I know that there are more than three FFN members who have a college degree or want one

The College-Educated Firefighters group only has three current members and it is not very active. I'd like to see that change. If you have a degree or would like to achieve one, how about joining us and sharing some information.

Formal education is going to become more and more important to anyone who wants to be a fire service leader in the future. If we want respect from other professions, we need to have the members pursue college educations.

It's time to stop lurking and join.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Ben.
I'm not sure what exactly was the intent of the group's creator.
Is he referring to firefighters who are college educated with emergency services degrees or any degree?
I don't have a degree, but I do have an RN diploma, which is basically the same as having an associate degree in nursing, except it is obtained through a hospital based nursing school.
I had to attend a university to get my prerequisites for the program.
After obtaining my diploma, I took my boards. I hold a valid RN license in two states.
Kitty, I'm not sure about the exact rules - if there are any, but my take is that if you have education that exceeds a high school diploma or a GED, then you're "college educated".

My wife is a R.N. with an Associate's of Applied Science through a junior college. That translates pretty equally to a R.N. that recieved the same education through a diploma program, in my book anyway.
Cap,

I didn't talk myself out of grad school and look where it got me...off of the street and into an office where I have lots more stress, less physical danger, and way less fun.

Some days I wonder if it was worth it.
The ones when it hurts just to get out of bed, I'm convinced I made the right decision.

Ambivalence is a wonderful sport if you like playing it...LOL.
I was just wandering through and I came across this group. Do I have a degree? Not yet. It's in progress but with limited funding I can only take one or two courses a year. I do have a certificate in Public Fire Protection from the University of Maryland. I have a ways to go but maybe I'll get lucky and be able to finish it before I get too old.
Bill,

Good luck, and let us know if we can help.
Look up the Degrees at a Distance program from the National Fire Academy if you're not already in this program. I believe that U of M is the Mid-Atlantic degree institution for this program.

Ben
Well, Apparently the creator of this group, me, has been asleep at the wheel. One. There are no rules. My main question when I created this group was to findout how many fire service/emergency service personnel have college degrees (Be it A.A. or B.S. or B.A. or plus)? With finding out if they had degrees, I was hoping to start discussing on the pros/cons of that degree, be it fire scienced based non-fire scienced based. The cost? Was there a benefit for achieving this degree? The location? Local or distanced based? I, myself, have a degree from Eastern Kentucky University (BS) in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology with a concentration in Fire, Arson, and Explosion Investigation. As of last year, EKU has a BS in Fire Admin online as well as a Master's.
and Mr. Waller, thank you for speaking the obvious. I should have posted when I created the group. Oh, and you have more brass then me. :-D
My department usually hires two or three summer interns from college fire science programs. We had two from EKU and one from New Haven this summer. One of the EKU interns worked for me and did an outstanding job on a big training project, a couple of smaller training projects, and a few other things. He got to go to several fires and a bunch of EMS calls as well.
The clanking when I walk isn't my spine of steel, yanno. :-)
Higher learning is important everywhere you look these days. I retired from the military with two AA's and 1 BS, it was the only way to make rank now. Leaders need to be educated other than OJT and the school of hard knocks.
My degree is in Secretarial Sciences/Office Administration from 1978 but I have logged well over 1,000 (clock) hrs of fire science training in the last 23 yrs & lost count of CEUs. Most of those hours are through which ever university happens to be acrediting the local or regional fire school such as Marshall University, Wright State, University of Toledo, U of Cleveland, Cleveland State, OU, OSU, New Mexico Tech, WVU, UK, NFA & probably others I have forgotten about. In the past 10 yrs my emphasis has been safety. I have taken every class I could find on Health & Safety including OSHA classes. I have an EMT certification. I've had a number of leadership & administration classes, Hazardous Materials to the Incident Command level as well, not to mention the good old back to basic FIRE FIGHTER offerings. I sound like a training junkie. At one point I had decided to have my portfolio evaluated to see where I stand toward a degree in fire science, but I didn't. My goal has been to get both kids through college first. At this point, I doubt that I could work long enough to pay back the student loans before retirement. I can't quit my job after 20yrs & finding a new one doesn't appeal to me either.

Many people have degrees in fields other than the one they are working in but they learned HOW to LEARN by earning a degree. I work at a university. There are many "non-traditional" students who come back to school after a period of time to study something else, to finish a degree or for the first time or to get a higher degree. There are also perpetual students who don't really want to do anything else but go to school & accumulate more degrees that they will probably never use. Some, I am not quite sure how they got to this point to begin with. :)

There are a number of colleges/universities now offering distance learning degrees in fire science, fire administration, Emergency management & a plethora of others. I saw one the other day offering a BA in Homeland Security that was actually geared more toward law envorcement.
Most of the Homeland Security degrees are geared toward intelligence gathering and interdiction, so they're more CIA and law enforcement-oriented. about 85 cents of every homeland security dollar goes to law enforcement and intelligence agencies, too. You'd think that people that actually have to respond to a terrorist incident would get more funding and a bigger slice of the educational effort, but that's not reality.

One of the reasons - at last count, there were 23 universities that offered PhDs in criminal justice, at least 10 that offer PhDs in a national security-related field, and zero that offer PhDs in fire administration or EMS management. There are a limited number of fire or EMS-related master's degree programs such as the EMS ones at Maryland-Baltimore County, George Washington University, and Western Carolina University, the Fire Administration masters programs at Eastern Kentucky and Oklahoma State, and the Fire Potection Engineering programs at Maryland and Texas A&M...and that's about it. There are a limited additional number of masters degree programs in Public Administration with a concentration in public safety or homeland security, including the one I completed at the Clemson University/University of South Carolina joint degree program.

Until we get the academics behind our profession, we're going to play second fiddle to law enforcement.
Ditto for homeland security/emergency management. The local and state E.M. programs are still overwhelmingly operated by retired military officers, not local responders. We (fire and EMS) are not going to change that equation without the academics and solid professional knowledge base.

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