Student firefighting program makes mark in Horry Co.

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A new partnership is opening doors for Horry County students who wish to acquire the training, skills and certification needed for a firefighting career.

Teal Britton, spokeswoman for Horry County Schools, said the program with Horry County Fire Rescue is one of the first of its kind in the state.

"Horry County Fire Rescue has established an Explorer Post through the Boy Scouts of America, and in conjunction with the South Carolina Fire Academy to offer the two-year program for high school juniors and seniors," Britton said Wednesday.

Students over the age of 18 who successfully complete the program will receive a National Fire Protection Association Firefighter I certification through the South Carolina Fire Academy. Students will also receive a National Registry EMS First Responder certification.

Those with the appropriate certifications will qualify to serve as volunteers with Horry County Fire Rescue.

Georgetown County Administrator Sel Hemingway said a similar program was established in the county to help qualify, train and retain certified emergency responders. Established in 2008, the county developed a student-based program at Andrews High School.

Officials said in its first year, 20 students signed up for the certification program. At the end of the process, 12 students graduated.

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