills in transmitting and receiving oral and written messages within a cross-cultural context. Covers selecting a communication style and strategies appropriate to a specific audience and setting. Examines how differences in cultural background influence communication patterns in families, communities, schools, and the workplace. This course was formerly known as SPCH 105. Prerequisite: ENGL& 101 eligible or instructor's permission.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, DIVERSITY, HUMANITIES, NURSING HUMANITIES, AAS-SPEAKING-LISTENING, AAS-HUMAN RELATIONS, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION, AA-AAS-T-HUMANITIES
-OR-
ENGL&235 Technical Writing 5 Credits Search Schedule
The study of effective technical and professional communication. Development of skills in proposal writing, technical report writing, business correspondence, oral presentations, online communication, group problem solving, professional portfolio development and basic research techniques. This course was formerly known as TCOM 106, Technical and Professional Communication. Prerequisite: ENGL& 101 (formerly WRIT 101). Word processing skills recommended.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, AAS-SPEAKING-LISTENING, GER-CIS, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION

Computation
MATH 101 Technical Mathematics I 5 Credits Search Schedule
Theory and applications of mathematics used in technical fields with emphasis on problem solving strategies, measurement, algebra, geometry, unit conversions and the metric system. Prerequisite: MATH 094 with a minimum grade of "C" or MATH 097 (formerly MATH 098) with a minimum grade of "C" or appropriate placement test score.
Distribution: AAS, AAS-COMPUTATION

Human Relations
Choose one of the following:
CMST&230 Small Group Communication 5 Credits Search Schedule
Studies communication in small groups to help students understand group processes and to be effective participants in problem-solving groups at home, in the community, and at work. Develops skills in decision-making, creative and critical listening and thinking, interpersonal and intercultural communication, conflict management, and leadership as applied to small groups. This course was formerly known as SPCH 115. Prerequisite: None.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, AAS-SPEAKING-LISTENING, AAS-HUMAN RELATIONS, GER-CIS, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION
HUM 121 Multicultural America,Past to Present: Diversity 5 Credits Search Schedule
Focuses on the history, culture, and contributions of various ethnic groups in the United States and the construction of "American" identity through power and privilege, past to present. Students gain knowledge of other groups' history and cultural heritage and develop skills in intercultural communications and critical thinking for education, community and work, environments. Meets Diversity Course Criteria. Prerequisite: Eligible for ENGL& 101.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, DIVERSITY, HUMANITIES, NURSING HUMANITIES, AAS-HUMAN RELATIONS, AA-AAS-T-HUMANITIES
PSYC 116 Psychology of Human Relations: Diversity 5 Credits Search Schedule
An introduction to the study of human relations, self-concept and the internal influences on one's thoughts, feelings and behaviors. An examination of the external and sociocultural influences on our personal and professional relationships. Prerequisite: Eligible for ENGL& 101.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, DIVERSITY, SOCIAL SCIENCE, NURSING SOCIAL SCIENCE, AAS-HUMAN RELATIONS, AA-AAS-T-SOCIAL SCIENCE

CMST&230 or CMST240 will count for only 1 category under the General Education Requirements    

Diversity: Some Human Relation courses also satisfy diversity  

Effective Catalog Year 2017-2018, Revised March 21, 2017