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Aims Community College Fire Science students extinguishing a vehicle fire

Fire Science

Earn an Associate Degree in Fire Science

Expand your knowledge of fire prevention with a fire science associate degree from Aims Community College. This degree program includes the full Fire Academy training plus another 27 hours of instruction in the science of fire and fire prevention. In addition to teaching professional skills, these classes analyze what makes the techniques taught in Fire Academy effective. Become a greater asset to a fire department and your community by earning your associate degree in fire science.

Areas of study include:

  • All of the skills from the Aims Fire Academy, including Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) training
  • EMT training
  • Fire behavior
  • Structure of buildings and fires
  • Community fire prevention

The Fire Science degree really is meant for two groups of people: Those who want to get their foot in the door in a new position, and those who are also preparing to promote.

Ted Poszywak
Fire Science faculty, Aims Community College
A firefighter stands smiling in front of a fire truck.

Whether you're a current firefighter or interested in becoming a firefighter, the Aims fire science associate degree can put you on the path to an exciting and rewarding career.

Female Aims firefighter student

Get your costs covered

You may be able to earn your Fire Science degree for free through Career Advance Colorado, a program offering no-cost training.

See if you qualify for free career training

Turn Your Interest in Fire Management and Prevention into a Career

Aims Degree Video - Fire Science - Fire Science Technology

Ted Poszywak describes how the fire science associate degree program goes beyond the basics of firefighting by examining the causes and behaviors of fires in action.

Gain Hands-On Fire Science Experience

Learn by doing. Fire science courses at Aims focus on both laboratory experimentation and real-world application so you graduate with hours of hands-on experience. The value of a fire science degree is twofold: you gain skills that make you a better candidate for entry-level firefighting and you gain higher-level skills for managing and preventing fires. Learn the science of fire and the soft skills that will help you perform under pressure. 

The fire science degree teaches you to:

  • Anticipate fire behavior
  • Analyze conditions and determine the safest course of action
  • Hone quick thinking and effective response
  • Make fire service a more valuable community resource

Fire Science Classes for High School Students at Aims

If you're a high school student interested in a career in fire science or emergency medicine, Aims offers more than one way to learn more and gain hands-on experience or earn college credit while still in high school.

Fire Science Concurrent Enrollment for High School Students

Concurrent enrollment is a way for high school students to get an early start on their college education. High school seniors can earn both college and high school credit while attending Aims fire science classes taught at the college level. If you're a high school senior, as your school counselor if your school participates in this program, or email the fire science department for more information.

Aims Fire Science Xplore Academy Summer Classes


Spend an exciting summer learning from active firefighters and EMTs about rewarding careers in public safety! Climb aerial ladders, and rappel from our training tower and become CPR certified.

The Xplore Academy is an opportunity for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. The cost is $100, and financial assistance is available to those in need.

In the Aims Xplore Academy, learn about:

  • How to be a firefighter
  • Team building
  • Nutrition & physical fitness
  • Using personal protective equipment (PPE) / bunker gear
  • Ladder operations
  • Fire hose handling
  • Live fire behavior
  • Search and rescue
  • Earn a CPR Certificate upon successful completion

Registration for the summer 2024 Fire/EMS Xplore program will open on March 1, 2024. Contact the department at for questions

Earn a Fire Science Certificate

Develop your fire science skills with certificates in key areas. Get started as a firefighter with the Basic Firefighter certificate, which provides the minimum training required by most fire departments. Prepare for the Firefighter I state certification with the Firefighter I certificate. Or increase your eligibility for employment with the Firefighter II certificate program that prepares you for a Firefighter II certification. Additionally, you can qualify to operate fire service vehicles with the Driver-Operator Certificate. Add to your EMT skills with the Vehicle Extrication Certificate, which teaches how to remove motor vehicle accident victims from their vehicles in a variety of conditions. If you want to get to work in firefighting as quickly as possible, consider the Aims Fire Academy

  • Basic Firefighter Certificate
  • Fire Academy
  • Firefighter II Certificate
  • Driver-Operator Certificate
  • Vehicle Extrication Certificate
  • Fire Officer I Certificate

Careers in Fire Science

The Aims fire science associate degree includes the courses taught in Fire Academy that qualify you to work as a firefighter. This program then adds to those skills by studying the science of fire prevention and safety. Build the skills to work as a firefighter and gain a deeper understanding of fire that qualifies you for management and planning positions. This education makes you a great candidate for hiring in initial firefighter positions and improves your qualifications for promotion. It also allows you to explore other career pathways in fire service.

4% job growth by 2031 Bureau of Labor Statistics
$67,340 annual mean wage in Colorado Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fire science career paths include:

  • Public education
  • Fire inspector
  • Fire investigator
  • Fire behavior and combustion expert/analyst/technician
  • Special operations / Technical rescue fields

Fire Science Faculty and Staff

Aims Fire Science instructors have decades of professional experience in Fire and Emergency Medical Services and are dedicated to helping you prepare for a career as a firefighter through immersive hands-on training. Adjunct faculty are active-duty firefighters who will closely monitor your development. You’ll have the chance to learn from guest subject matter experts and small class sizes offer ample opportunity for individual instruction.

  • Photo of John McDougall

    John McDougall

    Program Director II, Fire Science
  • Photo of Ty Albert

    Ty Albert

    Part-Time: Program Coordinator I, CPAT
  • Ted Poszywak headshot

    Ted Poszywak

    Instructor, Fire Science
  • Robert Willits headshot

    Robert Willits

    Instructor, Fire Science
  • Ronnie Riedel

    Program Coordinator II, Fire Science