AVERY EHOVE Career Center's public safety academy has combined two senior-only programs, firefighting and EMT, to offer students two certifications in the field. Previously, students earned either eligibility to take the Professional Firefighter or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) exam, but not both exams.
The change was made to give students more opportunities in the closely linked public safety sectors.
"So many firefighters are also certified EMT or paramedics," said Ned McElfresh, instructor. "We figured we'd offer students the best of both worlds by preparing them to take both exams." EHOVE has one of the largest high school public safety programs in Ohio, as well as one of the larger adult education programs. McElfresh, who is a former City of Cleveland paramedic and combat medic, leads the instructional team for both the fire and EMS programs.
High school public safety academy prepares students interested in criminal justice, law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services with certification needed for beginning public safety careers, focusing on student needs and employability skills as part of the training.
Students enter high school as a junior and complete a core public safety curriculum, and choose an area of specialization criminal justice, EMT, firefighting or legal careers and upon graduation, can make a seamless transition into post-secondary education (EHOVE Adult ed., Terra Community College, and Firelands BGSU, for example) to earn associate and bachelor's degrees.
In 2006, the school's lab underwent a major renovation to offer students the latest equipment.
Labs are conducted with the actual tools of the trade full-sized EMS and fire vehicles used in the field today.
Numerous field trips to various public safety entities offer students a realistic look at the profession locally.
The Emergency Medical Technician program prepares students by participating in class discussions and lab sessions covering such topics as patient assessment, airway management, trauma, and medical emergencies. Students participate in a 20-hour clinical, experience at local hospitals and EMS services to gain hands-on experiences.
Students who successfully meet all program requirements and pass the required National Registry exam will receive the following certifications: Emergency Medical Technician Basic Level, Professional Rescue CPR, Nat'l Incident Mgt. Systems (NIMS), Hazmat Awareness/Operations, Emergency Telecommunications.
The professional firefighter prepares students to rapidly respond to a variety of emergencies. Firefighters are frequently the first emergency personnel at the scene of a traffic accident or medical emergency and may be called upon to put out a fire, treat injuries, or perform other vital functions Students receive the certifications in the following areas providing they successfully meet all requirements and pass the required exam.