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Members of Gary One Love Firefighter Association and Gary City Council

Gary fire fighters push for fire service training in high schools

Contributed By:The 411 News

Want to promote fire fighter service as a career choice for young adults

Introducing themselves as Gary Fire Department fire fighters wanting to perform a greater good for their fellow citizens, the Gary City Council endorsed the mission of the Gary One Love Firefighter Association at Tuesday night's council meeting.

President Terrence Jackson, a firefighter and paramedic, said the association is organized within the GFD as community based with a purpose to provide skills and services to youth in the community. "Over the years we have seen more youth get in trouble. We want to give back through training and mentorships."

One of the ways, Jackson said, is to include fire service training as part of the high school curriculum in the Gary school district. And now with the qualifying age for firefighter applicants down to 18, having fire service training in high school makes more sense, Jackson said.

Communities around Gary are already doing it. East Chicago, Hammond, and Hobart have programs for their high school students. Jackson said at graduation time, students have earned an Emergency Medical Technician Certificate.

"We want to work with the Gary schools to have an EMT program and fire academy," Jackson said. "If we can reach the youth at the right time we feel we can steer them in the right direction and show them there are better things to do than committing crimes and acts of violence."

EMT certification can be a pipeline to becoming a firefighter and paramedic with the Gary Fire Department. Most of the service calls taken by fire departments, locally and nationally, are for ambulance service.

Council member Mary Brown told the fire fighters, "I remember when you were hired and we attended your graduation. I am so proud of these guys. You are doing a wonderful job."

Jackson said the association wants to site the fire academy at the Gary Career Center where the program will be available to all Gary high schools.

Gary One Love Firefighter Association First Vice President Kenji Patton, Sgt at Arms Kirrendan Pellebon, Terrence Jackson, Treasurer Nathan Carter, Secretary Ashley Stewart, Mary Brown, member Curtis Johnson, and Second Vice President Tyrone Jackson, Jr.

Story Posted:02/07/2020

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