Skilled to Work: Firefighter program in Claxton

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 2:47 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CLAXTON, Ga. (WTOC) - A vocational program at Claxton High School lets students explore careers in firefighting and prepare them to jump in right after graduation.

It’s a race against the clock to drag a fire hose then run to extend a ladder - all before lunch period or 10th grad math. Evans County Schools teamed with the county and its fire department to offer this class at Claxton High.

“Originally, I wanted to be a policeman. But I would have to wait until I was 21. So I want to become a firefighter and see where it goes,” Student Eric Christman said.

Students can choose a vocational pathway for fire fighting that helps them prepare for taking their state test and beginning a career after graduation.

“I feel like it gives you a boost in knowledge and capabilities and all that,” Student Albert Johnson said.

Evans County’s chief, Brian Croft, serves as the instructor. He says programs like this can help shore up years of dwindling numbers for both career firefighters and volunteers.

“My biggest smile will come when one of my students becomes a full time fire fighter for Bulloch County or Savannah or some big department,” Instructor Chief Brian Croft said.

Some students say they’re still on the fence, but they’re glad to get a sample of this and other potential careers.

“I think it’s important because it gives you a taste of what you might want to do in your life. So you don’t get to the job and find out you don’t like it,” Student Ayla Foskey said.

Chief Croft says if the class generates only 2-3 firefighters per year, it’s serving the community and students who want to be skilled to work.