Fort Bragg has an ideal partnership for youth interested in public service as fire fighters.
The Cumberland County Schools Fire Academy offers a program of study for students interested in a career in fire service by providing college-level classes that could lead to an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.
Coursework may be completed through Fayetteville Technical Community College and Fayetteville State University.
It involves a partnership between FTCC, FSU, North Carolina State University, the City of Fayetteville Fire Department and E.E. Smith High School.
Fort Bragg began its work in the program during the 2013 to 2014 school year, said Mark Melvin, Fort Bragg Fire Chief.
Because of Fort Bragg’s three Army airfields (Simmons, Pope and McCall) youth learn about things not seen inside of a municipality, said Melvin.
Specialized training at Fort Bragg, for instance, teaches them about crash stations, car wrecks on ranges and wrecks involving military vehicles.
Additionally, fire department personnel allow job shadowing and often serve as guest speakers during at events during the school year.
The program runs on the same course as the regular school calendar, so youth are eligible to participate at that time, Melvin said.
According to the CCS website, youth are eligible to attend based on an interest in fire service, faculty recommendations, a 2.5 GPA and an interview.
The program is beneficial for fire departments.
“It brings somebody out of high school and has them prepare to go right into the work force as a volunteer or have them to compete competitively in municipal jobs,” Melvin said.
For more information about the Cumberland County Schools Fire Academy, visit http://choice.ccs.k12.nc.us/cumberland-county-schools-fire-academy/.