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The degree program is designed to prepare the student for knowledge and competencies necessary for leadership or management in the field of firefighting and fire prevention.

Graduates specialize with additional competencies to enter the fields of fire inspection and insurance investigation or pursue certification. Besides the associate’s degree, there are also 13 certificates pertaining to fire science available at Sauk; most of the certificates can easily be completed in one semester.

Career Facts

Job Description

Firefighters rush to the scene of an emergency and lend aid. It is a firefighter’s duty to respond to the scene and utilize his or her knowledge to contain and extinguish a fire and rescue any people or pets if necessary. Oftentimes, their job is also to help other emergency responders rescue anyone in distress.

Who is a Good Fit?

Individuals that want to be a firefighter should be physically fit, be able to handle stressful, possibly life-threatening conditions, work as a team, and be able to counsel, support, and be emphatic toward others.


Requires some post-secondary firefighter education and EMT/paramedic training. Those with an associate’s degree are looked upon more favorably during the hiring process.

Job Outlook


Graduate story

Tyler Behrends

2014 Grad of SVCC’s Fire Science Program

firefighter-1Tyler is a planner. He knew he wanted to be a firefighter since he was a kid and when he found out that Sauk had a Fire Science program, he started to prepare himself in high school. First, he became a volunteer firemen. Second, he completed 12 college credits before he even finished high school by taking advantage of Sauk’s dual credit program. “I would recommend [taking dual credit] to anybody” he said. “It worked out great.” After he graduated high school, Tyler was already done with his Gen Ed classes and jumped right into the Fire Science classes at Sauk. Tyler wanted to be done with his degree before he turned 21 which is often the minimal age of employment for fire departments. He graduated in May from Sauk’s Fire Science program, at age 21, and is ready for employment. He gets five extra points on his applications by having his degree too!

Tyler had nothing but good things to say about Sauk’s Fire Science Program. “It’s a great opportunity to go to school [at Sauk],” he said. It’s “close to home,” the instructors are a “great team” and they treat you as “part of a big family” that provided lots of “one on one instruction.” “You come out with a smile on your face every day,” he said. He is also thrilled at the state-of-the-art equipment found at Sauk that includes flash over/fire behavior simulator and Firefighter Essentials Training Facility. “Amazing,” he stated, “I can’t believe that other programs have anything better.”

Tyler, the planner, wants to remain local as a fireman and wants to come back to Sauk one day as a teacher. “If I could draw up a dream plan that would be it.”

Tyler has been recently hired by the Citgo Fire Department in Lemont, IL.

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