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Making the grade: higher education in the Avon Fire Department

Author: Michael J Lynch; Avon. Fire Department.
Publisher: Emmitsburg, MD : National Fire Academy, December 2002.
Series: Executive Fire Officer Program. Applied Research Project.
Edition/Format:   eBook : National government publication : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The problem is that few employees of the Avon Fire Department have an education beyond their high school diploma. The purpose of this research project is to identify methods of promoting post secondary education within the fire department. This was a descriptive research project.
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Details

Material Type: Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Michael J Lynch; Avon. Fire Department.
OCLC Number: 477149272
Notes: Accession No.: 111741, Report No.: 35847.
Description: 42 p.
Details: PDF; Adobe Acrobat Reader required, 166.5 kb.
Series Title: Executive Fire Officer Program. Applied Research Project.

Abstract:

The problem is that few employees of the Avon Fire Department have an education beyond their high school diploma. The purpose of this research project is to identify methods of promoting post secondary education within the fire department. This was a descriptive research project.

The research questions were: 1) Why is post secondary education so important to the fire department's success? 2) What incentives have fire departments made available to encourage employees to pursue post secondary education? 3) How have hiring practices within the fire service been affected by the emphasis on higher education? 4) How have departments modified their promotional processes to reflect the value of higher education? 5) What are organizations doing outside the fire service to promote post secondary education? The procedures involved surveying a convenience sample of 38 members of the Avon Fire Department during the time period of this study. Their responses to the research questions were tabulated numerically and by percentages.

The results indicated that more than 97% (37) of the department members surveyed believe that obtaining a college education would benefit the fire department in the future. The recommendations, based on this study, were as follows: Increase the current educational requirements, after the current hiring process, for firefighter applicants to an associate's degree. Develop and implement a tuition assistance program, whereby employees may take any college course and receive monetary support from the fire department. Implement higher education requirements on a graduated scale for officer positions in the following manner: lieutenant--associates degree, battalion chief--associates degree, division chief--bachelor's degree, assistant chief and chief--master's degree.

A reasonable timetable should be developed to implement these requirements in order to allow employees to acquire the necessary status for promotion. Reward employees that fulfill their educational goals with incentive bonuses. I would recommend paying members with an associate's degree an additional $1,500 annually and members with a bachelor's degree (or higher degree) an additional $3,000 annually. Allot educational time off to allow employees to attend college courses.

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