CCHS Forging New Partnerships

Instructor speaking with a student dressed in firefighter gear.

Colquitt County High School and the Moultrie Fire Department are forging new partnerships to build a pipeline of future firefighters.  Not long after Fire Chief Chad Kilgore and Assistant Fire Chief Tyshon Reed started their current positions, they began thinking about the future.  According to Reed, there has been a steady decrease in the number of applicants for open firefighter positions in Moultrie and around the state.  They approached Superintendent Ben Wiggins in the spring of 2022 about the Fire Department's need to fill positions.  They presented other programs in the state that were in the early stages of joint partnerships between high schools and fire departments.

Under the direction of Superintendent Wiggins, the high school began exploring ways to start the Fire Fighter Pathway.  Principal Dan Chappuis and interim CTAE Director John Newton and Reed began meeting in December of 2022 to plan for a program to start during the 2023-2024 school year.  Through the transition of the retirement of CTAE Director Mr. Hobbs, interim Director John Newton, and the hiring of Chad Horne as the current CTAE Director, this project never lost steam.  “Partnering with the City of Moultrie Fire Department has been wonderful,” shared Horne. “We hope this pathway partnership will help develop future firemen/firewomen dedicated to filling the needs in our county and throughout the state." 

The Moultrie Fire Department participated in student registration and recruiting events during Spring 2023 to gain student interest in the new pathway.  The joint efforts to promote the pathway led to the first class starting in Fall 2023.  "This program allows students to obtain the cognitive and physical skill set required by Georgia Standards and Training to become certified firefighters," shared Assistant Chief Reed.  Students can take the state written certification exam at the end of the third course.  Georgia Standards and Training has agreed to hold all passing scores for a year.  This will allow students to obtain a job at any department in Georgia.  Upon employment, they will complete a fast-track program with that Fire Department.  Upon successful completion of the physical skill test, they will be certified firefighters.

The pathway consists of three courses: Introduction to Public Law and Safety, Corrections, and Security; Essentials of Fire and Emergency Services; and Applications of Fire Fighting.  The high school teaches the first course, and the following two courses are taught in partnership with the high school and the Moultrie Fire Department.  Upon completing all three classes, the student can sit for the written exam to qualify as a Fire Fighter 1 per the National Fire Protection Association requirements. 

"Under the leadership of Chief Kilgore and Assistant Chief Reed, the firefighters are doing a great job of teaching the material that they live each day to our students at CCHS," shared Chad Horne, CTAE Director.  "Having someone teaching the classes who can share first-hand experiences benefits our students.” 

Students interested in the pathway can speak with their school counselor for information on registering for the classes. 

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.