Onondaga Community College's Fire Protection Technology degree program was just awarded reaccreditation by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). This prestigious and exclusive designation provides students the opportunity to be internationally certified as firefighters, fire officers, or fire service instructors. IFSAC awards this accreditation to only one institution in each of the 50 states. In all of New York State, OCC is the sole institution with this designation.
Students in OCC's Fire Protection Technology degree program have the opportunity to serve the community by participating in the bunk-in program. While living at the fire station free of charge, a bunk-in student participates in drills, training, and responds to emergency calls. Students gain real-world experience while simultaneously assisting fire departments which are experiencing staffing shortages. A total of 13 fire departments across Onondaga County participate in the bunk-in program including: Clay, DeWitt, East Syracuse, Fairmount, Fayetteville, Liverpool, Manlius, Moyers Corners, North Syracuse, North West (Baldwinsville), Solvay, South Onondaga, and Taunton.
Over the past 30 years, more than 80% of the graduates of the Fire Protection Technology degree program have gone on to careers in public safety.
The Chair of OCC's Fire Protection Technology degree program is John Kane, a retired Deputy Chief from the Syracuse Fire Department. He completed the reaccreditation process along with Shawn Tompkins, a retired Deputy Chief from the DeWitt Fire District who serves OCC students as an adjunct professor. Both Kane and Tompkins are graduates of OCC's Fire Protection Technology degree program.
Kane appeared on WSYR TV Newschannel 9's "Bridge Street" show and discussed the impact of OCC's program earning this international accreditation.
"We're so proud to have earned reaccreditation from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress, accreditation which OCC's Fire Protection Technology degree program first earned in 1995. For nearly 30 years this designation has attracted students to our campus from across New York State, and ensured students are well trained and highly qualified when they complete their degree. As a community, we owe a debt of gratitude to the students who have come here and dedicated their careers to public service, and our outstanding faculty who have given them the tools they need to succeed," said OCC President Dr. Warren Hilton.