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The Value of Education in the Fire Service and the Need to Plan Wisely

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The December 2013 issue of FireRescue Magazine featured an excellent article about the role of education in the fire service written by American Military University professor Anthony Mangeri.

The article, How Education Helps Beyond the Fire Service, discusses the importance of education for individuals and how a degree can often help one make career transitions. In addition, Mangeri points out that education is important for the fire service as a whole:  

Beyond the tactical training we go through to learn how to better protect our communities, it is education that provides an opportunity to really professionalize the service. Having an educated workforce raises the organizational capacity to provide service within the community and to address dynamic and ever-changing threats.

Individuals with higher levels of education tend to have better critical thinking skills and higher levels of writing proficiency, among other benefits. These are important skills, especially as career options for firefighters continue to change:

Firefighters may choose to go into investigations/inspections, fire prevention/public education, terrorism awareness, intelligence analysis, master planning and even emergency disaster management as an extension of their vocation.

Professor Mangeri advises firefighters who are considering going back to school to plan their education wisely and invest in an education program that matches their career aspirations.  This is especially applicable if you intend to transition to a new career field:

Many times opportunities for education within the fire service lead to opportunities outside the fire service in areas such as public administration, emergency management, intelligence and a variety of other fields now available to those who are well educated and well trained to handle crises.

Many times you will need an educational background, coupled with your experience, to get you to the next step of your career path. Professor Mangeri offers many more pieces of advice in this article.

You can read the article in entirety here.

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