Course Description: High School Pathway Program
Fire Fighter Pathway Program
In 2017, Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services (CCFES) implemented a new community-centered program that would bring government agencies together in a collaborative effort to build a bridge from high school graduation to full-time employment. This program differs significantly from any explorer/youth training program. CCFES has been able to not only create a solid partnership with the Clayton County Public School System, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, the Board of Education, and Georgia Firefighter Standards & Training, but also the State Department of Education (DoE), which passed the high school EMT curriculum in March of 2019 with the direct influence of CCFES.
The program’s main objective is to provide community youth an opportunity to learn our system through three years of comprehensive training at our facility with a job offer guaranteed directly after graduation. This program is a win-win for the fire department and the community. It not only creates jobs for the new graduates and allows them to increase the median family income of Clayton County while giving back to their community, but it also allows us to recruit and retain from within our own community, reducing hiring challenges, and allowing for other surrounding departments to benefit from the overflow.Our investment in the program is based on three different courses provided by CCFES. During sophomore year, students attend a public safety orientation class taught by high school instructors taught at both the school and our facility. During junior year, students are taught by a certified Fire Fighter I instructor, given uniforms and expired bunker gear. By the end of the junior year, each student will take the State of Georgia Hazardous Materials Exam and the Fire Fighter I exam. The third year during EMT class, students are taught by a certified Level III EMS instructor and prepare to test for the National Registry exam to become certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).
During their time here at CCFES, the students are involved in our Explorer Post 701, where they will complete ride-alongs with professional emergency medical staff. Ride alongs (riding on a fire apparatus) occur on Saturdays or Sundays for several hours during the day. This allows the Pathway students to gain first-hand knowledge of what the profession is really about during a shift at the fire station.