New DFD/DPS Academy to prepare Detroit students to be hired as firefighters and EMTs immediately upon graduation

Program opens new career path for Detroit students that didn’t exist before
First Firefighter class to start this fall; EMT training begins next year

This fall, a class of 30 Detroit High School students will become the first to be trained as Firefighters as part of a new collaboration between the Detroit Fire Department (DFD) and Detroit Public Schools (DPS).

Mayor Mike Duggan, DPS Emergency Manager Darnell Earley and Detroit Fire Commissioner Edsel Jenkins today announced a two-year pilot program that will train students as certified Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) by the time they graduate from high school.  Historically, when the Fire Department hires new firefighters and EMT’s, the majority of candidates tend to be young suburban high school graduates because their schools have offered this curriculum for years.

Mayor Duggan praised Commissioner Jenkins, EM Earley and Linked Learning for their leadership in creating this program to reverse that trend.

“For the first time, we are going to provide a clear path for young Detroiters who want to serve their community as fire fighters and EMTs to receive their training and become employable right out of high school,” said Mayor Duggan.  “It is our hope and expectation that these young men and women will become members of the Detroit Fire Department.”

The officials made the announcement at Cody High School’s Medicine and Community Health Academy on the city’s west side, where classes will be held for the program.  Practical training for the program will occur at the DFD Regional Training Facility, which is housed in the former Davis Aerospace High School near City Airport.  The specialized training program is available to DPS students across the city.

“Detroit Public Schools is committed to providing its 47,000 students with a quality education that will prepare them to be both college and career ready,” said DPS Emergency Manager Darnell Earley. “Strengthening our career and technical education programs with innovative new partnerships like the one with the Detroit Fire Department, that set students up for future employment, is essential to meeting this goal. As a former city manager, I understand how important the work of fire fighters and EMTs is to the community. I am certain our students will seize the opportunity to earn their certifications and take a job in this noble profession.”

About the training

Thirty juniors and seniors from Cody MCH have been identified as eligible participants for the program’s inaugural class.  Students must be at least 17 years of age and have a recent physical examination providing medical clearance for participation.

In 2015-2016, the first year of the Program, only firefighter training will be provided.  Firefighter training includes medical first responder (MFR) training, which is now a requirement for new hires at DFD and will help prepare cadets for the full EMT training in the second year of the program.

“We always are looking for good men and women to serve the Detroit Fire Department,” said Commissioner Jenkins. “This new program will create a pipeline for us to be able to make sure young Detroiters have access to these opportunities.”

Students will attend classes three days per week at the Cody center, where they will receive their academic training.   Two days per week, they will receive practical training at the DFD Academy.  Students will be transported to the Training Facility from Cody by DPS

The program provides students with competency based firefighter and emergency medical technician training that also meets state career and technical education standards.

The curriculum is based on the Fire Fighter I and II and Emergency Medical Services curricula approved for professional fire and emergency medical services training by the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) and similar organizations, as well as the Michigan Department of Community Health.  Classroom instruction and hands-on training are provided by certified Fire Department instructors.

The program also will include college academic preparedness to make sure students are receiving a well-rounded education, which may include up to 40 college credits.

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