The goal of the Fire Science program is to get the training programs to the area fire departments delivered at their locations, we will bring the training to you. We want to be your resource for training programs, training schedules, department assessments and any general fire information you are looking for.
The Fire Science program at MPCC offers a wide range of training programs for your fire department, from new firefighter NFPA 1001 (Fire Fighter I & Fire Fighter II) to officer/command training.
The Fire Science Technology program is designed to provide training and education to develop competent technicians in the fire protection, prevention, and administration. The program will also provide training and education for personnel of insurance companies and industries involved in fire protection and prevention. Another important function of the program is to enhance the training of paramedics and firefighters currently working in full-time and volunteer fire departments throughout the region.
Students will complete a core of courses designed to ensure they possess the base knowledge necessary in Fire Science Technology. Satisfactory completion of prescribed 42.5 semester credit hours will lead to a Diploma. An additional 18 semester credit hours of the general education requirements will result in an Associate of Applied Science Degree. The classes will be offered during the day, some nights and on a few Saturdays in a 2 year format. Students whose goal is an Associate of Applied Science Degree should enroll in the general education classes before or during that time period.
- Have knowledge of hazards and related safety practices associated with fire science technology.
- Perform tasks related to fire protection, prevention, and administration.
- Demonstrate an understanding of personal and work characteristics that contribute to effective job performance.
- Use effective communication skills appropriate to the fire science industry.
- Apply the theory of fire science to specific jobs using critical thinking/reasoning skills and the ability to work independently.
- Use mathematical data and reasoning skills in relation to fire science technology.
- Prepare for certification/licensing.
Employment opportunities include city, town, and rural salaried fire departments, government agencies, construction firms, insurance companies, and hazardous materials handling. While not a salaried position, many communities depend on volunteer firefighters solely or in coordination with the salaried fire department personnel.
Meet Tim Zehnder, Director of Fire Science
Tim Zehnder began his career in fire service in January of 1990, when he became a member of the Truman Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. He got his EMT and NFPA 1001 training the same year. He attended Lake Superior College, where he worked on his Fire Science Degree.
In 1994, Tim went to work for the U.S. Forest service at the Payette National Forest in Idaho as an Engine Forman, a position he held for two years. After moving back to Minnesota he continued his career with Truman, holding every position from firefighter to Chief.
He was a Minnesota State Fire Instructor for 18 years, and for seven year served as the Fire & Rescue training program manager at a state training college. He retired from the Truman Fire & Ambulance service in April with 21½ years of service.
Tim accepted the position of Director of Fire Science at Mid Plains Community College’s McCook campus and started March 11, 2013. He presents programs on firefighter survival and safety, RIT, Rural Tactics, Grain Bin Rescue and a number of other topics.
Tim is married and has three daughters. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, softball, hunting and fishing.
For more information about the Fire Science Program please contact:
Director of Fire Science