Orientation for firefighter academy June 1

Class set at Welcome Fire Department
May. 28, 2013 @ 05:24 PM

Aspiring firefighters in Davidson County have an opportunity to advance in their careers.

A required orientation class will be held at Welcome Fire Department at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 1, to prepare firefighters, rescue and EMS personnel who intend to enroll in a daytime firefighter academy hosted by Davidson County Community College. Depending on the number of participants, a plan of action for the courses offered will be determined.

"In a nutshell, the fire service industry nationwide needs well-trained, highly motivated volunteers," said Brian Graubb, president of the Davidson County Public Safety Association. "In response to those challenges, we want to be sure these guys have an opportunity."

According to Graubb, the training was initially an idea from Jonathan Sowers, chief at Welcome Fire Department. His vision would seek to provide an education and skills to students through the use of lectures, labs and hands-on training to produce highly qualified firefighters.

With the help of Graubb and Bryan Knight, coordinator of the Fire Rescue Program at DCCC, the vision was brought to fruition.

"Chief Sowers contacted me about picking up the program, keeping the kids busy through the summer," said Knight. "These types of training programs do not always mesh with school schedules, so we jumped at the opportunity to offer this."

A schedule will be provided at the orientation, as well as other information. Candidates for the academy must be 16 years of age or older by the first day of class.

The timing seemed ideal for younger candidates interested in becoming members of fire protection services, as they will be dismissed from classes for the summer in a matter of weeks.

"Many 16- and 17-year-olds who are out of school for the summer can start now in taking various types of different classes you have to have to become certified," Graubb said. "Most paid fire departments require certifications I and II to be hired. This gives them a step ahead to get their certification. It is also going to allow folks who work odd hours an opportunity to come in during the daytime to do this."

Knight agrees, and alluded to his own career as an example of what receiving training as a teenager can do for a young firefighter.

"I started the same way when I was 15 and 16 years old," Knight said. "When I became old enough to join as a junior fireman in the early 90s, I volunteered at the same department I'm with today. No other profession besides public safety gives you this type of opportunity to give back to your community."

Each participant should register in advance for each topic due to limited seating. Walk-in registrations will be accepted, depending on seating availability.

Welcome Fire Department is located at 287 N. Leonard Road.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.