PWCS students training in the Firefighters program. Photo by Prince William County Schools.
Firefighting is one of the School Division’s newest Career and Technical Education (CTE) course offerings. The class allows students to earn Firefighter I and II certifications. Prince William County Fire and Rescue System (PWC FRS) Lieutenant Estee Warring earned her firefighter certification as a member of a volunteer fire department while still in high school. This inspired her to apply for the role as the fire cadet program coordinator. “I really thought I was the perfect fit to coordinate the program and teach the students because I can relate to them obtaining this kind of certification while in high school at the same time,” Warring explained. Warring was hired by the PWC FRS in 2008 and has served on both a fire engine and a medic unit. The course meets the standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), but Warring has added hours to the program to cover different work-related topics such as filling out job applications, how to write a resume, and job interviewing. The class is hosted at the Prince William County Public Safety Training Academy in Nokesville. Warring is the main instructor for the class, but she has lined up several PWC FRS veteran firefighters to help teach some of the topics. “The Firefighting program is a demanding and challenging hands-on class that will open up new career opportunities to our students. Partnering with the PWC FRS allows our students to learn from outstanding professionals, use the latest state of the art equipment, and experience the “real world” of firefighting science,” shared CTE Supervisor Doug Wright. This school year, the program was open to students from Unity Reed High School and Osbourn Park High School, but is scheduled to be opened to all high schools in the 2021-22 school year. Transportation to the training academy will be provided to students. Students must be at least 16 years old by the first day of class, have their parent or legal guardian’s permission to enroll in the class, and pass a medical physical.