Fire Science Technology
Associate of Applied Science Degree
Certificate of Completion: Basic Firefighter
(575) 527-7746 or 528-7247
NOTE: This program does not emphasize firefighter operations. Instead, it focuses on theory, investigation, prevention, and management. Students wishing to enter the fire service may benefit from the general background provided and may receive Firefighter I certification through the New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy in Socorro, N.M.
Every year, fire and other emergencies take thousands of lives and destroy property worth billions of dollars. Firefighters help protect the public against these dangers. They are frequently the first emergency personnel at the scene of a traffic accident or medical emergency and may be called upon to put out a fire, treat injuries, or perform other vital functions.
Firefighters work in a wide variety of settings, including urban and suburban areas, airports, chemical plants and other industrial sites, and such rural areas as wildlands and forests. When wildland fires break out, crews of firefighters are brought in to suppress the fires with heavy equipment and hand tools. In addition, smoke jumpers parachute into inaccessible areas. Others who have been trained for the control, prevention, and cleanup of hazardous materials incidents work in hazardous materials units.
Between alarms, firefighters clean and maintain equipment, conduct practice drills and fire inspections, and participate in physical fitness activities. They also prepare written reports on fire incidents and review fire science literature to keep abreast of technological developments and changing administrative practices and policies.
Most fire departments have a fire prevention division, usually headed by a fire marshal and staffed by fire inspectors. Workers in this division conduct inspections of structures to prevent fire and ensure fire code compliance. These firefighters also work with developers and planners to check and approve plans for new buildings. Fire prevention personnel often speak on these subjects in schools and before public assemblies and civic organizations.
Employment of firefighters is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2012, as fire departments continue to compete with other public safety providers for funding. According to the United States Fire Administration, nearly 70 percent of fire companies are staffed by volunteer firefighters. Most job growth will occur as volunteer fire-fighting positions are converted to paid positions. In addition to job growth, openings are expected to result from the need to replace firefighters who retire, stop working for other reasons, or transfer to other occupations.
Doña Ana Community College provides training for firefighting personnel through its Fire Science Technology program, which is accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. This program provides classroom instruction leading to an associate of applied science degree in fire science technology or a certificate of completion in firefighting. It is suited to those who are new to the field, as well as seasoned firefighters:
- Career and volunteer firefighters and NMSU student firefighters will improve their job performance and prepare for higher level positions in the fire protection fields.
- Students who wish to enter the field of fire protection will benefit from the basic foundations provided in the technical courses as well as general education courses.
NOTE: An articulation agreement exists with the New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy that makes it possible to receive college credit for experience and IFSAC certification. All courses in this program may be applied toward a Bachelor of Applied Studies or Bachelor of Individualized Studies degree at NMSU.
Students must receive a C or better in each course in order for it to apply toward graduation.
New Mexico State University at Doña Ana Fire Science Program intends to be recognized as an outstanding accredited entity promoting professionalism among its fire and emergency services community.
Provide students with essential knowledge and skills to participate professionally in the fields of fire protection.
Enhance Fire Service Professional Qualifications
Enhance and promote Career Opportunities through comprehensive training and education
Enhance student learning by ensuring the student receives up-to-date training/education instruction that reflects current industry practices
Enhance the program’s relevancy within the fire industry by keeping up with emerging trends
Enhance access to higher education through distance education