Having a career without knowing what to expect every day is exactly what firefighters and medical professionals have. At the sound of a siren or call, they know they’re about to put their lives in danger to protect a stranger or property.
Steven Green, the Fire/EMS instructor at Tri-County Career Center and High School, prepares students for what they will endure in their chosen career.
Green, a past firefighter in the United States Air Force has turned Fire/EMS program into a strict college-level working environment with his talent and experience. Soon after his military experience, he joined his local volunteer fire department where he has spent the last 19 years, became an officer and obtained captain experience.
For the last five years, Green has been at the Nelsonville City Fire Department where he is currently the president of the Volunteer Association.
Although Fire/EMS has just been running for about three years, Green has taught at Tri-County for 20 years with background knowledge of teaching construction.
He describes himself as a “strict but very fair teacher.” This program is related to a militant style and is similar to law enforcement rules. To start the morning, students must stand for attention and have every piece of their uniform in order including saluting.
Green is an organized and well-planned teacher. The curriculum is meticulously planned. Staying on top of these plans and having a list of achievements for the juniors before their certification tests their senior year is important to their success.
Green likes to keep the program's integrity set to a certain standard and intends that the seniors are prepared for practicals and certification tests. The seniors take their evaluation practicals within the second semester of the year. The practicals are based on 16 drills out of 43 drills in total.
“They don’t know which 16… I prepare them for every single one,” Green stated.
Without knowing which 16 will be chosen, Green has to ensure all 43 drills are covered.
The future goals for the program are to be able to get even more students certified before graduation.
“It’s a very difficult program, and the testing requirements are very strict,” Green explained.
Any quiz under 80 percent must be retaken along with the EMS quizzes. Seventy-nine percent is considered an F.
Students gain even more knowledge from their workbooks in addition to the hands-on arrangements. The workbook allows them to study and prepare for the tests and quizzes needed to pass.
The uniform must be inspected, with every piece of uniform corrected to receive points. Facial hair must be shaven for the facial piece attached to the helmet to stay on correctly, which stops toxic gasses from entering.
Students are expected to perform stamina exercises in order to get used to moving and crawling with heavy, 70-pound equipment attached, which is organized for them to do in the mornings.
“I personally think it’s the best career field... the brother- and sisterhood are unlike others,” Green mentioned.
This program is set to teach teamwork.
“You never go into a fire alone,” Green said.
The program is based on trust, building relationships, determination and hard work.
Senior Class President Breanna Francis agrees.
“When I came into this lab I felt like it was home, I feel like these are my brothers and sisters. That’s part of the fire service when you join it you get a family. No matter what happens you always have them… and that’s what I love about this lab,” she said.
Juniors begin with Fire I to learn the basics and move on to Fire II halfway through their senior year which prepares them for certification and evaluation.
The classes are split between Fire I and Fire II, with the juniors in the morning and then the seniors in the afternoon.
Senior Malik Jackson plans on becoming a career firefighter and has already passed his certifications.
“Mr. Green is a great instructor. He uses a lot of hands-on and he also teaches very academically well. He uses a lot of real-world examples to prepare and also uses textual learning experiences as well,” Jackson explained.
If interested in applying to the Fire/EMS program, finding out more information, or contacting Mr. Green himself, visit www.tricountyhightech.com.
Alabama Martin is a student journalist with Tri-County Career Center and High School's New Media+ program.