Students in the ECRC public safety cluster class were treated to a visit from members of the Brewton Fire Department last week as a treat for doing well in the class.
Students in the ECRC public safety cluster class were treated to a visit from members of the Brewton Fire Department last week as a treat for doing well in the class.

In the footprints of heroes

Published 2:46pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

For Emily McGhee taking the public safety class at the Escambia Career Readiness Center in its inaugural year was a simple decision to make.

“My uncle is a fireman and he’s always been like a hero to me,” McGhee said. “I just thought this would give me a chance to see what he sees in the job.”

McGhee, along with five other students, comprise the first class of students studying the newest addition to the offerings at the ECRC.

Brandon Barlow, a former firefighter with the Brewton Fire Department, is teaching the first Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster offered for local high school students.

“They seem to be doing really well,” Barlow said. “They have just finished safety week and they all aced the test.”

That student success prompted Barlow to give the students a special treat and further the learning process for them. Members of the Brewton Fire Department took two fire trucks and one rescue vehicle to the Center on Pea Ridge Road to give the students a chance to check out the equipment and processes up-close and personal.

Through a detailed tour of the trucks, students were given a chance to see the mechanics of fire fighting including the operation of truck equipment along with water flow and hoses involved in fighting a fire. Firefighters also demonstrated apparel worn by personnel including a demonstration of the breathing apparatus and helmets used when fighting a fire.

“I never really thought much about being a firefighter,” Alex O’Keane said. “But, when I found out you could be ready and certified to work when you leave here, I thought it would be a chance at another job opportunity someday.”

The class is geared toward high school sophomores, juniors and seniors and will allow completers of the course to become certified firefighters following graduation from the program, school officials said.

ECRC offers a variety of courses aimed at preparing students for a career path into several areas of trade. ECRC instructors and staff regularly collaborate with area industy and business leaders to learn what is most needed in the community. As much as possible, that information is used to plan courses of student at the Center.

To learn more about the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster offered at the Escambia Career Readiness Center (formerly the Escambia-Brewton Career Technical Center), contact the school at 867-7829.

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