Fire College teaming with UWA to offer BS, possible MS degrees - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Fire College teaming with UWA to offer BS, possible MS degrees

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

    James Todd who is a Fire Captain in Kings Bay, Georgia, travels to the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa for training.  "A lot of courses they offer is not offered by the Georgia Fire Academy," says Todd.

    He's like many others taking an Advanced Emergency Management class  looking to move up the ladder some day to chief.

    They're exited about an agreement signed between the University of West Alabama and the Fire College Monday.

     It will allow students to earn a Bachelors of Fire Science degree between the two schools. "All of the work they do through us which is National Certification and it will allow them to convert that to college credit," explained Allen Rice, executive director of the fire college.

    The partnership is the first of its kind in the state and possibly the country. "The fire college already had a syllabus. They already had a curriculum. They already had an idea of what they wanted to do. And we already have on our campus a large program in emergency medicine." said UWA representative Richard Holland.

    The fire college says such partnerships are needed because there is a change in scope of what firefighters do. "...From new extinguishing methods, new chemical hazards....actually geo-political issues and response to terrorism to issues that didn't even exist in our nation 20 years ago. So, even the rank and file firefighters needs a more robust and profound basis in an academic setting," said Rice

   Once the schools gauge the success of the new Bachelor's program, the schools may offer a Master's degree in fire science.  Todd couldn't be more thrilled "When you start moving up into the captain and chief officer position, the more education you have on your resume is definitely a plus when you're applying for a position."

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