Type Department: Concord High School Fire and EMT Academy — High School Career and Technical Education class with Direct Delivery State Certification from OSFM and NCOEMS.
Structure: The program is operated much like a recruit school and JROTC program. Course work is the state firefighter curriculum and EMT curriculum from the OSFM and NCOEMS and is offered through direct delivery. We have three Honor Guards, Officer Corps, and an I-Women Chapter for our female recruits.
Number of Stations: Two classrooms, One Station, three vehicles including Engine Co., Rescue, Ambulance and Training Facilities
Provide EMS?: EMT certification class Instructor is a paramedic and EMT instructor. EMT students provide standby at football games and special events.
Specialty Operations: The fire chief is an OSFM Level II Fire and Rescue Instructor, EMT, HazMat Technician and Technical Rescue Specialist.
Annual Budget: None. We rely totally on donations and fund-raising.
Area Covered: Program is open to all students in Cabarrus County Schools — seven high schools serving approximately 8,500 students
Population: 242 Recruits (adding both first and second semesters together)
Total calls for service: Recruits assisted with 427 fire and EMS calls last year while on ride a longs and as junior members and full members of various departments.
Fire Chief: David M. Barlow
EMS Chief: Earl Motsinger
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Chief: In the process of hiring
Assistant Chief of Administration and PIO: Brittany Haigler (recruit)
Assistant Chief of Operations: Colton Cline (recruit)
Other Officers: Battalion Chiefs – 9; Captains – 38; Lieutenants - 9.
Each class is a Battalion with a Battalion Chief. Each row of four recruits is a company led by a captain. Each class has a Watch Commander/Quartermaster with the rank of Lieutenant. All Officers must present a resume, letter of intent, and interview with alumni and chief officers before attaining rank.
Number of Members: 242 recruits (adding both first and second semesters together). We have six that are members of the Concord Fire Department Explorer program and 12 others that are members of six local volunteer fire departments
Address: 481 Burrage Road Concord, North Carolina 28025
Phone: 704-239-3706 - Chief Barlow; 704-786-4161 - School
Community Outreach: Each year our recruits perform a multitude of community service hours and participate in many events such as: Safe Kids Safety Palooza, Cabarrus County Fire Safety Bowl, Special Olympics, College Fair Parking Details, Fire Safety Education Programs to local Preschools, Parades, Fire Musters and Competitions, Live Burns to assist local fire departments, etc. We also attend the County JROTC Military Ball each year. We average between 5,000 to 7,000 man hours by recruits beyond the classroom. This includes an average of over 50 separate fire rescue classes through the community college as well as ride-a-longs, medical standbys, Honor Guard performances, and other training.
Our Honor Guard performs an average of 22 times during each school year. We have a strong Skills USA Team and have competed at both the State and National level each of the last four years. In national competition we have placed as high as fourth in the nation and as low as 19th. Our assistant chief officers present sessions at the State CTE Conference as well as our fire and EMT chiefs.
Top two concerns in your community: Not a concern, but an interesting statistic was observed shortly after this program was started. Within one year of the start of the Concord High School Fire Academy there was a sharp drop — almost 50 percent — in the number of working fires in the geographic area served by Concord High School. It is difficult to prove, but we believe that it just might be due to the heightened awareness of fire safety that the Fire Academy projects in the school.
What upgrades will you make in your department this year? Upgrades to the program this year include many more training props and the addition of a Smoke House and training facilities adjacent to our station. Hopefully, we will also be able to add extrication tools to our Light Duty Rescue Company.
In the fall of 2015 we plan to offer a Law Enforcement curriculum making our program a full Public Safety Academy.
To date, we have produced six career firefighters and more than 29 volunteer firefighters in less than five years. These young professionals are serving their communities in four different states — North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois and Maine. We have 11 career military including Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. Chief Barlow serves on the Rowan Cabarrus Community College Advisory Board for the two year Fire Protection Technology Associates Degree Program and the two year Associates Degree Emergency Management Program. To date we have 24 of our recruits enrolled in these or similar programs elsewhere. Several will graduate this semester. One of our female alumni recruits has graduated from Aircraft Mechanics two year Associates Degree program and is a certified aircraft mechanic with several types of aircraft including jets. Two other alumni are attending four year college degree programs and working as a volunteer medic and volunteer firefighters while attending Western Carolina University and Campbell University.