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A Fire Safety Engineering Technology Program For The 21 St Century

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

New ET Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.45.1 - 7.45.8



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Paper Authors

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Jeff Kimble

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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A Fire Safety Engineering Technology Program for the 21st Century

Jeffrey Kimble The University of North Carolina Charlotte


A baccalaureate program in Fire Safety Engineering Technology (FSET) was recently initiated at UNC Charlotte in response to the needs of the fire service in North Carolina. This paper describes how the program’s curriculum was established and how state-of-the-art technology is used to deliver courses via distance education over the Internet using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous web delivery. The program is unique in several aspects: · The program includes a balanced mix of technical and non-technical classes. (Technical classes are the classes that deal with the science, physics and engineering of fire protection. The non-technical classes are those which deal with the administrative and managerial aspects of the fire service.) · The technical portion of the curriculum is based on the International Association of Fire Safety Science model curriculum. It includes many technical classes dealing with Fire Behavior, Fire Science and Fire Protection/Suppression. · The program includes classes dealing with command and administrative issues. · The curriculum also includes nine hours of political science classes including, state politics and urban politics. · The curriculum includes six hours of organizational psychology. · The on-campus classes are set up in a unique fashion to accommodate fire service employees who work rotating 24-hour shifts. · The program is also offered as an individual access, distance learning degree program using state-of-the-art distance leaning technology. The Distance Education classes are a combination of asynchronous and synchronous web based delivery using WebCT Ò and Centra Symposium. Ò


The Fire Safety Engineering Technology program at UNC Charlotte was created in response to the needs of the Fire Chief’s Association and Firemen's Association of North Carolina. Pressure to hire only chief officers who have a baccalaureate degree was creating anxiety among the ranks in the North Carolina fire service. The fire service is steeped in tradition, and in the past, the chief officers have usually come from within the ranks. However, this shift toward seeking only degreed persons in hiring practices had led to several outsiders or “non fire service personnel” being named as the chief in many departments. Fire departments are paramilitary in organization and “civilians” coming in without having been tried by fire (pardon the pun) tended to ruffle the collective feathers of the troops. The lack of baccalaureate degree programs relating to the fire service, and the lack of programs that could accommodate the rotating work schedules of

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Kimble, J. (2002, June), A Fire Safety Engineering Technology Program For The 21 St Century Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10227

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