LOCAL TEENS RECEIVE A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRAINING
Providence High School student Bryson Estridge always knew he wanted to become a firefighter after graduation.So it was a no brainer for the south Charlotte senior to enroll in a new course offered by the school and Charlotte Fire Department based around firefighter technology."It's the first year for the program, and it's just really good. I think just as a career, firefighting is something a lot of people tend to overlook," Bryson said. "Now, we have class everyday and when I graduate, I'll mostly be finished with my certification, so that's a huge advantage. Plus, this class on my application for Charlotte Fire Department will look really good."The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Career and Technical Education Department partnered with the Charlotte Fire Department to start a pilot firefighter technology program at Providence. The program, which currently has five Providence students and one Butler student, started at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year and is already looking to expand for the second semester, which starts later this month. The program is a statewide partnership between the office of the state fire marshal, local fire departments and school districts in an effort to increase access for high school students interested in firefighting as a career.Capt. Kelvin Brim with the Charlotte Fire Department's training division teaches the course. He's been with the department for 16 years and holds an associate degree in fire protection, a bachelor's degree in fire safety and engineering, a master's degree in fire administration and a North Carolina Instruction certification. He first started working with CMS students through the department's summer academy program for teenagers, a condensed version of training Charlotte fire recruits receive. That program helped pave the way for the pilot program at Providence.