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Fire Medic

Program Requirements: 

Gateway Technical College’s fire protection program is the regional leader in fire training and education. Firefighters must be ready to properly handle any emergency that occurs, assess the situation, determine incident priorities, and then safely and effectively contain the emergency. Gateway provides the training to give its students the tools to handle these situations and more. Fire Protection Technician associate degree students are immersed in scenario-based training where instructors will stage real-world emergencies in various settings including industrial areas, second-floor apartments and medical facilities. Students gain real world experience by running a virtual fire department or community-wide emergency operations center. Gateway also provides the most advanced equipment and training to prepare students for a demanding, but rewarding, career as a firefighter. The Health and Emergency Response Occupations (HERO) Center, located in Burlington, WI, is a dedicated fire and emergency medical service (EMS) training facility that specializes in simulation-based training. Students have access to two fire training sites complete with burn buildings, training props, fire engines, an equipment vehicle and various trailers providing students with realistic training experiences. Partnerships with local fire departments provide additional instructional support, internships and job shadowing opportunities. Students will acquire and refine the hard and soft skills needed to become a fire service professional as well as network with professionals in the field preparing them for a fulfilling career.

What does a firefighter do?

Although most students enter the program with the intention of becoming career firefighters, there are many other career paths available to Fire Protection Technician students. Careers in fire prevention, code enforcement, fire protection system design, installation, inspection, and pre-hospital care are some of the available career paths to students. Students can also serve their communities as volunteer firefighters while working in another profession or trade. The fire service is a highly competitive field. Gateway’s focus on fully preparing students to accept and discharge responsibility and to meet and exceed customer expectations is why Gateway students stand out in the hiring process. Once hired graduates will have the opportunity to develop and follow a career path that mutually meets their personal/professional interests and their employer’s needs.

Learning by doing

At the HERO Center students train hands-on with Simplex Grinnell suppression, alarm, and detection equipment, a two story indoor training area and a Blue Card Command Training Center. Blue Card Command is the standardized method of local incident operations. Students receive intense simulation training along with emergency medical service training and firefighter survival/rapid intervention team (RIT) training. Gateway also provides training opportunities through workshops, seminars, and other courses to fully prepare students for the rigors of a fire service career. Local fire chiefs play an active role in the education and training of students. Classes will sometimes meet at local fire stations. Field trips to various sites are regular features of the program along with simulations and case studies. The fire student organization provides additional opportunities for service learning, leadership development and networking.They partner with the Racine County Fire Chiefs Association to assist with and attend an annual seminar featuring a nationally recognized speaker. Organization members also perform various fund-raising activities, visit various fire museums and travel to state and national conferences.

Job and salary outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of fire fighters is expected to grow by 9 percent from 2010 to 2020. Median annual salary of fire fighters was $45,250 in 2010.

Certification and Licensing

Students also have the opportunity to earn four Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) fire training certifications including Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, Driver Operator-Pumper and Fire Inspector. These additional certifications put graduates a step ahead with prospective employers. Students can also participate in several American Council on Exercise (ASE) courses to maximize their fitness knowledge.

Advisors

HERO
BJ Wagner
wagnerb@gtc.edu

 

Faculty

Burlington
John Dahms
dahmsj@gtc.edu

Jack Jasperson
jaspersonj@gtc.edu

Program Administration

Terry Simmons, Dean
simmonst@gtc.edu

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