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Public Safety Academy Preparing Future Firefighters

Fire Academy Chief Travis Climbingbear assists students with using a charged fire hose. (Photo by Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator.)

 Students enrolled in the Public Safety Academy were recently featured in the County Living section of the Enquirer Journal. The career academy is led by instructor Travis Climbingbear who is preparing students to become certified as firefighters, EMTs, police officers, and other public safety workers.

Climbingbear is in his second year at Piedmont and came to the Piedmont family after serving as a firefighter with the Cherokee Fire Department in Cherokee. As part of the Public Safety program, Climbingbear established local partnerships with fire departments in Monroe, Unionville, Hemby Bridge, Stallings, and Wingate. As part of the program, construction is currently underway on a new building for their program, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of October. With this new facility, Climbingbear will have a miniature fire station that can be used for training and demonstrations. This will include a classroom, ladders, and physical and equipment training. 

For students involved with the Public Safety Academy, it provides an avenue to a possible job skill after graduation. One such student is Grace Newberry, who is a senior and Captain in the program. As the only female in the program, she is working towards her Fire 1 certificate and plans to enter the workforce after high school with both EMT and firefighter certifications. Likewise, Luke Croasman is a junior and also a Captain in the Academy. His aspirations after high school involve joining the Coast Guard and he is hopeful that the skill he is learning in the Academy will help him in this chosen career path.

The entire article can be found in the Sunday, September 14, 2014 edition of County Living in the Enquirer Journal.

Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor [Portion from Enquirer Journal - 9/14/2014)
Posted: Sep 17, 2014 by Judy Davis

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