Wood County Schools offers firefighter and EMT/EMS course for students

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 9:37 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Wood County Schools offers students a chance at one day becoming a firefighter or EMT.

And they are doing it through the emergency and fire management program at the Caperton Center.

“The purpose of these programs is to get people job ready. And if you go to any fire department in the state these things are things you need to know to do the job of a firefighter or EMT,” says the program’s instructor, Jim Reynolds.

Reynolds says a lot of alumni stay in the Mid-Ohio Valley to serve as firefighters or EMT’s.

Some, like Emma Hunt, have gone on to show off their skills in competitions like the Skills USA challenge.

Hunt won gold in the firefighting portion of the competition.

“I actually came into this class to be an EMT. My brother’s a firefighter, my dad was a firefighter, they all wanted me to be a firefighter. And I love firefighters and what they did and all, but I never wanted to be a firefighter. It was just something that I didn’t think it was for me,” says Hunt. “But I came to this class for the EMT part, and with it is firefighting too. And I just fell in love with it and I became a volunteer firefighter and I’ve been rocking it ever since.”

Hunt’s classmate, Charles Boston, took home gold for CPR and first aid.

A big change from when he signed up for this class and not being interested at first to loving every aspect of this potential profession.

“I just fell in love with the emergency medical side of this, the fire side of it. I never thought about becoming a firefighter or EMT, but now that’s my passion,” says Boston.

Now Hunt and Boston are preparing to compete in the Skills USA national competition in June.

But the course isn’t just about winning competition, officials say it’s about preparing future first responders. Students run firefighting obstacle courses, go through c-p-r training and even get a chance to ride along with professionals.

Reynolds says, “Well, that’s the bottom line with the programs is we’re only here to help people. And that’s the reason we exist.”

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