Aspiring firefighters can now take a class in Kodiak that will prepare them for a career in firefighting anywhere in the United States.
The Firefighter One course is part of a nationally accredited program that teaches its students the ethics, physics, and proper procedure of firefighting. Chief James Mullican of the Kodiak Fire Department says it’s the minimum level of training that a firefighter needs to do the job safely and effectively.
“It’s something that’s been missing for a lot of years. We’re certified by the state, the city is, to provide the training, test ‘em out and they earn their certification, and I think it’s a really good step forward because it helps our volunteers as well have the knowledge and be able to do the job safely, ‘cause fighting fires is as dangerous for a volunteer as it is for a paid staff member, and they don’t deserve anything less.”
Mullican is working with Chief Howard Rue of the Bayside Volunteer Fire Department to train their volunteers. It opens the door to becoming a full-time employee at the Kodiak Fire Department for those who are interested.
Bayside volunteer fireman Jason Wagner says, up until now, all of his training had been on the job, and says during the first week of the class, firefighters learned the ethics and history of firefighting.
“When you become a firefighter, it’s not just a water technician or something. You’re becoming a major part of your community and people are gonna look up to you, and that to me sometimes can be the most rewarding part of being a firefighter is being a part of something that’s been going on for thousands of years. You can help people, but when you’re a firefighter, you have your hands on that person, you’re saving that person or their home or their children or their pets. You can’t beat that for volunteer opportunities.”
The class began last week, but is still open for enrollment. Students will need to complete 150 hours of training.