Fire fighters respond to a multitude of incidents, and they are no longer just firefighters. Today's firefighters have to be capable of multitasking. They respond to EMS calls, disaster management, public relation campaigns and pre-incident planning. Firefighters also have more administration responsibilities then ever before. The amount of paper work for statistics and reporting grows daily, making computers commonplace in the fire station.
Advancement in the fire service is now keyed to education. You must be able to plan for an incident, manage payroll, budget for supplies, budget for new equipment, invoice insurance and responsible parties for reimbursement as well as manage employees and their training and personnel records.
Fire Science degree programs cover areas of disaster management and pre-paredness as well as administrative duties. The fire service is a dynamic process that is changing daily as different procedures and methods to suppress fires develop.
With a degree in Fire Science your program may include these areas:
Government generally relies on individuals that have the training and education to perform management responsibilities. Fire Chiefs are now promoted on their ability and skills. Fire chiefs and commissioners have to be fluent in public speaking, public relations and also have the knowledge of what the duties of a line fire fighter are. Fire managers have to go before boards or government councils to obtain funding to hire additional fire fighters, purchase equipment or apparatus and basically justify their needs. To be convincing it is sometimes necessary to explain statistics and create effective presentations, you must be able to extract information from a plethora of reports that is useful to you in obtaining the department's goal.
Grants from Federal sources have become common in the post 9/11 period. Grants allow departments to obtain equipment funding that they other wise would not be able to afford. Effective communication skills both written and oral are necessary to obtain the grants. You must also have excellent personnel management skills to effectively manage a department, be it large or small, volunteer or paid. You will be able to recognize deficiencies in personnel and recognize outstanding individuals as well. You will be trained to inspire subordinates and place changes in motion with a minimum of non-compliance or resistance.
Insurance companies employ many firefighters in the investigative field. Insurance companies need to protect their shareholders and companies, and a degree in Fire Science will only benefit you in obtaining these jobs or possibly starting your own consultation or investigative firm. Again many management responsibilities will be upon you and a degree in Fire Sciences will assure your success.
First line supervisors and managers of firefighting have a national average mean income of 30 dollars per hour. The employment outlook for firefighters is expected to grow faster than any other occupation until at least 2014 according to the US Department of labor. The minimum annual base salary for Fire Chiefs is $68,700 and an assistant chiefs base salary is $57,000 to $63,000 annually. A battalion Chief can usually make about $58,000 annually.
Online degrees in Fire Science are available! With today's busy work schedule and balancing time with family and work it is sometimes impossible to attend a traditional classroom setting. By requesting more information from the schools offering these programs, you will be on your way to a rewarding career and secure the future for both you and your family.