Gadsden Fire Department preparing local students to become first responders

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 11:36 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - The Gadsden Fire Department is partnering with Gadsden City and Etowah County Schools to prepare the next generation of first responders with their new Career and Technical Education program.

Starting next school year, the class of 2024 seniors can enroll in the “Emergency and Fire Management Services” course that will prepare them to work at any fire department in the state.

“The program is tailored to assist us and the schools in recruiting firefighters,” says Gadsden Fire Chief Wil Reed. “Not only are we getting a finished product that we can bring directly into the fire department, these children are getting a skill that can take anywhere in the state and be ready to go.”

These courses will teach students the value of teamwork and positively impacting the community. Once they finish the program, they will receive a volunteer firefighter certification with the Alabama Fire College. Then they will be able to complete a 5-week bridge course for professional state certification as Firefighter I.

The program will be taught at the Gadsden Fire Training Center and the department is working with the city to design a space tailored for these students.

“That is going to be the high school programs classrooms,” says instructor Eric Estes. “That way, they aren’t going to be bothered by any other training we have going on.”

Chief Reed says upon graduation, students that choose to join the Gadsden Fire Department will have their courses covered.

“I am proud of our fire department leadership for working with schools to inspire students to explore high-impact careers like public safety,” said Mayor Craig Ford. “With students coming on-site to our training facility and learning what it means to manage fire and emergency services, they will leave with a deeper appreciation for the work these professionals do. Some may even realize this career path is a calling they want to pursue after graduation.”

Students that are interested can fill out this Google form:

Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.