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NCTC firefighting program begins inaugural year

Dual credit class offers opportunity into career

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NCTC firefighting program begins inaugural year

Marcus High School juniors Spencer Baltmanis and Ryan Moore attempt to jam open a door during practice.

Marcus High School juniors Spencer Baltmanis and Ryan Moore attempt to jam open a door during practice.

Photo by Marissa Redding

Marcus High School juniors Spencer Baltmanis and Ryan Moore attempt to jam open a door during practice.

Photo by Marissa Redding

Photo by Marissa Redding

Marcus High School juniors Spencer Baltmanis and Ryan Moore attempt to jam open a door during practice.

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Photo by Marissa Redding
Students from four high schools meet at the LHS Main campus every day for the firefighting program.

A group of students dressed in firefighter uniforms stands outside as the instructor calls two of them over. One of the students carries an ax and the other carries a Halligan bar, which is placed in the crack between the door and the door frame. The student with the ax places it on the end of the Halligan, and with the Halligan at an angle, the back of the ax hits the end of the Halligan to pry open the locked door.

Lewisville firefighter Greg Rohre is the instructor for North Central Texas College (NCTC) LISD firefighter program. The dual credit class is available to Flower Mound, Marcus, The Colony and Lewisville students. The two-year long class has three semesters based on fire science and one semester based on Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) curriculum. Next year will be the start of the second fire program class.

The program was put together by the district and will provide an opportunity for a rewarding career students can start at 19 or 20 years old and stay in for an estimated 30 to 35 years.

“Firefighting is one of the most rewarding careers there are,” Rohre said. “These kids have the opportunity [from] the day they graduate from high school to be able to apply [and] start testing to be hired in a lot of the area fire departments.”

Students attending the program will typically spend their time studying EMT or fire science, but sometimes, they’ll go over skills needed for firefighting.

“We’ll spend the full class period out in the field doing skills such as pulling fire hoses, throwing ladders [and] forcible entries,” Rohre said. “The students will actually do three live burn days where we will actually go to Dallas Fort Worth Airport and do live burns in a controlled setting. So, every day is a new day for them.”

The students have various reasons for joining the program. Junior Monica Dwyer wants to be a wonderful firefighter and paramedic for Lewisville and wants to give back to the community.

“It’s the adrenaline,” Dwyer said. “I was a junior member when I lived in New Mexico in the fire department and the adrenaline dump you get when hear the tone is amazing. My mom’s an EMT, my dad was a firefighter and so I’m just following [in] their footsteps.”

Junior Clayton Larkey, who is currently enrolled in the program, has always had the drive to help other people. He hopes to save lives in the future and possibly work in Lewisville.

“I always dreamt of being a firefighter, even when I was young,” Larkey said. “So, when the opportunity arose, I was just like, ‘Hey, it’s my time.’”

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NCTC firefighting program begins inaugural year