Fire Academy to Begin in February

Launched in 2012, the Fire Academy at Sandhills Community College will welcome its eighth class of incoming cadets.

Applications are being accepted now for the spring program, which begins on February 14 and will graduate early July.

At the end of this full-time program, cadets will earn Firefighter I/II with Hazardous Materials Level 1 Responder and Technical Rescuer.  Students will also take EMT-Basic as part of the program and upon successful completion of the class will be eligible to take the state certification exam.

A diverse class of cadets is expected.  Students from past academies range in age from 17 years old to 35 years old.  Sandhills Fire Academy welcomes veterans who are seeking a post-military career that still enables them to serve their community.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in or observe advanced training with surrounding departments. The current class recently participated in a three-alarm fire where they employ skills learned in the academy to assist and provide aid to local departments.  These enriching activities provide our students with an advantage when applying for a job after graduation.

SCC has a very close relationship with nearby departments who provide support and equipment use for students and even accommodations if needed. Many graduates are now full-time and part-time employees with local departments.

Top Notch Training Center

Fire services have changed from the days when primarily a volunteer force. Today, highly trained, competent individuals staff fire and rescue departments.

A considerable advantage to cadets in training is Sandhills’ facility, the Larry R. Caddell Public Safety Training Center. Located on almost 40 acres on Niagara-Carthage Road, this permanent training center is state-of-the art in fire training. A residential burn building, four-story drill tower, and an auto extrication/burn pit help instructors teach fire and rescue techniques in a wide range of situations and circumstances.

The North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal approves Sandhills’ Fire Academy program.

Job Opportunities

Helping graduates secure jobs is an additional advantage of the Sandhills’ Fire Academy. Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs visit the classes and know the cadets. Recruiters come from across the state to present job opportunities in their departments. Students are made aware of job openings statewide. Often cadets start the interview and hiring process with departments before graduation.

Sandhills’ cadets get significant assistance with the interview process through mock interviews. A panel of fire chiefs evaluate the cadet’s interviewing skills and give pointers.

Registering for February Class

Those interested in being members of Class Eight of the Fire Academy should request more information and an application from Michelle Bauer, Sandhills’ Fire and Rescue Director at (910) 695-3774. Applications can be found on the college’s website under Continuing Education Public Safety Fire and Rescue. Applications will be accepted if there are seats available.

Current volunteer firefighters may be eligible for a fee waiver based on their membership with a local, city, county, or state fire department.

The Fire Academy is a full-time program with classes held Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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