What to Expect
Fire protection technology students learn to keep people and their property
safe from fires. They're people with a desire to help their communities.
"I want to help out the community and this is a way to do so," says Sandra
Lowe. She studied at Oklahoma State University.
She's been around a firehouse all her life -- her father is a fire marshal.
"I became medically certified at age 14 and I have been hooked on the emergency
services field ever since."
Lowe balanced her time between classes, work and fire training.
She was also involved in several groups, including the Student Association
of Fire Investigators, the Fire Protection Society and the student leadership
council at her school.
Jason Clayton took fire engineering at the University of Maryland. He thrived
on the uniqueness of his field of study. "The subject matter is unlike anything
else as compared to other engineering fields," he says.
A typical day consists of lectures, classes, labs and studying. The classes
are small, and students get to know each other well.
A fire technology program includes courses in math, physics and mechanics.
Other classes are fluid mechanics, fire dynamics and heat and mass transfer.
While the classes are technical, students also receive hands-on training.
"There are so many opportunities out there that this program opens your mind
up to. I have met so many interesting people and networked so much," Lowe
Depending on the type of classes a student takes, about four or five hours
of homework and studying a night is typical.
How to Prepare
Focus on math. This helps with all the physics and math courses
in the curriculum.
While in high school, Lowe spent a lot of time in the firehouse with her
father, as well as taking emergency services classes such as CPR. Students
can also become volunteer firefighters.