Fire Science

Beyond any other profession, firefighting exemplifies responsibility and courage. The desire to work in this profession is fueled by a value of life and an instinct to protect it. The Fire Science offerings at Columbia Basin College (CBC) assist students in beginning or propelling a career in fire service. By building new skills and strengthening those that already exist, an education at CBC better prepares students to protect their community while giving them an edge in the well-respected, well-compensated career fields.

Degree Options

CBC offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Fire Science. Students enrolled in the Fire Science program complete general education courses in the field of fire science. In addition, students are exposed to courses in:

  • Fire administration
  • Tactics
  • Inspection
  • Investigation
  • Hazardous materials
  • And more!

    Please contact Counseling & Advising to visit with a Completion Coach for more program information and academic planning for the Fire Science program. The Counseling & Advising contact information is 509-542-5505 and their email is counselingFREECOLUMBIA_BASIN.

Firefighters possessing such a comprehensive background will increase their chances of career advancement and to protect the community. The updated degree requirements also provide flexibility to students wanting to prepare for multiple career options, including paramedic.

Information Sessions

Please take the time to attend one of the Fire Science, EMT or Paramedic information sessions. Your questions will be answered by an Advisor/Counselor or a program representative.

Information sessions are scheduled for one hour and open to anyone interested in a CBC Health Sciences program.

To view upcoming information sessions and register, please check our events calendar.

To get started in Fire Science, first apply for admission at CBC! To earn an Associate in Applied Science degree, you must accumulate the required credit hours in the Fire Science program. Classes are held in the evenings on a two-year rotation, and you can start the classes at any point in the sequence, provided the course does not specifically have a prerequisite (i.e. Fire Tactics II). Below is the schedule for the upcoming sequence of courses.

The Communication Studies requirement for the CBC Fire Science AAS Degree must be a five-credit CMST course: CMST& 101, CMST& 210, CMST& 220 or CMST 260.

Major Courses for the Fire Science AAS Degree

Introduction to Fire Science (FS 100) is required to start a Fire Science degree. All other courses are broken down by quarters as follows:

Course Number Course Title Credits
FS 100 Introduction to Fire Science 1
FS 121 Fire Tactics I 3
FS/FFT 131 Introduction to Fire Inspection 3
Course Number Course Title Credits
FS 100 Introduction to Fire Science 1
FS 111 Fire Administration 3
FS/FFT 222 Fire Tactics II 3
Course Number Course Title Credits
FS 100 Introduction to Fire Science 1
FS/FFT 211 Building Construction 3
FS/FFT 251 Fire Service Hydraulics 3
Course Number Course Title Credits
FS 100 Introduction to Fire Science 1
FS/FFT 231 Fire Protection Equipment 3
FS 241 Fire Investigation 3
Course Number Course Title Credits
FS 100 Introduction to Fire Science 1
FS 141 Chemistry of Hazardous Materials 3
Course Number Course Title Credits
FS 100 Introduction to Fire Science 1
FS 151 Hazardous Materials for First Responders 3

Restrictive Electives for Fire Science AAS Course Options

  • BIO 160
  • BIO 241
  • BIO 242
  • HE 240
  • CS 101
  • HSCI 147
  • EMT 101
  • FS 193
  • FS 299
  • FS 293
Max of five of restrictive electives may be Business:
  • BUS 130
  • BUS 134
  • BUS 262
Max of five restrictive electives may be Chemistry:
  • CHEM 110
  • CHEM& 121
  • CHEM&122
  • CHEM&123
  • CHEM&131
  • CHEM&140
  • CHEM& 161
  • CHEM& 162
  • CHEM& 163
Max of five restrictive electives may be Health:
  • HE 110
  • HE 170
  • HE 215
  • HE 220
Max of five restrictive electives may be PE:
  • PE 1201
  • PE 1211
Max of five restrictive electives may be Sociology:
  • SOC 101
  • SOC 210
Max of five restrictive electives may be Spanish:
  • SPAN& 122
  • SPAN& 123

Other courses may be acceptable and will be evaluated on a case by case basis. However, you should assume that the courses above are the only ones that will be accepted without question.

Program Learning Outcomes for the AAS in Fire Science

Program learning outcomes are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students will achieve before they graduate. The outcomes below were developed by the faculty in Fire Science with input from accrediting bodies, advisory committees, employers, etc. This collaboration ensures that the outcomes are relevant for careers that this degree leads to.

Students who graduate with an AAS in Fire Science will be able to:
  1. Evaluate fire behavior and building construction as it relates to firefighter safety, building codes and fire prevention.
  2. Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication in emergency and non-emergency situations.
  3. Apply critical thinking and decision-making skills relevant to the fire service scenarios.
  4. Use terminology, concepts, principles, and theories of the fire service.
  5. Apply lessons learned from historical events to current fire service best practices.

Firefighters possessing an AAS degree may work in many areas of fire protection, including:

  • All hazards firefighter
  • Fire investigation
  • Industrial firefighter

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of firefighters is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. In general, firefighters are well compensated, receive excellent benefits and pension plans, and because fire protection is an essential service, firefighters are rarely affected by layoffs.

Articulated Programs

  • Eastern Washington University (EWU): EWU offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree program for persons already holding an Associate's Degree.
  • Eastern Oregon University (EOU): An articulation agreement exists between CBC and EOU that will allow certain courses from CBC’s Fire Science AAS degree to transfer to the Fire Service Administration program at EOU.


MSC building Richland