Naples, Florida -- Beginning this January, Edison State College will partner with North Naples Fire and Rescue Department to offer a state of the art Fire Academy certificate program.
The much needed program already has a waiting list for its inaugural class. There are 36 students enrolled for the Spring and another 100 are interested said Craig Auberbach, Coordinator of Emergency Programs at Edison State.
â€œEdison State will be able to provide an entire career path for each firefighter,â€ said Aberbach. â€œEach student can walk in the door with no certification and become a highly employable, certified firefighter, continue to become an EMT and paramedic.â€
Student will have the opportunity to earn an associates degree in Fire Science or Emergency Medical Services Technology. They can than transition into the bachelorâ€™s of Public Safety seamlessly. All of the prerequisites will be complete.
Aberbach, who recently retired as Cape Coral Fire Division Chief, says there is a critical need to train new firefighters immediately.
â€œThere is a lot of turnover in departments,â€ Aberbach said. â€œDepartments all over Southwest Florida are losing a lot at the top right now because of buyouts. They need new, highly trained crews to fill those spots.â€
The 510-hour class schedule is designed for working people. Classes are Mondays and Wednesdays from 5pm to 10pm. On Saturdays classes will run from 7am to 6pm from January to July. A second class of students will begin in the second half of 2009.
The essential services training facility is located at the North Naples Fire Department. For more information visit: www.edison.edu/academics/fireacademy.