Program combines high school and fire training to fill need for volunteers

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County Fire Rescue is looking for high school students to enroll in the Emergency and Fire Management program at the Academy for Technology and Academics.  The program was started four years ago as a way for the department to recruit and train students to become volunteer or career firefighters in the future.

The program also allows students like Davis Trussell to get a jumpstart on a career by splitting school days with classroom work and real world fire training.

"I've been with the fire service now going on about two years," added Trussell. "I volunteered a year and just a few months ago I got hired on full time."

Program senior Eric Pennell said the program has given him a good foundation that will help him achieve his goal of becoming a military firefighter.

"I'm already certified in firefighter one which is the basics you need to volunteer for the county or pretty much any other department," added Pennell.

Shaquille Wisley said there is no other program like it that allows students to get this on the job training before graduation.

"There's nowhere else where you get to go to high school get all your certifications and have a job lined up for you as soon as you graduate."

Next year's class begins in August, if you are interested in signing a student up for the class and want to learn more about the program the first open house is Thursday night at the Academy for Technology and Academics.

Additional open house dates:

  • January 9, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • January 23, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • February 11, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

All students must apply and register for the class by February 14 and you can do so by visiting the ATA website or by contacting the school's Public Education Officer Kathy Niewenhaus at 843-915-7061.

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