Fire Service Preparation

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The Fire Service Preparation certificate program provides an opportunity for students to obtain basic instruction in firefighting, rescue, and emergency medical care. The program meets the minimum entry-level requirements for most fire departments around the country. This certificate consists mostly of technical coursework and three credits of general education, providing for a focus of technical hands-on training to enable the student to become familiar with the entry-level aspects of the fire service.

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Northland offers a multitude of opportunities, whether you're beginning your degree or returning to college. We're affordable, convenient, and flexible. Take your life North at Northland.

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Program Accreditation

Program Accreditation

College Accreditation

Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Program Specific Requirements

1. Completion and approval for clinical participation of the Minnesota Department of Humans Services Licensing Division Background Study prior to entering FIRE courses. Completion and approval for clinical participation of a National Background Study through Verified Credentials cost $50.
2. Students must have an "eligible" status through the State Motor Vehicle Records Check system.
3. Current CPR certification. CPR for Health Care Providers (American Heart Association) prior to the end of the first week of EMTB1100.
4. All required courses for the program must be completed with a grade of C or better.
5. Completion of the College Health Screening & Immunization form prior to enrollment in EMTP1130.
6. All students must have structural firefighting personal protective equipment, which consists of a helmet, protective hood, coat, pants, gloves, and boots.

Students achieving assessment scores below the established minimums must register and successfully complete (with a grade of "C" or better) the required developmental courses in order to meet graduation requirements.

The program minimum scores for the Accuplacer Assessment test are as follows:
Reading Comprehension: 46
Arithmetic: 50


  • Health and Human Services students must comply with both Minnesota law and clinical facility requirements related to immunizations and background screenings.
  • Students who do not comply with the required health and immunization requirements may not be permitted to attend clinical which WILL affect program progression and completion.

Program Course Listings

Required Courses

Course # Course Name Credits
EMTB 1100 Emergency Medical Tech 4 credits
FIRE 1100 Intro to Fire Service 1 credits
FIRE 1102 Firefighter Fitness 2 credits
FIRE 1110 Firefighter Basic 6 credits
FIRE 1130 Rescue Theory & Practices 1 credits
FIRE 1150 HazMat Operational 2 credits
TOTAL CREDITS: 16 credits

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Program Learner Outcomes

1. Student will perform professional firefighting skills as outlined in the National Fire Protection Association standards.
2. Student will Execute Emergency Medical Technician-Basic skills as identified by Department of Transportation.
3. Student will demonstrate effective, professional internal and external (written and oral) communication skills required of the firefighting industry.
4. Student will operate and maintain fire apparatus and fire equipment properly as outlined in the National Fire Protection Association standards.
5. Student will demonstrate professional characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes as expected in the firefighting field.

Employment Outlook & Opportunities

Northland Career Center

Job Openings

Counselors are available in the Career Center to assist with career advising, job search resources, employer connections, occupational descriptions, employment outlook, earnings, education/training requirements and sources.

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Nationwide demand exists for students wanting to become professional fire fighters. Typically job titles will be as a starting fire fighter with a municipal fire department, but in some cases industry or other governmental institutions will hire graduates with these capabilities.

The employment outlook for firefighters in the state of Minnesota from 2010 to 2020 is 4%, an low growth career.

Program Faculty

East Grand Forks Campus

  • Chad Cutshaw
  • Adjunct Fire Technology Instructor
  • (218) 793-2579
  • Scott Nicola
  • Adjunct Fire Technology Instructor
  • (218) 793-2579
  • Jason Swope
  • Fire Technology Instructor
  • (218) 793-2579

Thief River Falls Campus