WHITE OAK, Texas (KETK) – Senior students at White Oak ISD will now have the option to become certified firefighters once they graduate high school.
The district will offer a fire academy starting next school year in partnership with Kilgore College.
“We surveyed our kids earlier this year, and asked them about some possible classes we might start, and there was a big interest in the fire academy,” said superintendent Brian Gray.
An instructor at Kilgore College Fire Academy, Mike Simmons, will come teach the courses.
Students will take the equivalent of Fire 1, Fire 2 and a hazardous materials class along with their normal school work. At the end of the year, they will attend an 11 day “boot camp” type training at Kilgore College, to complete their certification.
After that, students who choose to participate will be full-fledged firefighters, able to work for any department.
“We’re looking for ways to give kids tools in their toolbox to be productive citizens and become gainfully employed. And our kiddos that want to go to a university or colleges or trade schools, we certainly want to help them get there. But there are some that might just want to go into the workforce.”Brian Gray, White Oak ISD Superintendent
This opportunity is not just limited to White Oak ISD students. They have partnered with Union Grove ISD, which will allow their students to participate as well.
Other CTE courses the district is interested in offering is a criminal justice program in conjunction with local police, and a nursing assistant program.
“Anything we can do to provide opportunities for our kids for them to explore what they may want to do once they graduate, I think is a benefit and a positive step in the right direction.”