Hutchings College & Career Academy students now have the option get a head start in a career protecting our community. The Fire Department, Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC), and Bibb County School District (BCSD) announced a new partnership that will allow students to get fire training during their senior year of high school. You can watch the full announcement here.
“Just in the past two months here, I’ve done more now than I’ve done in the first 20 year of my life,” said Fire Recruit Brandon Jones. “I went from wondering how I’m going to walk with 40 extra pounds on my back to standing in a room with a 800-degree fire. The training they’re providing here is definitely worth it.”
“This partnership will allow us to have three classes of recruits each year, not just two, and it will help our students get an earlier start on a rewarding career protecting our community,” said Deputy Chief Todd Alligood. “It’s great to work closely with our partners in the best interest of our students, our organizations, and our city.”
Starting in the 2023-2024 school year, seniors enrolled at the Hutchings College & Career Academy can be part of a new Fire Science Dual Enrollment and Career Pathway. There are only a few offered around state, and this is the first in Middle Georgia. The Pathway consists of one course each semester of their senior year: Firefighter I in the Fall and HazMat Awareness and Operations in the Spring. Both classes will be taught at Macon-Bibb’s new Fire Training Academy. All the gear needed for training will be provided to students for free from the BCSD. Transportation will also be provided for students each day from Hutchings to the Academy.
“Part of our strategic plan talks about stakeholder engagement. When we talk about our parents, students, and community. That is what is happening today,” said Dr. Cassandra Miller-Washington Executive Director of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education and CEO of W.S. Hutchings College and Career Academy. “Without all of those three components, we would not have been able to build a pathway that will provide a future ready workforce that will provide a pipeline for our students.”
By taking the two classes, students will also earn four class credits with CGTC, and they will have the chance to become a firefighter upon graduating from high school.
“This exciting partnership is innovative and unique for Georgia’s high school students,” said Kim Gunn, Executive Director for High School Initiatives. “We are so proud to be a part of the Macon-Bibb community and support this initiative to fill important workforce positions. Not only is it good for Bibb County Dual Enrollment students who will have job offers upon completion, but it’s good for the community by ensuring a solid foundation for local emergency positions supporting public safety.”
“Our goal is when that student walks across that stage and they receive their diploma from the Superintendent, the Fire Chief can be standing there to hand them a helmet for the job they’ll have after they walk off that stage,” said Fire Chief Shane Edwards.