Clark State Community College and Springfield Fire-Rescue Division will award 11 graduates with a Firefighter II short-term technical certification at a ceremony on February 16.
Jeremy Linn, fire safety services training coordinator for Clark State, said there is a need in the area for full-time career firefighters as well as volunteer firefighters who provide community service in smaller and more rural areas.
Linn said the City of Springfield is the only full-time career staffed fire department in Clark County. Smaller communities that rely on volunteer or part-time firefighters are seeing those positions remain unfilled.
“Everybody could be affected by this — you never know when you’re going to need police, fire or EMS,” Linn said.
The Springfield News-Sun reported that the U.S. has more than 1.1 million firefighters nationwide. The majority of them — nearly 800,000 or 69 percent — are volunteers, according to the National Volunteer Fire Council, a nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, medic and rescue services.
The number of volunteer firefighters has dropped 12 percent nationwide, from nearly 900,000 in 1984 to about 786,000 in 2013, while call volumes have tripled, according to the council.
Nine Clark State Fire Academy graduates have secured full-time firefighter positions beginning immediately following graduation; eight with the City of Springfield Fire-Rescue Division and one with the City of Bellefontaine Fire Department.
“Clark State also offers a well-established, highly respected Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic program that works hand in hand with the Fire Safety Services training program,” said Linn.
Springfield Fire Chief Brian Miller holds a Paramedic certificate from Clark State. Miller, a graduate of Greenon High School in Clark County, was sworn in as fire chief on December 29, 2017. He has served with the Springfield Fire-Rescue Division since 1992.
“Paramedic certification was a mandatory condition of employment,” said Miller. “Additionally, I used the many credit hours earned at Clark State to transfer to Columbia Southern University towards my bachelor's degree. I have just two classes remaining in order to complete a degree in fire administration.”
Miller has served as an adjunct instructor for the Fire Safety Services training program since 2008.
“These graduates should be very proud of themselves,” said Miller. “They have completed a ten-week program that goes far and above the state minimum for certification as a Firefighter II.” Miller said not only will graduates have logged many additional hours in the classroom, but they will have spent significant quality time on the drill grounds.
“Firefighting certainly challenges one's aptitude, but it is also physically demanding, and the hours spent learning the hands-on skills and abilities will provide them with an excellent foundation for their future success,” he said. “Perhaps the highlight for many students graduating from this academy is the 96-hour internship. Many previous students have graduated this course having one or more live structure fires in their experience skill set”.
Miller said fire service is an extremely rewarding career, and the Springfield Fire-Rescue Division is regularly seeking people from the community willing to serve citizens in a way that demonstrates strong values and good moral judgment.
“The community partnership between Clark State and the Springfield Fire-Rescue Division has been outstanding,” said Miller. “Not only have the parties benefited in a meaningful and mutual way, we continue to examine opportunities to cost share and promote the education and the professional development of our members to lift both organizations and the City of Springfield.”
Lieutenant Brad French, City of Dayton Fire Department will speak at the graduation ceremony. French is an 18-year member of the fire service and holds degrees in fire science and fire administration. Brad serves on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), is a principal member of the NFPA 1700 and NFPA 1402 technical committees and serves as a technical panel member for the UL FSRI “Study of Coordinated Fire Attack Utilizing Acquired Structures” research project.
The next ten-week Fire Academy training will begin June 4 of this year. The Fire Academy is held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This program is offered at Clark State's Springfield campus.
“Students must complete and earn the certificate from Clark State, then must successfully pass an exam administered by the Ohio Division of EMS that will be taken at Clark State,” said Linn.
If you are interested in the Fire Safety Services training program, contact Jeremy Linn, fire safety services training coordinator, at email@example.com or (937) 328-7938.
The Fire Academy graduation ceremony will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, February 16, in the Clark State Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center, 275 South Limestone Street in downtown Springfield.
Fire Academy Graduates
De Anna Criner