Academics

Fire Protection Services

Program Details

There are few careers that are as demanding and require expertise in as many disciplines as firefighting. The job of the firefighter remains one of the most rewarding in the field of public service. The Fire Service has many unique requirements. It requires a distinct team spirit as well as a wide range of technical skills and the ability to deal with the public in both minor and major crisis situations.

The WIU Fire Protection Studies program features a comprehensive major with two separate and unique study options. The Fire Administration Option is delivered online and is designed for working firefighters seeking promotion to senior leadership positions. The Fire Science Option, with classes delivered on-campus in a traditional setting, is ideally suited for students preparing for a career in the Fire Service. A minor program is associated with each of these two options.

Our curriculum was written by firefighters for firefighters. It is based on national standards and addresses the real challenges faced by the Fire Service each day. Ours is a rigorous program which not only confers a degree, but also delivers the education necessary for success in the Fire Service.

Western Illinois University has a history of fire service education spanning more than 30 years. Many leaders in the Fire Service are alumni of our program and are quick to attribute their career success to their degree at WIU. The faculty and staff within the Fire Protection Studies program are committed to supporting the educational and career pursuits of our current firefighters and the preparation of the next generation of firefighters for success in this public safety career.

Options

Fire Administration Option

This program has been developed specifically for firefighters seeking career advancement. In order to best meet the needs of working firefighters, the program is delivered entirely online. The Fire Administration Option focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage and lead a modern fire department. Foundational courses focus on introductions to the Fire Service, firefighter safety, fire tactics, fire prevention, ethics, and fire service law. Specialty courses focus on fire service management, financial practices, leadership, disaster planning, research techniques, human behavior, collective bargaining, code enforcement, and suppression systems.

Fire Science Option

Fire Science Option classes are delivered on-campus in a traditional setting. This option is ideally suited for students who wish to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a fire service career. Foundational courses focus on introductions to the Fire Service, firefighter safety, fire tactics, fire prevention, ethics, and fire service law. Specialty courses focus on fire dynamics, arson investigation, code enforcement, and emergency medical services. The program also utilizes a significant internship program with a career fire department.

Department Minors

  • Corrections
  • Criminalistics
  • Fire Administration
  • Fire Science
  • Homeland Security
  • Law Enforcement and Justice Administration
  • Legal Studies
  • Security Administration

Additional Resources

firefighters

Our Fire Administration Option has been developed specifically for firefighters seeking career advancement.

Possible Careers in Fire Protection Services

A career in the Fire Service offers an individual a multitude of opportunities and challenges, and as a field of study, it can prove to be one of the most interesting and rewarding choices one can make. In the 21st century, firefighters are on the front line of community protection. Hazardous materials require knowledge of chemistry. Terrorism, both homegrown and domestic, requires cross-training with law enforcement. Natural threats, such as floods, storms, and earthquakes, require knowledge of emergency management.

In addition to firefighting, career opportunities are available in a number of diverse fields, including the following:

  • Fire Inspection and Code Enforcement
  • Arson Investigation
  • Industrial Safety
  • Fire Prevention Specialist

Fire Service (FS) Courses

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

101 Basic Elements of Firefighting I. (3) An introduction to essential concepts and practices in fire suppression. This course is part of the Illinois Basic Firefighter Certification series. Topics include organization structures, safety, fire chemistry, building construction, rope practices, and fire extinguishers.

102 Basic Elements of Firefighting II. (3) An introduction to essential concepts and practices in fire suppression. This course is part of the Illinois Basic Firefighter Certification series. Topics include ladder practices, hose operations, fire ground ventilation, and fire-related hydraulics.

103 Basic Elements of Firefighting III. (3) An introduction to essential concepts and practices in fire suppression. This course is part of the Illinois Basic Firefighter Certification series. Topics include fire ground tactics, rescue operations, fire cause determination, salvage, and post fire overhaul practices.

210 Fire Protection. (3) Organization and function of fire prevention; inspections and hazard analysis; economics of and survey of fire protection equipment. Examination of direct and indirect personnel functions, responsibilities, and coordination with other agencies.

211 Fire Suppression Tactics. (3) This course is an introduction to basic concepts in fire suppression operations. Topics include an overview of the incident command system, building construction, basic fire strategy, fire ground tactics, and situational response. Prerequisite: FS 210 or permission of instructor/ chairperson.

212 Introduction to Fire Prevention. (3) This course serves as a general introduction to strategies in fire prevention. Concepts reviewed include building inspection, code enforcement, construction plan review, zoning practices and public education programs. Prerequisite: FS 210 or permission of instructor/ chairperson.

300 Administration of Firefighter Safety Programs. (3) An exploration of the fire administrator’s role in meeting governmental regulatory obligations, and industry standards related to firefighter safety, health, and well-being. Credit cannot be given for both FS 300 and 301. Prerequisite: FS 210 or permission of instructor.

301 Firefighter Safety and Survival. (3) Firefighter safety introduces essential principles and history related to the national firefighter life safety initiatives, focusing on the need for cultural and behavioral change throughout the emergency services. Credit cannot be given for both FS 300 and 301. Prerequisite: FS 210 or permission of instructor/chairperson.

302 Fire Department Hazardous Materials Operations. (3) The Hazardous Materials Operations course provides instruction needed for firefighters to evaluate and mitigate risks associated with the release of hazardous materials. Students will explore riskassessment techniques, decontamination modalities, and physical qualities related to selected hazardous materials. Prerequisite: FS 210 or permission of instructor.

345 Ethics, Diversity, and Professionalism in the Fire and Emergency Services. (3) This course will familiarize students with concepts relating to diversity, professionalism, ethics, and morality within fire service delivery from both the individual and organizational perspective. Special attention is provided to ethical and moral dilemmas that are recurrent and problematic. Prerequisite: 12 hours in fire protection study or permission of instructor.

443 Fire Protection Structure and Systems Design. (3) The principles of protection of the structure from fire involvement. Topics include empirical tests, prediction procedures, detection and suppression systems, sprinkler design, and recent innovations. Not open to students with credit for ET 443. Prerequisite: FS 210, or permission of instructor/chairperson, or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate program.

444 Fire Dynamics. (3) Fire dynamics is a study of fire propagation phenomenon in both fuel and air regulated phases, e.g., variables in pre- and post-flashover fire development, as well as geometric, material, gaseous, fluid flow, and thermodynamic parameters. Not open to students with credit for ET 444. Prerequisite: FS 210, or permission of instructor/chairperson, or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate program.

481 Fire and Emergency Administration. (3) Organization and management of fire services, including new technologies and changing organizational structures. Blending personnel and equipment. Municipal fire protection planning. Fire department functions. Manpower and training. Prerequisite: FS 210, or permission of instructor/ chairperson, or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate Program. Permission of instructor is required for all online sections of this course.

482 Analytic Approaches to Public Fire Protection. (3) The course is designed to show the application of the systems approach to problems in the fire protection services including fire suppression and prevention systems. Prerequisite: FS 210, or permission of instructor/chairperson, or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate Program. Permission of instructor is required for all online sections of this course.

483 Personnel Management for the Fire and Emergency Services. (3) Examines personnel practices, management procedures; investigates collective bargaining, binding arbitration, applicable legislative procedures, and administrative and supervisory procedures. Other topics: promotion and personnel development. Prerequisite: FS 210, or permission of instructor/chairperson, or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate Program. Permission of instructor is required for all online sections of this course.

484 Fire Prevention Organization and Management. (3) Examines and evaluates the techniques, procedures, programs, and agencies involved with fire prevention. Consideration is given to related governmental inspection and education procedures. BGS online writing course. Prerequisite: FS 210, or permission of instructor/chairperson, or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate Program. Permission of instructor is required for all online sections of this course.

485 Political and Legal Foundations. (3) The legal basis for the police power of government related to public safety. Legal limitations and responsibility. Liability of fire prevention organizations and personnel. Review of judicial decisions. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. BGS online writing course. Prerequisite: ENG 180 and 280; FS 210, or permission of instructor/chairperson, or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate Program. Permission of instructor is required for all online sections of this course.

486 Fire Investigation and Analysis. (3) Examination of techniques for the collection and analysis of evidence relative to a fire’s origin. Legislative, economic, psychological, and sociological variables of the incendiary fire. Prerequisite: FS 210, or permission of instructor/chairperson, or acceptance into National Fire Academy Certificate Program. Permission of instructor is required for all online sections of this course.

487 Fire Codes and Standards. (3) This course surveys fire codes and standards, explores their development process, impact on life safety, and the challenges present in their application. Prerequisite: FS 210 or 212, or permission of instructor.

488 (Cross-listed with PSY 488) Fire-Related Human Behavior. (3) Considers fire related behavior in general including fire detection, suppression action, and evacuation behavior. Also considers fire-setting behavior, fire-prevention education, and eyewitness processes. Not open to students with credit in PSY 488. Prerequisite: FS 210, or permission of instructor/ chairperson, or acceptance into the National Fire Academy Certificate program.

490 Fire Service Internship. (9) The fire internship provides practical experience through real world observation and interaction with practitioners in the work environment. The student observes and participates in the daily routines associated with the provision of public safety services. Prerequisites: Minimum 2.25 GPA overall and a 2.50 GPA in the core courses within the fire major; C grade or better in each of FS 210, 211, 212, 301, and 345; junior or senior standing. Corequisite: FS 491. Graded S/U only.

491 Fire Service Internship Paper Summary. (3) This course consists of a writing exercise whereby interns reflect on their thoughts and opinions regarding the internship experience, including events that played an important part in their academics or internship experience as it relates to their career pursuits. Corequisite: FS 490.

499 Senior Comprehensive Exam. (0) A comprehensive exam administered to all seniors majoring in Fire Protection Services. Prerequisite: Senior standing Graded S/U only.

Contact Information

School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

Jill Joline Myers, J.D., Director
Email: JJ-Myers@wiu.edu
Location: Stipes Hall 403
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1038

Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Website

Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Directory

College of Education & Human Services (COEHS)

Dr. Erskine Smith, Dean
Email: ER-Smith@wiu.edu
COEHS Email: coehs@wiu.edu
Location: Horrabin Hall 117G
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1690

COEHS Website

Fire Protection Services Advising

Stacy Dorsett
Horrabin Hall 91
Phone: (309) 298-1438
Email: SE-Dorsett@wiu.edu

Donna Bradford
Horrabin Hall 91
Phone: (309) 298-1438
Email: DK-Bradford@wiu.edu

Phoebe Wilson
Horrabin Hall 91
Phone: (309) 298-1438
Email: PV-Wilson@wiu.edu

Monica Eskridge
Horrabin Hall 91
Phone: (309) 298-1438
Email: MJ-Eskridge@wiu.edu

Horrabin Hall