Hot Stuff – Everglades High School Fire Academy Graduates

For six years Everglades High School students have had the opportunity to participate in a class like no other. Students interested in learning about fire-rescue can join the three-year program which is only available at Everglades and Coral Springs High Schools in Broward County. The City of Miramar Fire-Rescue formed the unique partnership with the high school which is taught by firefighter paramedics. Recently, they were proud to celebrate their third graduating class.

“This program gives students firsthand experience with the fire service. With this experience, the students have early exposure and it gives them a feel for what working for fire rescue is all about. I was given a similar opportunity in high school and I truly believe because of it, I was able to complete my education and pursue the career much quicker,” explained Gina Hudson Firefighter Paramedic Miramar Fire-Rescue.

The curriculum includes both firefighting and fire aid. It covers rules, regulations and laws which firefighters must follow, fire ground operations, skill requirements, along with first responder for emergencies. These standards are set by the Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and training which all firefighters in the state must complete, both professional and volunteer.

During the three-year period, the class meets the 206-hour requirements to obtain a state of Florida Firefighter I certification. The program itself includes classroom time, physical training, practical objectives, trips to the fire station for hands-on training, and concludes with a written exam along with performance objectives, and the anticipated live fire burn evolution at Broward Fire Academy.

So far, approximately forty-three students have graduated from the program and each year the number continues to increase. Students who attend the fire academy satisfy an elective credit. Graduates wear a medal at graduation and if they pass the live burn, they also wear a blue cord to signify industry certification. Once the students have completed the testing process, they can immediately apply to work with a volunteer department or continue to further their education by obtaining Firefighter II along with EMT and Paramedic.

“Our third class of fire academy graduates represents our mission to provide opportunities for every student. It also shows that when we work together as a school and a community, we can bring dreams to life! Our fire academy graduates have learned skills and developed a work ethic that will serve them in the world of fire rescue, or in any other career they choose,” exclaimed Laura J. Cohen, Ph.D., NCC Assistant Principal Everglades High School.