With wildfires still burning in Pender and Onslow counties and dry conditions throughout the area, the need for trained firefighters is clear. In August, Cape Fear Community College will start a new two-year associate degree program to train present and future firefighters in the latest technology and provide the skills to be the best at what they do.
The college recently hired Wrightsville Beach Fire Department Capt. Dan Reid as the lead instructor of the program, a program that is designed to help bring firefighter training to the next level. This new program, which will be offered online and face to face, is geared to support not only the working firefighter, but the person who has chosen this occupation and needs to begin the process. As current firefighters acquire their respective degrees, it will open opportunities for advancement in their respect departments.
Reid said that the goal of the program is to give individuals seeking careers in the fire service an advantage in the hiring process.
“It will also assist current firefighters by combining a degree with their job knowledge and experience, improving performance and customer service, which is what it’s all about,” Reid said. Many fire departments require a degree for promotion, so this program will provide an opportunity for firefighters to advance within their own department.
Based at the North Campus and close to CFCC’s Safety Training Center, students will get training in the latest firefighting techniques, but also learn the skills and use the latest technology to assess where and when fires are more likely to start. Students that graduate from the program will also learn more skills in emergency medical response.
The college has been working in conjunction with southeastern North Carolina firefighters to design the curriculum to tailor to meet the specific needs of local fire departments.
The program will benefit new firefighters as well as those who have been fighting fires for years. Classes for the new program begin in August.