, Oklahoma State University – A Long History of Fire Protection Engineering Education, Harrington Group Inc

The FPST Program is located within the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology (CEAT). Established in 1937, the FPST program is the oldest fire/safety related program in North America. In 1943, Horatio Bond, Chief Engineer for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), spent the summer with FPST program faculty to study the effects of fire bombings during World War II for his writings on the use of fire in warfare. At the end of that summer, he named OSU the “West Point of the Fire Service,” equating the FPST program to the fire service what West Point Military Academy is to the military. At that time, students in the FPST program were required to take courses in military science and served as firefighters for the City of Stillwater.

The FPST Program is fully accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (TAC/ABET). The program was first directed toward preparing young people for careers with the uniformed fire services. However, the demand by business and industry for loss control specialists has resulted in the evolution of the program into one where the emphasis is on industrial fire protection, safety, occupational health, exposure science, and loss control. The curriculum is designed to immediately introduce the student to studies in fire protection and safety enabling students to measure their interest in the field of fire protection and safety early in their academic career.

The Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology Department has five full-time faculty members, who not only teach for the school, but often instruct non-credit courses through CEAT Continuing Education. The students in the program have the opportunity to join several student organizations to broaden their educational opportunities and experience. The FPST program is fortunate to also have the International Fire Service Training Association/Fire Protection Publications (IFSTA/FPP), Oklahoma State Fire Service Training, and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) on the campus of Oklahoma State University. IFSTA/FPP is the world’s largest distributor of firefighting training manuals.

The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities recognizes the program as a “national treasure whose work is of great national importance.” The Honorable Adair Wakefield Margo (Chairman, 2000-2008) praised OSU for preparing graduates who safeguard art, history, and the public. OSU graduates protect people and property throughout the world from fires, chemical releases, floods, and other disasters. They have also protected historic structures, such as the Statue of Liberty, and priceless artifacts inside the Smithsonian Institution.

The FPST program is widely recognized as a world leader in preparing students for careers in fire protection, safety, industrial hygiene/exposure science, and the fire service. FPST alumni are employed across the globe in consulting, academia, government, industry, healthcare, and other sectors. In 2010, James Shannon, former President of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) declared that OSU Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology is the “Standard of Quality in the Profession.”

For more information, please visit: https://fpst.okstate.edu/.