Firefighting Specialist

Two firefighters in full gear walk towards the camera.

Firefighting Specialist

Subject Area: Education, Human and Public Services

Award: Associate of Applied Science

Minimum Credits: 65.5

Location: Calmar, Peosta

Entry: Fall


This program is designed for firefighters affiliated with an existing paid or volunteer fire department. Emphasis is placed upon specialized firefighting courses offered through the Iowa Fire Service Training Bureau and the (NECAS). This program will expand a firefighter's knowledge and develop leadership for emergency response.

Admissions Requirements
  1. Apply for admission.
  2. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.
  3. Complete ACCUPLACER® reading and writing assessment and ALEKS® math assessment. Testing may be waived based on previous college coursework or submission of valid ACT®, ACT Compass® or ALEKS® test scores. Scores are valid for three years.

In addition to the College admission procedures outlined, applicants must be a high school graduate or equivalent and be affiliated with a volunteer or paid fire department.

Academic Requirements

View the printable Ed Plan.

Term 1
BCA:112 Intro to Data Processing OR 3.0
BCA:212 Intro to Computer Business Apps 3.0
ENG:105 Composition I 3.0
FIR:320 **Essentials of Firefighting I 4.0
FIR:338 ***Technical Agricultural Rescue 1.0
MGT:102 Principles of Management 4.0
SDV:179 The College Experience 3.0


Term 2
CHM:110 Intro to Chemistry 3.0
CHM:111 Intro to Chemistry Lab 1.0
SPC:112 Public Speaking 3.0
  Fire Science Elective 3.0
* Math Elective 3.0


Term 3
FIR:280 **Instructional Techniques for Fire Service Training (Fire Instruction I) 3.0
FIR:301 **Fire Department Officer I 3.0
FIR:325 **Essentials of Firefighting II 2.0
FIR:949 Special Topics¹ 1.5
PHI:105 Intro to Ethics 3.0
  Fire Science Elective 4.0


Term 4
FIR:306 **Fire Inspection Principles of Practices 3.0
FIR:322 **Hazardous Materials: Operations Level 1.0
PSY:111 Intro to Psychology OR 3.0
PSY:112 Psychology of Human Relations 3.0
  Fire Science Electives² 8.0
  Physics Elective 3.0

**Offered through the IA Fire Service Training Bureau (or equivalent out-of-state certificate)
***Offered through National Education Center for Agriculture Safety (NECAS), Peosta, IA
¹Driver Operator; Pumping
²Five credits are awarded for EMT or Paramedic certificates.


Math Electives: MAT:128, MAT:130, MAT:210, MAT:216, MAT:219, MAT:744

Fire Science Electives: Students must take 15 credits of Fire Science Electives:

FIR:201 Incident Command Series I
FIR:202 Incident Command Series II
FIR:203 Incident Command Series III
FIR:210 Incident Safety Officer
FIR:302 Fire Department Officer II
FIR:308 Health and Safety Officer
FIR:309 Strategy and Tactics for Initial Company Operations
FIR:312 Arson Detection for First Responders
FIR:391 Preparing for Initial Company Operations
FIR:392 Decision Making for Company Operations
FIR:393 Training Operations in Small Departments
FIR:401 Leadership I
FIR:402 Leadership II
FIR:403 Leadership III
  or related fire service coursework

Students with a terminal EMS certificate are awarded five credits towards the electives, EMT or EMT B, Advanced EMT or Iowa Paramedic, Paramedic or Paramedic Specialist, (State of IA or National Registry).

Program Prerequisites: This program is designed for firefighters already working for or volunteering for an existing fire department. To receive an Associate of Applied Science degree, a student must complete all of the general education courses and bring in a certificate of completion for the required firefighting courses and five elective firefighting courses. Students will be given 33 credits for the required and elective firefighting courses; 33 in addition to the 31 general education courses meets the minimum 64-credit requirement for an AAS degree.

  1. A minimum of 64 credit hours, with at least 18 earned at NICC.
  2. A minimum GPA of 2.0 and a passing grade in all required courses.
  3. Course work electives (articulated from the Fire Service Training Bureau).

The firefighting courses are offered by the Fire Service Training Bureau and are offered at various times and locations throughout the year.

Employment Information

The annual income range for Firefighting Specialist graduates is $19,639 - $38,234.

Source: EMSI; Salary range represents 10th percentile - median annual wage for related occupations in the NICC district.


Laura Menke
Dean of Allied Health
563.556.5110, ext. 498