Myrtle Beach Fire Department starts new program for aspiring firefighters

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 8:16 AM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Fire Department is getting ready to train the next batch of first responders through its new Junior Firefighter Program.

The program is for high school students ages 16 to 18 interested in the fire service and will teach them what the career is all about.

They will get hands-on experience with the fire department which includes training at the academy, going on ride-alongs and helping with community education events.

Captain Jon Evans with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department said even students interested in other areas like the Water Rescue Team or EMS side of the career can take something home from the program.

Evans said the Junior Fire Fighter Program is a great opportunity for students to figure out if the fire service is a career they would like to get into.

“Folks like myself who came out of high school and kinda went the college route but wasn’t for me. This may have been a program that could’ve serviced me when I was in high school and I could’ve gotten started a little earlier than I did,” said Evans.

The new program not only aims to give students hands-on experience but is also a way to get more Grand Strand natives to call the fire station home.

Evans said the fire department gets job applications from people all over the country but only a few from people here in the Grand Strand.

This program also hopes to fill the hole of a similar junior firefighter program offered at Horry County’s Academy for Technology and Academics but is no longer running.

Evans said he can’t wait to train up the next batch of passionate students.

“I had one kid who ran across the cafeteria. She was so excited to see me there because she wanted to start the program. She wanted to go to the ATA program and it just wasn’t there anymore and she was so excited to see us there. So to foster that fire as it was, that’s what I’m most excited for,” said Evans.

Evans said they hope the students will want to later join the department helping to keep you safe here in Myrtle Beach.

So far, Evans said 18 students have signed up for the new program and there’s only room for a few more.

The deadline to sign up is Friday, January 6.