Fire Science program continues to expand

Frank Berta

The Fire Science/EMT program at MCC continues to evolve, offering students a variety of career opportunities. Started in 1994 at the MCC Dobson campus, the at the time program only covered classroom study, and was housed in temporary buildings.

After a few moves, the program finally settled at the Downtown Center and at the Williams Center, offering not only classroom study, but hands on EMT, paramedic and firefighting training as well.

“MCC was the first of our community colleges to offer Firefighter One and Two,” said Lewis Jones, fire academy coordinator.

Jones, a captain with the Phoenix Fire Department, has been with MCC for the past 16 years.

The Fire Science/EMT program will be moving from its Williams campus after this semester to a new location in the East Valley, but they will continue to use the training grounds and the burn building at Williams for another year.

“We’re going to make the move as seamless as possible,” said department chair Sonia Jones, a former firefighter and paramedic for the City of Scottsdale.

With a goal to mirror the fire science program across the district, a new Associate in Applied Science Degree has been created, titled Emergency Response and Operations, referred to as the ERO Degree.

Under the ERO program, students can choose from three tracks: Fire Operations, Advanced Emergency Medical Technology-Paramedic or Emergency Management.

There are plans to add more tracks in the future.

The department will also be bringing back to campus a 16-month, 1,600 hour comprehensive initial paramedic training program beginning this summer.

“We’re going to have one of the best in the state.” Jones said.

“We also offer a lot more than just firefighter training and EMT/paramedic training. We also train for emergency management, which has been one of the most popular fields to get into since 9/11,” he added.

The department also offers certificates of completion in several specialties in addition to the associates’ degree.

Students wanting to continue for their bachelor’s degree can easily move to a university.

“If you get an Associate in Applied Science in Fire Science here, you immediately go to ASU’s Bachelor of Fire Science program as a junior. They automatically accept everything we do here at MCC,” said Denise Quintrall, an EMT instructor at the Downtown Center.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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