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Fireman Classes and Courses Overview

Fireman (or firefighter) classes cover a myriad of topics so that individuals can assume professional work in the field. Read on below to explore some of the key topics covered in firefighter courses.

Essential Information

Fireman courses are available in fire science, fire science technology, and related certificate and associate degree programs. Some students also pursue bachelor's degrees that include administration and public policy components for professional advancement in fire science and service careers.

Community colleges may offer fire academy or firefighter training, which consists of extensive practical and classroom instruction. The training lengths vary due to day and evening schedules. In some cases, admission requirements include active EMT certification. Applicants must also pass a physical exam and be accepted to the college offering the program. Graduates are prepared to apply for firefighter certification.

Some common concepts taught in firefighting classes include:

  • The science of fire
  • Hazardous materials
  • Emergency vehicle operation
  • Rescue operations
  • Fire suppression equipment
  • Incident response and reporting

List of Common Fireman Classes

Firefighter Course

In this beginning fireman's course students combine classroom and lab time to learn basic principles of fire science and suppression. It is a required class that usually begins with first aid and first responder training. Students get to practice donning protective gear and carrying out job responsibilities while wearing it. Chain of command, communications, and fire department operations are emphasized.

Fire Suppression

This required class offers a comprehensive examination of foam and water fire suppression, using the introductory fireman course as a foundation. Training includes firefighting strategies for residential, commercial, vehicular, water, wilderness, and brush fires. Firefighters learn appropriate measures for urban, suburban, and rural concerns. Coursework and field training include hazardous materials handling.

Chemistry and Behavior of Fire

Most students in fireman courses take this mandatory class of lectures and labs midway through their program. They learn the physical and chemical characteristics of different kinds of fire, such as electrical or chemical fires, as well as how fires can start and spread. Students gain an understanding of accelerants, weather and construction materials, as well as urban, suburban and rural topography and its influence on fires.

Building Construction and Fire

Pre-planning is a key strategy for fighting building fires. Students in this fireman's course are introduced to different building methods and materials in the context of fire safety. Lectures and labs are delivered with the intent of maximizing fireman safety both before and during a fire, in which all or part of the building is at risk for collapse. This required course is taken after basic firefighting and fire suppression courses and includes building inspection procedures and minimum standards for building codes.

Safety and Rescue

A reliable working knowledge of the Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements is important to a successful firefighting career. Upon completion of this required class, firemen are able to quickly identify hazardous conditions or situations and act fast in an emergency. Safe rescue operations for wilderness, confined spaces, fast water, inclement weather, high rises, and acts of terrorism are studied in classroom and lab settings.

Investigation of Fire

In this course, required by some programs, students learn to identify the origin and nature of a particular fire. Coursework includes how to secure the scene, as well as how to document and collect evidence. Students also learn to prepare and report findings. Students learn to make a determination of arson or non-arson related with respect to particular fire-related incidents.

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