Education Requirements for Firefighters

If you are interested in becoming a firefighter, one factor you really should not overlook is firefighter education. Firefighting has developed into a very competitive area of expertise, and most municipalities have started requiring firefighter applicants to have a college degree, or some college credits, as well as certification prior to being seriously considered for a position. Then again, even if it’s not necessarily a firm necessity in your city, having the right education and certification is likely to dramatically increase your chance to find a job as a firefighter.

There are a few different ways to acquire the training and education you should have to become a firefighter, and this guide will help you to understand your various options. Particularly, you might be interested in college degrees for firefighters, attending fire academy, taking web based classes for firefighting, or firefighter apprenticeships. All of these are viable methods of achieving the education requirements for firefighters, so we will evaluate these options in more detail.

Fire Academy Training – Your Local Fire Department

Depending on where you want to find a job as a firefighter, the fire department could have a local fire academy set up to train new recruits. This form of education is what a lot of people refer to as “fire school” or “fire academy.” Typically, entry-level workers in large fire departments will be trained for a number of weeks at the department’s fire school training center or fire academy. Firefighter training typically is comprised of classroom instruction and practical training.

Firefighter recruits study subjects such as fire prevention, fire fighting techniques, hazardous materials control, local building codes, and emergency medical procedures. Many jurisdictions require firefighters to hold certification as an emergency medicine technician (EMT) or paramedic. During fire school training, recruits also learn how to use tools of the trade like axes, chain saws, fire extinguishers, ladders, as well as other fire fighting and rescue apparatus. After successfully completing training, the recruits are assigned to a fire company, where they undertake a period of probation which will consist of more hands-on training.

If the fire department close to you does give you training and education through this sort of fire school, there could possibly be prerequisites you need to meet before being accepted into the program. You could ask at a local fire department to get the essentials of their specific application process and requirements.

In addition to the firefighter training provided in the local jurisdiction, many firefighter recruits and career firefighters also opt to sign up for firefighter training courses available through the U.S. Fire Administration and U.S National Fire Academy.

U.S. National Fire Academy – National Emergency Training Center

The National Emergency Training Center is a 107-acre campus situated in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The campus houses the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the National Fire Academy (NFA), and the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). The National Fire Academy and Emergency Management Institute are part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The National Fire Academy offers firefighter courses at its resident campus in Emmitsburg, and also off-campus, around the Country in collaboration with State and local fire departments and training providers. There are no tuition costs for National Fire Academy courses. All instruction and course materials are provided free of charge. Most of the travel costs and accommodations for students who represent career or volunteer fire departments, rescue squads, or State/local governments attending on-campus courses are now provided as part of funding within the student stipend reimbursement program.

Everyone having significant involvement in fire prevention and control, emergency medical services, fire-related emergency management activities, or allied occupations is eligible to apply for National Fire Academy courses. Students have to satisfy the particular selection criteria and prerequisite criteria for every course. These prerequisite courses may be available online through the Emergency Management Institute and the National Fire Academy.

The National Fire Academy itself is not an accredited university. However, successfully completed NFA courses may be counted as credits toward a college degree program. However, not all colleges or universities approve these credits.

College for Firefighters

Many vocational schools, community colleges, and universities provide certificates and degrees for the student who wants to become a firefighter. The most common college certificate or degree is a Fire Science degree. Students enrolled in a Fire Science program usually study fire investigation methods and also techniques for controlling a fire with equipment, like axes, fire extinguishers, ladders and chainsaws. These programs also typically include education in fire prevention and teaching fire safety to the general public. Fire science students are also taught basic first aid, CPR and proper handling of hazardous materials.

As part of these college programs for firefighters, students might also earn their certification as an EMT/Paramedic. This is one important reason why college for firefighters is becoming increasingly more in-demand; because in addition to basic requirements for becoming a firefighter, many jurisdictions now mandate EMT training and certification as the minimum education requirement for becoming a firefighter.

Key courses in a Fire Science Associates Degree will normally include:

Fire Prevention
Principles of Fire and Emergency Services
Safety and Survival
Building Construction for Fire Protection
Fire Behavior and Combustion
Fire Protection Systems
Principles of Emergency Services
Other appropriate firefighter courses offered by many colleges include:

Fire Investigation I
Fire Investigation II
Fire Protection
Hydraulics and Water Supply
Introduction to Fire and Emergency Services Administration
Legal Aspects of the Emergency Services
Occupational Health and Safety
Strategy and Tactics
Hazardous Materials Chemistry
Along with these core Associate’s Degree courses, a Fire Science Bachelors Degree program will commonly also include additional courses such as:

Political and Legal Foundations of Fire Protection
Applications of Fire Research
Fire Prevention Organization and Management
Personnel Management for the Fire and Emergency Services
Fire and Emergency Services Administration
Community Risk Reduction for the Fire and Emergency Services
Of course, the actual curriculum varies depending on what college you attend for your firefighter education. Look at the firefighter class descriptions of colleges you’re thinking about to make sure you get the education you need.

Firefighter Training Apprenticeship Programs

Accredited apprenticeships are offered by a lot of fire departments for those interested in becoming a firefighter. These firefighter training programs frequently require students to enroll in a Fire Science degree program at an affiliated school. The student will obtain theoretical knowledge via classroom firefighter courses, while getting realistic, hands-on field training via the fire department. These programs ordinarily take 2- 4 years to complete.

Students in apprenticeship programs have a chance to gain paid experience in a fire department, operating equipment and responding to calls. Fire departments which offer apprenticeship programs generally tend to hire firefighter recruits who have undertaken an apprenticeship. So, if your jurisdiction provides this type of program, it could be the best way for you to get your firefighter education and strengthen your likelihood of being hired in this competitive field.

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Acupuncture Academy – Oriental Medicine Training Today

Find Acupuncture Academy Programs in the United States and Canada. If you haven’t yet reviewed all the academic programs offered at an acupuncture academy, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover the diverse educational options that are available to you. Whether you choose to pursue degree or certificate programs, an acupuncture academy often provides both; in addition to continuing education and even community education workshops and seminars.

Before you apply to a Master of Science in acupuncture and Oriental medicine degree program at an acupuncture academy, be certain to review course prerequisites. Frequently, acupuncture and Oriental medicine schools require a fair amount of educational studies prior to entry; usually a four-year degree from an accredited school or university.

Once you’ve met all necessary educational requirements, and have enrolled in the acupuncture academy of your choice, be prepared to dedicate three to four years to a Master’s degree program. In this particular course of study, students learn about anatomy, microbiology, pathology, and physiology; Western medical terminology, as well as Chinese medical terminology; Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, meridians, acupuncture, Chinese herbology, TCM diagnostics, Tai Chi, Qi gong and Chinese herbal formulation, among other subject matter.

An acupuncture academy sometimes offers various certificate and/or diploma programs as well. For example, if you like the idea of practicing Oriental medicine therapies but don’t have the time to complete an extended educational program, then enrolling in a Tuina (Chinese medical massage) certificate program at an acupuncture academy may be ideal for you. Depending on the acupuncture academy in which you enroll, training hours may vary but are commonly comprised of practical training in anatomy and physiology, TCM theories and pathology, meridian points, Tuina and acupressure, among other relevant studies.

An acupuncture academy frequently extends Chinese medicine continuing education programs, as well as open seminars and workshops. For instance, community programs are open to the public and generally include classes in self-healing techniques and methods like Tai Chi and Qigong. Additional introductory classes may entail Shiatsu, home herbal remedies, and more.

Overall, an acupuncture academy offers future Oriental medicine practitioners excellent educational opportunities to effectively help patients with natural and complementary medicine techniques and therapies. Whether one chooses to pursue a career as a licensed acupuncturist or an Oriental medicine body worker, an acupuncture academy can assist you in achieving professional success in your natural healthcare service endeavors.

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Why Democrats Like Career Academies

Democrats are in the process of realigning educational reform to their beliefs. Their main goal is to move students out of schools which are failing students and which parents would not willing send their children. However, the real challenge for Democrats will be not to bow to political pressure to do things the way they have always been done, especially in Washington.

President Obama’s education initiative, Race to the Top, with a $100 billion increase in general federal aid to education, has been accepted by both parties all across the nation. His top two conditions for Race to the Top funding are charter schools (could be career academies at the high school level) and teacher merit pay. In fact, Arne Duncan, was probably chosen as Secretary of Education, because in Chicago he opened numerous charter schools.

These charter schools at the high school level, if they are structured as career academies, advocate thoughtful action for social justice, encourage parental choice, decrease the high school drop out rate, and endorse accountability by producing more students who are both ready for career and college. All of these initiatives that Democrats favor can be found in the current career academies.

The first initiative is advocating thoughtful action for social justice. All students should have equal opportunities in their education, but the space between the have and have-nots is ever-widening, even in schools. Career academies have both policies and teachers who care about all students along with a structure and curriculum in place that promotes student engagement, both in school and in the community. (For curriculum, read Sticky Learning, another book co-authored by Sandy Mittelsteadt.)

Parental choice is the second initiative. Because career academies are a school-within-a-school with a specific career theme or focus, academies must compete for students and make their program both attractive to students and parents in order for a student to elect to attend a particular academy. Competing academies have both improved the educational experiences and broadened the opportunities for their students.

Not dropping out of high school is another advantage of students who attend an academy. A more positive way to state this is that academy students are more apt to graduate from high school. Students in academies attend high school more often, probably because students elect to be in an academy, so they are more agreeable to attend school. The more students stay in class, the more they are motivated to learn. The more motivated students are, they more they are engaged in learning. The more engaged students are, the more they learn. This, them, becomes a circle: the more they learn, the more they are motivated to learn more. Students who graduate from high school are generally encouraged to attend college or post-secondary learning. This brings us to the next initiative.

The fourth initiative is that career academies endorse accountability by producing more students who are both ready for career and college. Students who feel they are college ready make an effort to attend college or receive post-secondary learning. Students who immediately go to work are more ready to learn and comply with company policy and any additional training that the company supplies.

Because career academies work is the major reason Democrats like career academies! They may require more time and resources in order to be successful, but Democrats feel career academies are well worth the effort. They are a time-tested strategy that results in more students who are successful in the real world.

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