Flashover Friday

How much should a non- fire service related degree count during promotional time. Should it have any merit at all? Should you even get paid extra for having a non-related degree?


  • HallwaySledge says:

    Oh boy. Here we go. I’m one of those “educated” firemen with a college degree. I earned mine in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration, with a minor in Industrial Safety. I chose that as my major because inside the College of Law Enforcement there were a handful of fire classes, mostly focusing on arson investigation. At the time I was in school there was no such thing as a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Science, there weren’t even Associate degree programs yet. The only thing close was Oklahoma State’s program. Anyway, I do not get paid anything extra for my degree even though I am told it makes me a better all-around firefighter and perhaps gives me a bit of an edge for promotional opportunities. My department does pay guys with a 2-year Associate’s degree in Fire Science an extra $500, however. Here’s my rub with that. The Associate degrees in Fire Science in my area consist of everything our state Firefighter II curriculum includes plus a smattering from the Fire Officer I. So, if I have to be at the minimum a Firefighter II to even be on the job and I already have my complete Fire Officer I cert and am almost complete with Fire Officer II, don’t I already meet all those requirements? If the Associate’s degree is the base knowledge for being on the job what is the degree giving the department extra? What are they paying for? That’s just my area and my department. Maybe other areas degrees offer more expanded education above and beyond what local firefighters are already being trained to. I don’t know. But around here, I think it’s a joke.

  • anchorpoint1 says:

    Wow Sledge how long ago was that? Just kidding. Our police force had a problem with colleges giving credit for OJE. SO if the work with a psych patient once they got psychology course credit. 3 credit hours in the bank. They fixed that.
    OK, moving on. I do believe a college degree should be required for promotion. Just like in the real world if you want a job you need a degree. It does not prove knowledge, it proves commitment. It shows that you make goals and achieve them.
    Well that was short, Stay safe.

  • Emmit says:

    Yes, a degree should count for something within any career. Higher education degrees often bring a more cognitively developed individual who has a more rounded worldly view and approach to many things in life. One of the many things you’ll learn in (and about) college regards following directions. Often an individual must do their own research (with given resources), develop conclusions and organize them into a project for the given subject and professor. Sure, many people are capable of this away from the colleage setting, but one “learns” to do this in college. We can always find exceptions when we seek them, but in general, college educated individuals bring a more cognatively developed, well rounded and professional individual than those that did not seek a higher level of learning. It is also plausible that college educations can speak to the motivation of an individual that seeks more vs. stops right out of high school or GED. College is not for everyone and college does not define everyone, but there is a reason for schools of higher learning and they should speak for something. With regards to whether or not the degree should be related to the profession, one would hope that it would be the desire of the individual to focus their education in the area they choose to pursue. It’s definately more beneficial and possibly should be used to scrutinize two closely related individuals, but I do not believe it should a singular requirement. A college degree should help you get your foot in the door, but it is the individual that learns to stay inside.

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