WHS Fire Science Academy Expands With PBSC Instructors

The Fire Science Academy at Wellington High is now one year old. Participating cadets have completed an elective science class entitled “Introduction to Fire Science.” This year, the cadets will begin a three-year sequence of courses entitled “Firefighter 1, 2 and 3.”

The short-term goal of the academy is to develop character, discipline and an appreciation of public service. The long-range goal is to develop an outstanding candidate for EMT, fire college and paramedic school. The program has entered into an agreement with Palm Beach State College for instruction. PBSC has a distinguished record of producing outstanding candidates for employment within the various fire departments in Palm Beach County and beyond. The academy is honored to have PBSC fire college instructors teach the cadets.

Over the past year, the academy developed wonderful relationships with Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue, the Town of Palm Beach Fire Department, Boynton Beach Fire-Rescue, Delray Beach Fire-Rescue and Palm Beach County Emergency Management. There have been guest speakers, visiting apparatus and field studies from the departments, offering tremendous opportunities for the cadets to gain insight from firefighters, company officers and chiefs within the departments.

Boynton Beach Fire-Rescue donated retired bunker gear for use in non-live fire work. This allows the cadets to train and drill in full gear.

The Palm Beach County School district has recently approved the program as a choice academy. Incoming ninth and tenth grade students can now apply for a seat in the academy. As the only high school fire science academy in Palm Beach County, the program leaders are thrilled to be able to provide access to students countywide.

Moving forward, the academy is in need of equipment and donations to provide cadets with real world experiences and resources as they prepare for a career in the fire service. Pieces of equipment that no longer can be used for live fire work will function well for cadets. The program is also in need of PPEs, SCBA masks, ladders, hoses, nozzles, hydrant wrenches, gated wyes and more. In addition, monetary donations help with transportation costs, uniforms and with purchasing items such as T-shirts and helmets. To learn more about making a donation, e-mail james.marshall@palmbeachschools.org.

ABOVE: Experience is instrumental for Fire Science Academy students.