By Madison Salter / Staff Writer

Fire Science Online, a nonprofit organization that provides fire science and career information, ranked the LBCC fire science program 25 of the 900 college and universities in the nation to offer the fire-science program. Ranking was determined by tuition being under $10,000, an annual salary greater than $50,000 and no less than 35 students participating in the program. The schools must be U.S.-accredited and pass a full review of their fire-science and forestry program.

Oscar Sandoval, 20, a fire-science major, said, “The ranking assured me that I picked the right school. I was debating between LBCC and Santa Ana College.” Santa Ana College did not place in the top 100 schools offering fire science. Sandoval said being a fire-science major is honorable and potentially the best career in the world. Fire-science teacher Mark Lepore said, “As an instructor it is really enjoyable to see a light bulb click on.

“A large group of our fire-science students are really quality people and I believe they will succeed in their career endeavors. “The students can really relate to the subject matter because this is their career path. They’re like sponges and really want to learn.” The goal of the program is to apply prevention and protection techniques to address real-life situations in the field.

Uziel Torres, 19, a fire-science major, said, “It’s a unique major, I love it.” Torres is in his second and last year at LBCC. He said he plans to apply to a local fire academy soon. Assistant Chief John Clare, a fire-science teacher, said, “We all do our best to bring the subject matter to life utilizing our education and experience for students. “Our department chair has done an excellent job of ensuring alignment of the program. I see the LBCC fire-science program growing stronger in the next few years.”