Program Statement

The mission of the Fire Science program is to provide safe, progressive, and standards-based firefighting education and training to future and current fire and emergency services personnel.

The Fire Science program values diversity, including diversity of thought, understanding that populations are best served when fire and emergency services organizations reflect the diversity of the community.

The Fire Science program is concerned with developing leadership and followership skill and ability, providing students with principles to lead positive change in fire and emergency services. Nationally, fire and emergency service organizations are facing unprecedented challenges. As such, Fire Science students will be encouraged to think critically and creatively about solving problems.  Students will be challenged to think from divergent and contrarian perspectives.

Healthy fire and emergency services personnel are essential to community safety. A strong emphasis on firefighter resilience and community resilience are benchmarks of the Fire Science program.  Ultimately, students in the Fire Science program will gain a broad educational background in fire and emergency services, preparing them for several points of entry in the fire and emergency services fields. Current fire and emergency services personnel will enhance their knowledge, skill, and ability and will be prepared for promotional opportunities and leading crews safely.

Fire Science Program Outcomes

At the completion of the two-year ASFS degree, students will be able to:

PO1: Demonstrate safe, standards-based, entry-level firefighting skills.

PO2: Demonstrate leadership and followership to promote the mission of fire and emergency services and lead change in the fire service.

PO3: Create a personal firefighter resilience portfolio for fire and emergency services work.

PO4: Demonstrate the application of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Blue Card Incident Command to various emergency incidents.

PO5: Analyze modern, research-based fire behavior studies in structural firefighting operations.

PO6: Apply principles of firefighter safety, air management, and crew-resource management to fire and emergency services.

PO7: Apply risk assessment techniques to hazardous materials incidents, and safely control, contain, and confine hazardous materials while wearing chemical protective equipment.

PO8: Apply human factors principles and National standards to Wildland firefighting incidents.

PO9:  Develop a proactive and mission-based fire prevention, inspection, and public education mindset.

PO10: Apply instructional technique and learning theory to training environments in fire and emergency services.

Methods of Assessment

A variety of assessment methods are used to determine student achievement in program outcomes.  Methods include:

  • Students complete the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) skills-based scoring rubrics.  Examples include donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) and donning self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for time. PO1, PO6, PO7
  • Students complete skills courses, such as air management Rule of Air Management (ROAM) courses. PO1, PO6
  • Students complete online national certificates, such as the National Incident Management System (NIMS) 100, 200, 700, and 800 certificates. PO4
  • Students complete and present leadership and resilience portfolios. PO2, PO3
  • Students complete command tactical worksheets with accuracy. PO4
  • Students deliver lesson plans (4-step Method of Instruction) to fire science students and also a fire safety lesson plan within a public school to elementary students. PO9, PO10
  • Students analyze and report on case studies, specifically firefighter fatality reports from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). PO2, PO5, PO6, PO8
  • Students complete simulated incident command scenarios (Blue Card) and are graded using a scoring rubric. PO4, PO5, PO6
  • Students collaborate and build a Palmer Dollhouse to burn, analyzing fire behavior and fire dynamics. PO1, PO5
  • Students participate in a live, wildland fire training and are scored using National Wildland Coordinating Group rubrics. PO8
  • The Fire Science program advisory committee, comprised of local industry professionals, provide qualitative input into student achievement in demonstrating program outcomes. PO1- PO10.
  • Employer surveys are delivered once annually to ascertain qualitative aspect of program outcome achievement. PO1- PO10
  • Students complete an end-of-semester Hazardous Materials mitigation scenario using an industry-specific scoring rubric for evaluation. PO7
  • Students participate in volunteer service learning opportunities and complete Firefighter I Taskbooks (NFPA standards) at Columbus Fire Department, Montana. PO1, PO2, PO3, PO4
  • Students complete end of semester course evaluations documenting the subjective (qualitative) evaluation of program outcome achievement. PO1-PO10
  • Students participate in traditional academic evaluation and assessment throughout the Fire Science program including quizzes, written examinations, essays, demonstrations, discussion, mid-term, and final examinations. PO1- PO10