Fire Science

Program Description
The Fire Science A.A.S. degree program is designed for individuals employed as firefighters or individuals who are seeking employment in the fire protection industry.  Additionally, it prepares fire and emergency service personnel for advancement to leadership positions. Students may select fire science electives and/or emergency medical service electives such as EMT and/or Advanced EMT within this degree program. In addition to the A.A.S. degree, CVCC offers a Certificate in Fire Science. The degree can be completed within in two years and the certificate program can be completed within one to two semesters. The certificate courses can be applied toward the A.A.S. degree.

CVCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). We provide traditional classroom instruction, as well as, some online courses to serve students with varying personal schedules, interest, and needs. Tuition and fees are $150 per credit hour for Alabama and Georgia eligible residents and $267 per credit hour for all other residents. The total cost for Alabama and Georgia eligible residents to complete the degree is $10,800 and $19,224 for all other residents. For information about scholarships and/or financial aid contact our Financial Aid Office at 334.291.4914 or contact Kenneth Harrison, Director of Public Safety Programs at or kenneth.harrison@cv.edu or 334.291.4963.

CVCC/Alabama Fire College Partnership

CVCC and the Alabama Fire College have a partnership that affords students and fire and emergency service agencies with opportunities to earn both college credit toward the A.A.S. Degree in Fire Science, a Short Certificate in Fire Science, and national/state professional fire and emergency service certifications that meet Alabama Fire College standards and their accrediting agencies (such as International Fire Service Accreditation Congress, Pro-Board, and International Code Council). Additionally, the partnership allows CVCC to collaborate and offer through the Alabama Fire College professional development and continuing education opportunities for local and regional public safety agencies.

This program helps prepare students for career opportunities in fire and emergency service agencies, industry, and educational institutions to include:

  • Firefighter
  • Firefighter/EMT
  • Fire Officer
  • Fire and Life Safety Specialist
  • Fire Inspector
  • Fire Investigator
  • Fire and Life Safety Educator
  • Fire Instructor
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Advanced Emergency Medical Technician

Program content focuses on fire service administration, command, control, and coordination of emergency incidents, fire suppression operations, fire prevention and education, building construction principles, fire inspections and code enforcement, and emergency medical services. Several courses within the program parallel certification courses offered through the Alabama Fire College. Upon successful completion of these courses and certification exams, students will receive national and/or state certifications. These certifications include: Fire Inspector I/II, Fire Instructor I/II, Fire Officer I/II, Fire Investigator I, Fire Department Safety Officer, Fire and Life Safety Educator, Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations, National Incident Management System, EMT license, and Advanced EMT license, etc. Additionally, courses are eligible for dual enrollment with area high schools as determined by CVCC.

Short Certificate Program- Fire Science
This program is designed for individuals employed or seeking employment as fire fighters. The program is also designed to be an intermediate recognition step for individuals working toward the Fire Science associate degree. All coursework in the Certificate program is applicable toward the Associate in Applied Science degree.

Credit Earned for Fire/EMS Certifications Held
Upon completion of twelve (12) credit hours of approved Fire Science/EMS courses at CVCC, students may be awarded credit for fire service/EMS certifications that meet relevant national standards as determined by the Director of Public Safety. A maximum of 17 hours of non-traditional credit may be awarded and applied toward graduation. Official certification of completion of approved Fire Academy work must be submitted to the Admissions Office. Certifications must be either an academic transcript from an accredited college, certificate of completion, or a letter on official letterhead from the Fire Academy.

Course Descriptions

Required Courses

FSC 101 Introduction to the Fire Service
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course teaches the many functions of the fire service, its importance and origins. It is designed to acquaint the student with the philosophy and history of the fire service and fire protection, the exacting loss of life and property, and the organization and function of public and private fire protection agencies. Emphasis is placed on the organization and function of federal, state, county, city, and private fire protection.

FSC 110 Building Construction Principles
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course highlights and assesses the problems and hazards to fire personnel when a building is attacked by fire or is under stress from other factors dealing with collapse. Emphasis is placed on construction principles: wood, ordinary, steel, concrete, and truss construction.

FSC 130. Introduction to Fire Suppression
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course is a study of organizational structure, fire suppression, fire suppression equipment, characteristics and behavior of fire and fire hazard properties of ordinary materials. Emphasis is placed on the most common structural, vehicle and urban interface fires. Code C

FSC 299 Legal Aspects of the Fire Service
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course introduces students to the legal obligations and responsibilities within the fire service along with the limitations and restrictions placed on emergency responders. Students will discuss and apply federal and state laws, codes, regulations and standards relevant to the fire service. Both civil and criminal law will be addressed.

Elective Courses
FSC 100. Orientation and Terminology of the Fire Service (3-0-3)
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course provides the student with basic information on the organization and function of paid and volunteer fire services, the role of the firefighter in the department, firefighter safety, the science of fire and fire behavior. Specific course topics surveyed include: orientation and safety, apparatus familiarization, fire behavior, personal protective equipment, rescue and forcible entry.

FSC120 National Incident Management System (NIMS Certifications)
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course introduces the student to the incident command system, its organizational structure, history, principles and features and the National Incident Management System as a template for integration of public and private entities working together on emergency incidents. Tabletop exercises and scenarios will be used to give the student opportunity to apply the practical aspects of the incident command system and to demonstrate its relationship to the National Incident Management System. The course will also introduce students to the concepts and principles of the National Response Framework and the National Response Plan. Students will be given the opportunity to take online exams of certification for FEMA IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800. This course will meet the NIMS baseline training requirements for the above mentioned courses.

FSC 131 Fire Extinguishment Principles
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This is a study of water supplies and services, fire extinguishing chemicals, and the selection and use of extinguishing agents.  Emphasis is placed on dry chemical, dry powder, foam and halogenated agents.

FSC 160 Hazards Awareness
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course includes the basic awareness of characteristics and behavior of solids, liquids, and gases when involved in fire. Emphasis is placed on characteristics, storage, and handling of various materials.

FSC 161 Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations (Alabama Fire College Pro-Board Certification Course)
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C

This course is for emergency response personnel who may be first on the scene of a hazardous materials emergency. First responders at the awareness level are expected to recognize the presence of hazardous materials, protect themselves, secure the area, and call for trained personnel. At the operational level, the first responder uses the knowledge gained from the awareness level to act in a defensive posture to protect people, the environment, or property from the effects of an unplanned hazardous materials release. This course meets the requirements of the mandatory Awareness/Operational training in hazardous materials required by Title III – Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 and NFPA 472, Standard on Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents current edition.

FSC 170 Fire Hydraulics and Water Supply
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course provides a foundation of theoretical knowledge in order to understand the principles of the use of water and fire protection and to apply hydraulic principles to analyze and resolve water supply problems.

FSC 201 Fire Instructor I (Alabama Fire College Pro-Board Certification Course)
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
A course that trains participants to teach a class from a prepared lesson plan. This course introduces the student to the concept of utilizing training aids to enhance his/her presentation, how to properly select these training aids, and how to use the training aid selected. Subject areas for this course include: Communication, Concepts of Learning, Methods of Teaching, Organizing the Class, Performance Evaluations, Testing and Evaluations, The Lesson Plan, Teaching Techniques, and the Use of Instructional Materials. The student will give several presentations during the week, all leading to the final fifteen minute graded presentation on the final day of class.

FSC 202 Fire Instructor II
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course provides the Fire Instructor I with the next level of understanding for the training of personnel. This course trains the participants to perform job and task analysis, develop goals and objectives, and develop a lesson plan along with the coordinating training aids, and student tests and evaluation. During the course, the students are divided into groups, each of which is responsible for the development of a lesson plan to be presented to the class on the final day.

FSC 208 Fire Combat Tactics and Strategy
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course is designed to offer the advanced firefighter or beginning fire officer the necessary information and related techniques to ensure effective fire scene operations. Topics of study include: Pre-fire Planning, Tactical Operations, and Scene Management Techniques. Students are given the opportunity to participate in group activities, discussions, and practical exercises to further enhance the learning experience and reinforce methodology discussed.

FSC 241 Fire Investigator I  
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course targets fire investigators, police officers, and company-level officers with a desire to learn more about determining the origin and cause of fire. Students wishing to attend this course should be prepared for an intense week of training and practical skills application.  Topics covered include: Determining the Point of Origin, Burn Patterns, Evidence Collection and Analysis, Interviewing Techniques, and Court Procedure and Testifying.

FSC 251 Fire Inspector I (Alabama Fire College Pro-Board Certification Course)
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
A beginning level course for firefighters and other interested parties wishing to become more involved in the aspect of fire prevention and inspections. This course is primarily designed for those entering into fire service inspections and would be extremely useful to city inspectors and company level officers. Some of the topics covered in this course include: Building Construction, Decorative Materials and Furnishings, Fire Drills, Inspection Procedure, Code Enforcement, and Fire Alarm and Communications.

FSC 252 Fire Inspector II (Alabama Fire College Pro-Board Certification Course)
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course delves deeper into the interpretation of applicable codes and standards, covers the procedure involved in various types of inspections, and prepares the inspector for the plans review process. It is an advanced level course which covers a wide range of topics some of which are: Inspection Procedure, Building Construction, Occupancy Classification and Means of Egress, Fire Protection and Water Supply Systems, Plans Review, and the Storage of Hazardous Materials.

FSC 254 ISO (AIA) Standards
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course is a study of insurance theory and practice, the economics of the ISO grading system and a city’s fire defense and insurance rates. Included is a detailed analysis of a city’s water supply, fire department, fire alarm, fire prevention, and other grading methods of fire defense.

FSC 255 Public Fire and Life Safety Educator
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
With the leading cause of death among children being unintentional injuries, the need for fire and life safety education has become evident in today’s society. This course will train the student to coordinate and deliver existing comprehensive community fire and injury prevention programs designed to eliminate or mitigate situations that endanger lives, health, property, and the environment.

FSC 261 Hazmat Technician
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course is designed for the student already certified at the Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operational level, this course develops the skills already learned and provides in-depth training in the mitigation of hazardous materials incidents. Through both classroom and practical training the student becomes familiar with health and safety issues, incident management, hazard and risk analysis, personal protective clothing, and decontamination.

FSC 270 Fire Protection Systems
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course will teach students the design and operation of fire protection systems for commercial, residential, and special hazard environments. Students will understand the general principals of automatic sprinkler systems, heat and smoke control systems, standpipe systems, and fire detection/ alarm systems, and portable extinguishing systems.

FSC 280 Fire Apparatus and Equipment
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This is a study of driving laws, techniques, construction and operation of pumping engines, ladder trucks, aerial platforms, specialized equipment and apparatus maintenance.

FSC 291 Fire Officer I (Alabama Fire College Pro-Board Certification Course)
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
The Fire Officer I curriculum identifies the requirements necessary to perform the duties of a first line supervisor.  This course introduces the student to the basic concepts of management and supervision by concentration on such topics as: Organizational Structure, Communication Skills, Human Resource Management, Public Relations, Planning, Emergency Service Delivery, and Safety.

FSC 292 Fire Officer II
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course is structured for the fire officer who is ready to assume a leadership role by moving into the middle management level of his/her department. This course gives the officer more knowledge of management and supervision so that he/she can make basic evaluations of employee relations and assume a proactive role in their department. This course expands on the knowledge base attained in Fire Officer I by revisiting some of the same subjects and adding additional material. Some new subject areas include information management, government structure, and department budget planning and management.

FSC 293 Fire Officer III
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course is specialized for the chief officer who is ready to advance into the upper management level of his/her department. This course consists of subjects designed to give the officer more knowledge of management and administration so that he/she can make basic evaluations of employee relations and assume a more proactive role in their department. This is a projects-based class.

FSC 294 Fire Officer IV
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
This course meets executive management level needs. The course is designed to meet the elements of NFPA 1021, Chapter 7. Fire Officer IV will emphasize management of fire protection services to include human resource management, multi-agency emergency service delivery with horizontal/vertical communication requirements and risk management. There will be group interactive exercises, which will reinforce class lectures.

FSC 295 Fire Department Safety Officer
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: None   Code C
The purpose of this course is to provide training for fire officers and firefighters on the role and responsibilities of the Incident Safety Officer, and to allow participants to practice some of the key skills needed for competency as an Incident Safety Officer. This training program is for Fire Officers who could be asked to assume the duties of the Incident Safety Officer either as a staff assignment or an on-scene appointment. The program is also appropriate for firefighters who will be working on-scene with the Incident Safety Officer and must understand and appreciate the scope and duties of the job.