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Student firefighters attend East Kentucky University

Student firefighters attend East Kentucky University

By Jessica Lee

Whether it is rushing to the scene of an accident to save a man’s life, a garage fire in order to protect more people, or even going to the scene of an accident where one of the victims is a friend, these students are doing what they love. Firefighting.

Seniors Austin Adams, Waverly Clements, and Cain Allin are all going to East Kentucky University in the fall to take what they are volunteering their time for, firefighting, and make it into a profession.

“I am going to EKU because there is not a four year school in Virginia for what I want to go to college for,” Clements said.

EKU’s Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is designed for students to eventually obtain leadership roles and create advancement opportunities.

“I am doing this in order to make myself get a better education about the thing I like to do in life. I plan on being a firefighter for the rest of my career,” Clements said.

Tuition rates for this program are at $350 per credit hour. This gets very expensive seeing as the number of credit hours needed to graduate from the Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program is at 128 hours with 34 general requirements, 8 hours free electives, and 86 program requirements.

“I’ve been trying to set financial aid, get loans, and talking to Mr. Havard about,” Adams said.

The three prospective firefighters have already started volunteering for preparation of the future they have chosen. Clements has been with the Disputanta Company 2, Adams with the Burrowsville Company 4, and Allin with the Carson Company 3.

The program at EKU is concentrated in Fire Protection Engineering Technology to give the students the technical knowledge and skills needed to excel in the field of firefighting.

In the Fire Protection Engineering Technology program, the graduates get the experience to work with architects, engineers, and officials in order to investigate fire damage and find out why the protective measures failed. The graduate process also allows for the students to help decide what kind of new measures could be developed for the future.

The class curriculum for firefighting is about teaching the basics for the students to learn before going out and doing this for a living. It includes fire dynamics, building construction, fire protection structures and most importantly safety.

“Being a firefighter is a dangerous job; while everyone is running out of a burning building we are going in,” Clements said.

The Fire and Safety Engineering Technology program is designed to provide students with a background in dealing with fire safety, as well as industrial and community disasters.

The focus of the Fire and Safety Engineering Technology program is to give knowledge about fire and emergency management, hazardous materials, and safety analysis, just a few of many more subject matters that these students will face.

“I’ve been through the firefighter one and two courses, awareness course, Hazmat operations, and I’ve learned a lot through my couple of years through Carson,” Allin said.

The Blackboard online learning site for the university is a way for students to check grades, look at the course syllabus, talk to the professors of the courses, take exams, and other things to help out the students.

“It would be very beneficial because any way you can communicate with your professor out of class is beneficial,” Allin said.

For those who are like these students and want to pursue a career in firefighting, Allin believes it is very important for future firefighters to remember this very important rule.

“Always remember the two in, two out rule. Never leave a fellow firefighter behind,” Allin said.

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  • J

    Jessica TaylorOct 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Being a firefighter is one of the bravest jobs you can have. It takes guts and courage. It’s great to see such interest in wanting to pursue that career because not everybody is cut out fot that job. I read what Madi wrote about only one of those guys actually making it to EKU and that’s kind of disappointing, but at least he did.

  • D

    Diana O.Oct 28, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I’m very impressed that these guys are putting forth something vital in society and making it a profession. As for their financial issues, they will overcome it because they are deeply motivated to be firefighters and money will not stop them from achieving their goal. Money should never hold you back from achieving your goals. All of them will prevail and become extraordinary firefighters.

  • C

    Cara LucyOct 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    I think this was a very good article because firefighters do not always get the recognition they deserve. This article really shows that it is not easy-mentally, physically, or financially- to become a firefighter. We should help students out more who are trying to pursue this career.

  • L

    Laken AdamsOct 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    My brother is attending Eastern Kentucky University. He came home last weekend and told us all about how much he loved everything there. When i went to visit with him during the summer the campus was gorgeous, I can see why things are so expensive. My brother has a love for this career, and even though he is only taking one corse regarding firefighting this semester, he says he has already learned a lot. The distance that he has to go to pursue his career kind of shocks me when people of this career are needed everywhere.

  • M

    Madison GuidryOct 27, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I know all three of these guys personally, and they all love firefighting. Only one ended up going to EKU though. I think it is great how they want to follow their dreams. Cain went on to play baseball at a community college and I think that shows that you can love two things and you may have to decide between the two. Waverly could not go due to an injury, but he is still in the volunteer fire department. I think it is great that he is still pursuing what he wants to be his career one day. It is sad that they are having financial problems. Like Raya said, I think the community and fire stations to do more to promote the education of that career and offer more scholarships.

  • T

    Tessa AllenOct 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I’m sad to see that these three guys are having financial issues trying to pursue a career that’s so vitally important and courageous. If anything, as a society we should be making it as easy as possible for the people who want to be firefighters to get the education necessary.

  • R

    Raya GirardOct 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Fire fighters do a lot more than just put out fires. Their job is vital to the well being of our community. The community should offer some kind of scholarship for students that want to go school and be a fire fighter, then return to this community to work. The fire stations could do fundraisers.If the student doesn’t move back to this community then the fire fighter could pay back the scholarship money.

  • T

    Trey CarterOct 19, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Its great that these students want to further their education. One great thing about this is that, not only are they going to have an occupation that benefits society, but they are also doing what they love to do. Passion for one’s job increases performance, if they love firefighting, they will be better firefighters.