Ten Ford County firefighters completed a two-semester leadership class though the Kansas Apprenticeship Training Program of Hutchinson Community College (HCC). The program is designed for company officers, or the emergency response personnel who stands on the engine en route to a fire.
On Nov. 10 The students were presented their completion documents, signed by Governor Laura Kelly, at Fire Station No. 1 in Dodge City on Nov. 10.
The graduates of this program will be supervising and commanding other firefighters in the field when combating fires, “These are the field generals, middle management where the rubber meets the road,” HCC Fire Science Instructor Jeff Deal said at the presentation. “That makes this program critical to ensuring the safety of the community.”
Deal said most firefighters who complete this program have two to seven years’ experience fighting fires. Amy Vanwinkle, the HCC apprenticeship coordinator and said it is a priority for both local communities and the state.
“We have state funds available for this program,” she said. “These firefighters serve under Ford County Fire Chief Rob Boyd who has served in that capacity for seven years and was deputy chief for four years prior to that.”
Deal praised Boyd for his foresight in getting this program to his department. The Latin motto of the program is “Semper malos” which translates to “Always better.”