New program experiencing great success

Preparing for a second year of teaching valuable career skills to Garland ISD students, the district’s new firefighting and EMT program is already celebrating success. This partnership between the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center, El Centro College (ECC) and the Garland Fire Department (GFD) has been named the 2017-18 Innovation of the Year for ECC. Its inaugural year also brought publicity across North Texas and two life-saving opportunities.

As the area’s first triple-credit firefighting and EMT model, GISD students complete the three-year program with a high school diploma; up to 31 credit hours toward an associate degree from ECC, as well as a Fire Science Certificate; and training to take the Texas Commission on Fire Protection exam and City of Garland civil service exam. This program includes two summer boot camps as well, which kicked off in June with live fire practice drills.

“The goal at the end of the boot camp was for each student to be able to function as a member of an initial attack crew on different divisions,” said GFD’s Lt. Jeremy House. “And I believe we accomplished that goal.”

Capturing the students’ last drills, Fox 4 News showcased GISD’s unique partnership. Coverage can be viewed at bit.ly/gisdfirefighting. And, two students received some extra attention as well. Jocelyn Barrientos and Dalton Kedward both received Community Action Awards from GFD. Barrientos assisted with post-CPR care while shadowing Garland paramedics. Kedward identified and helped a man suffering from heat stroke.