Fire and Emergency Services Technology

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Program Description

The Fire and Emergency Services Technology program at South Puget Sound Community College is an IFSAC accredited and FESHE recognized degree program and educates men and women who are seeking careers in the fire and emergency services and/or who are already employed, but wish to earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Fire and Emergency Services Technology. Students have the opportunity to obtain IFSAC Firefighter I, Hazardous Materials Awareness Certification, Hazardous Materials Operations Certification, Emergency Medical Technician and NFPA 1002 Driver/Operator during their first year and IFSAC Firefighter II Certification, and NFPA 1670 Rope Rescue Operations  during their second year. Students enrolled in the Fire and Emergency Services Technology program are accepted once a year and courses begin in the fall. This is a limited enrollment program accepting 30 new students each fall.  

Career Opportunities 

Most graduates will seek entry-level positions as firefighters, firefighter/EMTs, hazardous materials technicians or fire prevention officers. See Society, Services & Education » Fire and Emergency Services Technology for more career and employment information.

Program Outcomes

At the completion of the Fire and Emergency Technology Program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing situations, determining proper actions, understanding the costs and benefits of actions, and evaluating possible alternatives and unforeseen circumstances
  • Demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills with supervisors, peers and the public in emergency and non-emergency situations
  • Apply theoretical knowledge of hydraulic principles and utilize knowledge of building construction principles, fire protection systems, and fire prevention codes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the professional and ethical responsibilities associated with the practice of fire and emergency services
  • ​Explain how cultural values, behaviors, attitudes, and economic factors affect the delivery of emergency services in large and small communities

In addition, students who complete the program will demonstrate the following skills standards specific to Fire and Emergency Services Technology:

  • Meet the certification requirements of NFPA 1001, Firefighter I
  • Meet the certification requirements of NFPA 1001, Firefighter II
  • Meet the certification requirements of NFPA Hazardous Materials Operations
  • Meet the requirements of NFPA 1002, Driver/Operator
  • Meet the requirements of NFPA 1670 Awareness Level in trench rescue, confined space, and structural collapse
  • Meet the requirements of NFPA 1670 Technician Level in rope rescue
  • Meet the requirements of NWCGS Wildland Firefighter II
  • Meet the requirements of Emergency Medical Technician – Basic

Program Requirement

Basic skills and pre-college requirements must be met prior to enrolling in the Fire and Emergency Services Program. 

In order to continue to progress through the FEST program, all core FEST and general education courses must be completed with a “C” or better.

Program Information

Length of Program: Full-time students typically complete this program in six quarters, after basic skills and/or pre-college are complete.

Additional Costs:

Estimated Costs: The following are approximate additional costs for the Fire and Emergency Services Program per year.

  • Books     $ 550.00 per year
  • Boots      $ 165.00 - $225.00

Additional Program Information

Program Update FY15-16

Program Review

Special Admissions

Admission to Fire & Emergency Services Technology Program

Admission will be offered to the first 30 applicants to complete all admission requirements.  The FEST online Orientation must be successfully completed prior to your application to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology program. Admission to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology program is a separate procedure from admission to the college (see application to college below).

Minimum Age Requirement

Because state law (WAC 296-125-030 and WAC 246-976-041) prohibits exposing anyone under the age of 18 to hazardous conditions, ie., burning buildings, exposure to highway traffic, hazardous materials, wildfire, etc., applicants to the FEST program must be 18 years of age or older upon entering the program.

Complete the Online Orientation

Applicants must successfully complete the FEST online orientation before applying to the program.

Placement Test or Waiver of Basic Skills Testing

Complete the Computerized Placement Test (CPT) and place at college level in the basic skills (English and math), or complete the equivalent courses.  The test may be waived based on previous college courses in math and English.  The CPT should be taken as early in the application process as possible.  Test scores will identify the need for courses to meet enrollment requirements.  Applicants not meeting the minimums by the end of spring quarter may not be considered for admission into the Fire and Emergency Services Technology Program.

Application to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology Program

Applications can be picked up at the college or online. Completed applications need to be returned to South Puget Sound Community College, Building 22, Office of Enrollment Services. Applications will only be accepted after successful completion of the FEST online orientation.

Undergo and Pass a Routine Criminal Background/Driver's License Check

Due to the sensitive nature and confidential aspects of the work of a firefighter, all applicants must pass a routine Criminal Background Check and Driver’s License check.  Each applicant is responsible for submitting signed consent forms and payment of the appropriate record search fees.

A derogatory return of a background check or driver’s license check will prohibit the student from response activities with the cooperating agency, McLane/Black Lake Fire Department, which will result in a failing grade.

Attend and Pass a Physical Agility Test

You will be notified of your scheduled test date. It is mandatory that you attend. You must successfully pass the physical agility class in order to be accepted into the FEST program.

Successfully Pass a Doctors Medical Examination and Drug Screening

This examination will be conducted by the fire district’s physician, on a cost-sharing basis.  The exam forms must be signed by our doctor and returned to the Program Coordinator at McLane/Black Lake Fire Department Headquarters, 125 Delphi Road, Olympia, Washington 98502.

According to McLane/Black Lake Fire Department PPG# 2447: (1.0 Policy/Section 1.1) the student and department shall maintain entry level drug testing practices in order to achieve an alcohol and drug free workplace.

Application to the College

Application to the college is necessary in addition to application to the Fire and Emergency Services Technology Program. (Please follow special application procedure).


Recruit Academy

Applicants will be required to attend and complete a four and one-half week Firefighter Recruit Academy (FEST 100) , beginning approximately the second week in August.  This academy is designed to prepare the recruit firefighter with basic firefighting skills and techniques as well as to develop necessary teamwork and discipline in preparation of the FEST program and specifically the Fire Related Experience component of the program. You must successfully pass the Firefighter Recruit Academy (FEST 100) in order to continue in the FEST program. NOTE: This recruit class is strenuous in nature and could subject the applicant to physically demanding work in hot weather conditions.  Medical exam MUST be completed prior to this course.

Educational Plan

Fire and Emergency Services Technology

Associate in Applied Science
118 credits

Core Requirements

No course description for: FEST100
No course description for: FEST101
No course description for: FEST102
No course description for: FEST103
No course description for: FEST110
No course description for: FEST111
No course description for: FEST112
No course description for: FEST115
No course description for: FEST117
No course description for: FEST120
No course description for: FEST122
No course description for: FEST125
No course description for: FEST201
No course description for: FEST202
No course description for: FEST203
No course description for: FEST210
No course description for: FEST211
No course description for: FEST212

General Education Requirements
No course description for: ENGL&101

Additional Communication: 
Choose one of the following:
No course description for: CMST&220
No course description for: CMST&230
No course description for: CMST240
No course description for: ENGL&235

No course description for: MATH101

Human Relations
Choose one of the following:
No course description for: CMST&230
No course description for: HUM121
No course description for: PSYC116

CMST&230 or CMST240 will count for only 1 category under the General Education Requirements    

Diversity: Some Human Relation courses also satisfy diversity  

Effective Catalog Year 2017-2018, Revised March 21, 2017