Thursday, April 1, 2021

Hot idea

Romulus Fire Department teams up 

with high school, college for training

Aspiring fire fighters can expect some hands-on training while still in high school at the Schoolcraft College Fire Training Institute where the Romulus Fire Department is a partner in their professional education.

Romulus Fire Chief Kevin Krause said the city and the department recognized the need for more firefighters and alternative trade options for high school students some time ago. The Romulus Fire Department  partnered with the college and local high schools to dual enroll students in the college Fire Training Institute. 

In Michigan, individuals under 18 can only start firefighter training if they are sponsored as a cadet by a fire department. Krause and the Romulus Fire Department stepped up to bring students on board.

The Romulus Fire Department coordinates with local high school counselors to identify and sponsor students who are interested in attending the Fire Training Institute. In the two years the city has engaged in the program, the fire department has sponsored five cadets.

“As high school students begin to think about their futures, the Romulus Fire Department wanted to be there to offer an option that would help put them on the pathway to a successful career-ideally right here in Romulus,”  Krause said. “Providing students the tools and resources they need will not only help them succeed but also create a workforce development pipeline that leads back to the Romulus community.”

The Romulus Fire Department-sponsored cadets receive the regulation blue uniform, which includes pants, a shirt, tie and belt. Cadets also have the opportunity to join the fire department at City of Romulus events, such as the Pumpkin Festival and Parade of Lights.

Interested high school juniors and seniors have the option to dual enroll with the institute in one of two ways. They can choose to enroll for a semester during the school year and take two Schoolcraft night classes per week, similar to sports and other extra-curricular activities. Alternately, students can choose to take classes during the summer. By the end of the program, cadets will have completed their Fire Fighter 1 and Fire Fighter 2 courses and will be well on their way to completing their associate's degree-putting them on a successful and rewarding career path even before graduating high school, Krause said.

Required qualifications and training vary between local departments, but cadets who complete the program are able to start with the Romulus Fire Department upon graduation as an EMT or firefighter, so long as they are actively working to get their paramedic license.

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