Firefighter looking at camera

Fire Science Program

A career as a firefighter or emergency care provider requires dedication, desire and commitment, but it can be very rewarding and those who secure employment are deeply committed to their peers and serving the community.

College of DuPage offers two-year degrees in Fire Science Technology and Emergency Medical Services, as well as firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic certificates. The College also offers a Public Safety Telecommunicator certificate program.

Fire and Emergency - Higher EducationWhether you are just starting out or are already employed in the Fire Science industry, College of DuPage offers fire science classes in a flexible schedule that will help you attain your goals in this exciting and rewarding field.

Courses are offered in the state-of-the-art Robert J. Miller Homeland Security Education Center (HEC). The HEC includes a life-size street scene with fire truck bays, ambulance simulator, working fire hydrants and a simulation hazmat/smoke room.

Determine Your Path

Employment of firefighters, EMTs and paramedics is expected to grow faster than average. The growing population and the need to replace workers who retire will result in many job openings. An increasingly aging population will lead to an increasing number of requests for services. 

Whether you are interested in earning an Associate in Applied Science degree in EMS or Fire Science Technology or an EMT, firefighter or paramedic certificate, COD offers:

  • Dedicated instructors with years of EMS and Fire Service experience, certifications and licensing
  • Instruction in top-notch facilities and on cutting-edge equipment
  • Practical, hands-on experience as well as classroom-based studies
  • Clinical and field partners that provide vital hands-on experience with actual patients
  • A pathway to prepare students for the rigor of paramedic training following completion of EMT
  • An excellent reputation among EMS and Fire Service agencies, with professional networking and career opportunities

Fire Science Technology

The Fire Science Technology Associate in Applied Science Technology degree program encompasses both firefighting and emergency medical services, as well as the theory and techniques of firefighting required by most fire departments. Students planning to transfer to baccalaureate-granting institutions should consult with the program coordinator before enrolling in Fire Science Technology courses to ensure transferability of credits.

The Fire Science Technology Program is recognized as one of the top service-oriented fire programs in Illinois. The program has been awarded national recognition through the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education Program (FESHE) which recognizes College of DuPage's adoption of standardized core courses and commitment to fire and EMS professional development.

Training from this program is beneficial for both professional firefighters interested in increasing their knowledge and skill levels, as well as for firefighter candidates. 

Emergency Medical Services

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Associate in Applied Science degree focuses on emergency medical services and the administration of those services in all situations. Students planning to transfer to baccalaureate-granting institutions should consult with the program coordinator prior to enrolling in courses to ensure transferability of credits, and to learn of transfer options.

The program focuses on emergency medical services and the administration of those services in any setting. After successful completion of the Paramedic Training component, the student is allowed to challenge the National Registry of EMT’s (NREMT) Certification Exam, which upon passing, also awards the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Paramedic License.

Learn More About Applying for the Paramedic/EMS Degree Program

Emergency Medical Technician

The Emergency Medical Technician certificate is designed for students and professionals who have an interest or are currently employed in the field of fire science or the emergency medical field.

Introduction to the study of pre-hospital care as it relates to patient assessment, treatments and transportation to the hospital. After successful completion of the certificate and all of the objectives of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are passed, the student is allowed to take the State of Illinois IDPH State Licensing exam or the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician Certification exam.

Students interested in completing this ten-credit-hour course are encouraged to enroll early, as the classes fill up quickly.

Learn More About Applying for the EMT Certificate Program


This Firefighter certificate provides firefighter recruits with information on the fundamentals of orientation; fire behavior, streams, and cause and origin; the use of hoses, ropes, ladders, safety equipment, extinguishers, self-contained breathing apparatus and tools; forcible entry; overhaul; ventilation; water supply; rescue and emergency medical care; alarms and communication; inspections; hazardous materials; salvage; and sprinkler systems.

This certificate also includes a study of the design, function and operating characteristics of motorized fire apparatus, and training in the skills necessary to qualify for fire apparatus engineer/driver/operator positions. To enroll in this certificate program, student must be a full-time, part-time, volunteer or paid-on call member of a fire department or fire brigade.


Most fire departments actively seek candidates with paramedics training. Throughout the Paramedic certificate program, students will receive advanced training in emergency care, rescue techniques, illness assessment and the handling of hazardous materials. Students will also receive training in advanced life support techniques, including administering medications, starting intravenous infusions and providing advanced cardiac care. 

After successful completion of the Paramedic certificate and all of the objectives of the Illinois Department of Public Health are passed, students is allowed to take the State of Illinois Paramedic Licensing exam.

NOTE: College of DuPage Fire Science Technology classes meet or exceed the requirements for certification with the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Division of Personnel Standards and Education, the National Registry of EMT's (NREMT), and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Public Safety Telecommunicator

Students completing the Public Safety Telecommunicator certificate have the opportunity to obtain a nationally recognized certification in as little as one semester.

Students go beyond classroom and lab exercises to learn how to demonstrate the skills and abilities necessary to be a 9-1-1 Public Safety Communicator. This includes working under stress, multi-tasking and quickly making life-saving decisions to serve members of their community.

Students must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or equivalent. Writing Placement Category One and Reading Placement Category One are required. 

COD Stories

Kyler Butler headshot

“The biggest help I got from COD was from the personnel that they employ..The amount of knowledge and personal experience that the staff brings to the classroom is truly rewarding for me as a student." -Kyle Butler

Kyle's COD Story

COD Stories

Maddy Peterson photo

“COD brought in knowledge-filled chiefs, captains, lieutenants and other firefighters to help proctor us. Every officer was more than willing to help mold and shape us into good firefighters.” -Maddy Peterson

Maddy's COD Story

COD Stories

Chris Ryba photo

“COD supplied me with all of the academic support throughout all my schooling,” he said. “I received credits through TCD, through my degree from COD, and through Paramedic school where I got my license. COD has basically guided me along the whole way.” -Chris Ryba

Chris' COD Story

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in fire science is to apply for admission.

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

Emergency Medical Services

Fire Science Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program graduates will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the body’s anatomy & physiology (Scientific Reasoning General Education Outcome)
  • Assess patients for illness and/or injury. (Critical Thinking General Education Outcome)
  • Formulate communication methods with patients and other professionals. (Expression and Exchange of Ideas General Education Outcome)
  • Prepare oral and written patient care reports. (Expression and Exchange of Ideas General Education Outcome)
  • Interpret selected medical abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols. (Information Literacy General Education Outcome)
  • Explain how to properly administer medication. (Critical Thinking General Education Outcome)
  • Use knowledge of cardiology to treat medical emergencies. (Critical Thinking General Education Outcome)

Fire Science

Fire Science Program graduates will:

  • Analyze the components of a fire and its major phases (Scientific Reasoning General Education Outcome)
  • Identify primary responsibilities of fire personnel (Information Literacy General Education Outcome)
  • Justify the need for national standards (Expression and Exchange of Ideas General Education Outcome)
  • Describe the principles of fire pump operations. (Scientific Reasoning General Education Outcome)
  • Differentiate between fire suppression agents and strategies (Critical Thinking General Education Outcome)
  • Identify indicators of potential structure failure (Critical Thinking General Education Outcome)
  • Explain the importance of safety on the design of apparatus and equipment. (Scientific Reasoning General Education Outcome)

College of DuPage has several fire science transfer agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.

Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.


State Certification Programs

College of DuPage offers state certification programs including the fire academy and fire officer classes.

College of DuPage Fire Science Division offers an Office of the State Fire Marshall approved Basic Operations Fire Academy. The Basic Operations Fire Academy is divided up into (3) modules and is completed over the 16 week semester during the Fall and Spring semesters only.

Eighteen hours of program electives are earned during the academy with the opportunity to earn more towards the AAS in Fire Science. All attendees of the Basic Operations Fire Academy must be a member of a Fire Department and require a permit prior to registration.

For more information about the Basic Operations Fire Academy or the Associate in Applied Science in Fire Science, contact the Fire Science Program Manager at (630) 942-2107.

Fire Graduates

Fall 2023 Firefighter Academy

College of DuPage offers the Company Officer and Advanced Fire Officer programs. Go to to the online Class Schedule to view the courses offered.

All Company Officer and Advanced Fire Officer courses are OSFM recognized and approved for certification upon successful completion of the program requirements.  College credit is also earned towards the Associate in Applied Science in Fire Science.

All Company Officer and Advanced Fire Officer courses are restricted to active fire service personnel only and require a permit to register from the fire science program manager.

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