Fire Service Operations

The Fire Service Operations A.A.S. degree is designed to prepare students without firefighting career experience for entry-level jobs in fire service.

The program culminates with students completing fire academy training and performing a capstone internship with a local fire department. Students must complete a separate application to gain entry into the fire academy program. They must be selected based on their numerical ranking, and successfully complete all aspects of the application process to be considered.

Students learn about the characteristics and behavior of fire, strategies for extinguishing fires, coping with hazardous materials incidents, and administering emergency medical assistance.

Using appropriate methods and equipment, fire science personnel attack and extinguish fires, cope with hazardous materials incidents, and are familiar with rescue techniques. In addition, they can administer emergency medical assistance to injured persons, maintain fire-fighting apparatus and equipment, conduct fire inspections and investigations into the cause and origin of fires, and are knowledgeable of general building construction and related building codes. They also prepare and submit various fire and inspection reports, prepare and conduct training programs for in-house and outside personnel and supervise firefighters in emergency and non-emergency situations.

Fire science personnel may work in urban and suburban areas, airports, chemical plants, other industrial sites, and rural areas like grasslands and forests. Students learn about the fire service through both classroom and hands-on instruction. Hands-on instruction cover areas such as use of hose nozzles, ladders, forcible entry tools, ventilation equipment, and supplied-air breathing apparatus. Instruction covers techniques for search-and-rescue and self-survival.

With your degree, you can move into positions such as firefighter, fire officer, fire prevention personnel, fire investigator, public safety personnel, industrial firefighter, industrial loss prevention personnel, insurance personnel and military firefighter.

Once complete, students will be able to successfully challenge the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s exam for certification as a Firefighter-Basic.

Firefighter-Basic is the minimum level certification for a structural firefighter in Illinois. In addition to Firefighter-Basic, students will cover Hazardous Material Awareness and Operations, Technical Rescue Awareness, and the classroom portions of Fire Service Vehicle Operator.

Contact Us

Got questions or interested to learn more? Contact Program Coordinator Andy Hufnagl by phone at 708-608-4404 or by email at or stop by his office in Building T, Room 805.