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Fire Medic

Program Requirements: 

The Fire Medic associate degree has replaced the Fire Protection Technician degree at Gateway Technical College.

Firefighters must be ready to properly handle any emergency that occurs, assess the situation, determine incident priorities, and then safely and effectively manage the emergency. Gateway provides the training to give students the tools to handle these situations and more.

Fire Medic associate degree students are immersed in hands-on emergency scenario training preparing for what they will see in the field. Students complete cross fit training and have the opportunity to prepare for and earn the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) certification. The program allows students to take their Firefighter I skills to a mastery level as they prepare to enter their 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 Medic students. Careers in fire prevention, code enforcement, fire protection system design, installation, inspection, and pre-hospital care are some of the available career paths. 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 meets their personal/professional interests along with their employer’s needs.

Learning by doing

Fire Medic students receive intense simulation training along with emergency medical service training and firefighter survival/rapid intervention team (RIT) training.  Students train hands-on at Gateway’s  Health and Emergency Response Occupations (HERO) Center in Burlington and two other fire training sites complete with a burn building, training props, fire engines, an equipment vehicle and various trailers providing students with realistic training experiences. 

The HERO Center located in Burlington is a dedicated fire and emergency medical service (EMS) training facility that specializes in simulation-based training.  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.

Partnerships with local fire departments provide additional instructional support, internships, live-in, 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.
The Student Fire Association club offers students opportunities to participate in a variety of career enhancing activities. 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.

Job and salary outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of firefighters is expected to grow by 9 percent through 2020. Median annual salary of firefighters was $45,970 in 2014.

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.


Additional Requirements

After Acceptance

  • Order Drug Test ONLY. Please read the “Additional Information” section found on the review page which is the beginning part of the order process. This will provide you with the necessary information to complete your drug test.​

Fire Protection Internship

Background and Health Information requirement questions?
Please contact the Admissions Office at


John Dahms

Jack Jasperson

Program Administration

Terry Simmons, Dean