February 2, 2023

Thunderstorms early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low 73F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%..
Thunderstorms early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low 73F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Updated: August 19, 2022 @ 5:46 pm
Livingston Parish Fire Protection District 4

Staff Writer/Photographer
Livingston Parish Fire Protection District 4
Local high school seniors interested in becoming a firefighter can get started before getting their diploma, thanks to a new program being introduced this year.
Livingston Parish Fire Protection District 4 and Walker High have launched a new fire educational training program open to all Livingston Parish seniors wanting to pursue a career in firefighting.
Through the program, certified firefighters will train and educate young men and women interested in pursuing a career in firefighting. The new program will help address a shortage in volunteer firefighters being felt locally and across the country.
Classroom and practical instruction will be held at the LPFPD4 headquarters and training facility after school from 3-5 p.m., officials said. Students will learn under internationally certified fire service instructors with years of specialized training experience.
This is the first program of its kind in the state, officials said in a statement.
Keesler Fly, a training/safety officer for LPFPD4, said the program is “very personal to me,” recalling his days in the department’s junior cadet program when he was a sophomore at Live Oak High.
“I knew then I wanted to make a career in the fire service and I’ve been with LPFPD4 ever since,” Fly said. “It truly is a rewarding career that I’ve grown to love and am very passionate about.”
To take the program, seniors will have to have completed the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) pre-requisite course. The one-year program will include hazardous materials, firefighting, and vehicle extrication.
After completing the course, students will graduate with the necessary certifications to be hired as a career firefighter. The high school program is similar to what firefighter trainees are required to undergo, Fly said.
“Students will receive both classroom and hands-on practical instruction,” Fly said. “In fact, they will learn the same curriculum and be trained to the same international standard as if you were going through a Firefighting Academy.”
The hope behind the new program is to address the “significant decline” in volunteer and career firefighters over the last two decades, both locally and abroad, officials said. Over the past 10 years, volunteer membership at District 4 has decreased by more than 50 percent.
“Recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters, especially younger age groups, have been a great challenge that we must address, and this program will do just that,” said training/safety officer Frank Dellucky.
“We will be able to expose high school students to the fire service early, and if it is something they enjoy, they can have a rewarding career with great benefits.”
Livingston Parish high school students who are interested in learning more about the fire training program should speak to their school’s guidance counselor.
To view a video of the program, click here.
Staff Writer/Photographer
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