PITTSBURG, KS – Local high school students got a glimpse at what it’s like be a firefighter on Thursday, January 24, during the Fire Science Open House at Pittsburg Fire Station No. 1.
The open house kicked off a new fire science program offered through a partnership between Coffeyville Community College, the City of Pittsburg and several southeast Kansas high schools, and initiated by Greenbush – The Southeast Kansas Education Service Center. For many students, this event was their first introduction to a career as a firefighter.
Around 40 students attended the open house and now have an opportunity to enroll in the new fire science program starting in the fall of 2019. Courses will be taught at Pittsburg Fire Station No. 1 and Pittsburg firefighters will serve as the instructors.
With curriculum being offered through Coffeyville Community College, students can earn dual high school and college credit toward an associate’s degree – giving them a head start on the career path of becoming a firefighter.
“Firefighters will serve as instructors and mentors to the students,” says Greenbush Career and Technical Education Consultant Lori Carselowey. “It’s a great way to introduce a career pathway they might not have considered before.”
Courses are open to high school students throughout the region. The purpose of the program is to give students exposure to job opportunities and help meet the growing demand for first responders.
Pittsburg Fire Chief Mike Simons says he hopes the program will inspire students to consider becoming a firefighter.
“Getting kids interested in this career early on will help us attract and retain firefighters in the long term,” says Simons. “This program is a great way for us to give back to the community and pass down our knowledge and skills to the next generation.”
The mission of the City of Pittsburg is to provide exceptional services, facilities and activities with integrity, professionalism, excellent customer service and a commitment to economic vitality.