Rapid population growth has resulted in the expansion of the firefighting departments at the city, county, state, and federal government levels, as well as the military and various private agencies. With that growth comes increased competition, however, and is why we've developed the technical and manipulative training at Columbia College to be one of the best offered anywhere.
Fire Technology program students receive individual instructor support through our Fire Academy. Columbia College is also one of only two community colleges in California to operate its own fire station, staffed by students enrolled in the program. Through an agreement with the Tuolumne County Fire Department and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the on-campus station responds to over 350 calls a year.
As the competition for firefighting jobs heats up, the demand for more qualified and educated applicants grows as well. Along with basic skills, many hiring departments seek applicants with associate degrees, and most require California State Firefighter I Certification for entry-level positions. Two other valuable skills for gainful employment are Search and Rescue and EMS/Paramedic Certification, both of which are offered here at Columbia.
There are a variety of options for students enrolled in the Fire Technology program. An Associate in Science degree is perfect for those looking for a full-time firefighting career or eventual departmental management. Plus, units in the AS program are transferrable to four-year universities. An Associate in Science Occupational Education degree is perfectly suited for those looking at a part-time or volunteer basis in firefighting, as those units are non-transferrable. And our Certificate of Achievement prepares students for the Firefighter I exam and has yielded consistently higher scores over students without the certificate.
See the current college catalog (available on campus or online) for course information on the following degrees:
Certificate of Achievement (COA)