Deputy Chief Peter Ahlman, Arlington Heights Fire Department
Harper Fire Science Technology, Associate Degree, Class of 2014
The program is great for people just entering or contemplating entering the fire service,
it also accommodates people like me who have been in the field for a long time. I
have learned a lot through practical experience and various classes over the last
25 years, but the Harper Fire Science Technology program provided a whole new depth
of understanding in everything from the most basic to the most complex fire technology
subjects through excellent and innovative materials, teachers, and teaching methods.
I also found that the diversity of the students provided valuable perspective. What
I gained from the program has already helped me to advance in my career, with my appointment
to Deputy Chief coinciding with my completion of the program. An added bonus was that
the program was flexible enough to accommodate my full-time work schedule.
Firefighter-Paramedic Phil Ellenbecker, Mt. Prospect Fire Department
Harper Fire Science Technology Class of 2011
Harper College and their lead fire science coordinator, Professor Samuel Giordano,
have gone above and beyond my expectations. Professor Giordano himself has countless
times gone out of his way to assist me in pursuing my career as a full-time Firefighter/Paramedic.
Harper College allowed me to understand what the fire service is, how it works, and
what to expect in the career. I was also able to join an internship to see firsthand
Fire/EMS operations on a day-to-day basis. This also helped me not only get a visual,
but the hands on approach many students in this field thrive off of. I knew from the
beginning the road to becoming a Full-Time Firefighter/Paramedic was not going to
be easy, but this program gave me an edge and the ability to grasp concepts more effectively
in the Bensenville and NIPSTA Fire Academy which helped me not only graduate both
but earn Academic Honors, and the Company Physical Achievement Award (NIPSTA).The Harper College Fire Science program prepared me to understand what steps to take
to even apply for the job itself, and how to improve my chances of getting hired.
I can honestly say this program, what I've learned, and the help of Professor Samuel
Giordano is the reason why I am currently a proud member of the Mount Prospect Fire
Department as a Full-Time Firefighter/Paramedic. I would recommend this program to
anyone interested in pursuing a Fire/EMS career.
Firefighter-Paramedic Joseph Rosner, Crystal Lake Fire Department
Harper Fire Science Technology, Associate Degree, Class of 2013
Harper College has been instrumental in not only helping me get hired as a full time
career firefighter, but being set up in a position for success once I got hired. The
department that I work for had such positive experiences with the Firefighters they
hired already having an A.A.S. in fire science, they awarded additional preference
points to candidates having their fire science degree. The preference points I received
positioned me to be hired immediately. Once hired as a probationary firefighter I
felt confident I would succeed and make it through probation with the foundation my
degree provided me. I was knowledgeable with basic fire service skills and operations
while simultaneously knowing how to respectfully conduct myself. I'm very proud of
my degree and tell anyone who has interest in becoming a firefighter that the first
step is enrolling into the fire science program. Just contact Professor Giordano and
he will bend over backwards to help you out in becoming a career Firefighter.
Firefighter-Paramedic Adam Rothenberg, Palatine Fire Department
Harper Fire Science Technology Class of 2014
Unlike many college experiences, mine did not start immediately after high school.
I took several years to find my true calling and get into a career I love. When I
came to Harper, I had already been employed as a full-time career firefighter for
several years. Unlike some prospective students who are preparing themselves to enter
the fire service, I wanted to prepare for future advancement and self-improvement.
Professor Giordano, met with me, applied many of my State Fire Marshall certifications
and experience toward the appropriate coursework, and put me on the academic path
towards my degree. Thanks to the programs and professors, I was able to obtain my
degree within a year of my meeting with Professor Giordano. My Fire Science Technology
degree from Harper College has since enhanced my career, and given me educational
points toward future promotions.