Ogeechee Technical College and the city of Statesboro recently entered into an agreement that will facilitate a Firefighter I program to train those seeking to enter fire service.
Offered as a credit program through Ogeechee Tech, the program is a collaboration that will serve the needs of both the College and City.
"This program will mutually benefit both entities because students completing the program will receive academic credit from Ogeechee Tech with a cost savings for the city, and the college will be able to utilize specialized equipment and facilities which are already in existence at the Statesboro Fire Department without having to purchase the same items for use in training through the college," said Ogeechee Technical College President Dr. Dawn Cartee. "This is a great example of two governmental agencies working together in an efficient manner to save taxpayers' money."
Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore, who is also the college's dean of students, said that because the collaboration with Ogeechee Tech allows students to earn college credit while completing the training needed to serve as a firefighter, graduates can grow professionally.
"Not only will the students learn the practical skills needed to function as a firefighter, but they will earn college credit which may allow them to expand their professional resumes and possibly go on to earn additional credentials later," Moore said. "And equally as important to the city, there will be thousands of dollars in savings because of the financial aid the new firefighters may receive."
In addition to Firefighter I, Ogeechee Tech offers a number of public safety-related programs. Emergency medical, law enforcement, forensic science and criminal justice programs provide a wide array of opportunities for those interested in entering the public safety field.
Many of the area's public safety workers are trained at Ogeechee Tech, said Dr. Charlene Lamar, the college's executive vice president for academic affairs.
"Quite a few of the emergency responders in Statesboro, Bulloch County and surrounding areas received their education at Ogeechee Technical College," Lamar said. "Our graduates make an impact on the safety of our citizens on a daily basis."
Just as firefighter students can receive financial aid for their education, the same applies to law enforcement students receiving training and certification through Ogeechee Tech's Regional Law Enforcement Academy.
"Any governmental agency can save the cost of training public safety workers by utilizing the programs offered at Ogeechee Technical College," said Cartee. "The programs at the college are recognized for providing professional training and affordable tuition with various financial aid options."
The Firefighter I classes will include some students who are slated to work for the Statesboro Fire Department, while others will be employed or volunteering with other fire service agencies. Those interested in any public safety program at Ogeechee Tech may call (912) 681-5500 or visit www.ogeecheetech.edu.