QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY, Md. — A unique career focused course is being offered to students on the Eastern Shore.
Students in Queen Anne's, Talbot, Caroline and Kent counties are learning how to be a firefighter. FIrst they spend time in the class room and then come to the Queen Anne's County Fire Academy to do live training exercises.
It gives them an alternative to going to four years of college and then starting a career. Fran Jester runs this training program, "If they had to take this on a volunteer setting nighttime and weekends, it would take them 3 years to get the training they are getting in one high school year," Jester said.
After a class like this for these high school students, it's puts them way ahead of the game for starting a career.
"It makes it a lot easier when they go to the academy because they've had a lot of this training ahead of the time," Jester said.
More than 200 students have gone through the program since it's inception in 2001, about 45 percent of those students end up in a career associated with firefighting. Brad Schriefer is now a Lieutenant for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department and was in that first class 18 years ago. "Start your experience at 16 or 17 so when we went into our interview process at 18, 19, 20 years old we had some valuable experience going into that," Schriefer said.
Valuable experience they can use for whatever they choose in life.