Tri-County Fire Corps
In a public-private partnership, the Tri-County Fire Corps Exploring Program is a cooperative effort of the greater Omaha area fire departments, Metro Community College, Explorer Program, and the First Responders Foundation. The Tri-County Fire Corps Exploring Program provides a unique opportunity for sixteen to nineteen-year-old youth to learn the skills necessary for a career in firefighting. Cadets from the greater metro area are encouraged to apply for the Program.
This valuable program not only encourages students to consider careers in firefighting or volunteer service with local fire departments, but also increases community awareness of fire safety and first aid, and builds the students’ confidence and leadership skills. Participation also provides a pathway to post-secondary studies, such as the Fire Science Technology courses at Metro Community College.
Classes run in Spring and Fall of each year and are spread over ten weekend mornings. The 40 hours of training are taught by firefighters from local fire departments and use fire department training facilities and equipment. Students are trained in many areas including CPR/AED, fire extinguishers, ropes and knots, hose rolls, search and rescue, ladders, HAZMAT awareness, and ventilation. The program concludes with a graduation ceremony where each student receives two certificates, one for CPR, and one for Stop The Bleed.
Tim McCaw, Assistant Chief of the Omaha Fire Department explains, with a pun intended, “I hope this program lights a fire under the cadets for a career in fire.” He expressed gratitude to the parents who support and transport the cadets each week to all the training. McCaw also said, “Graduation from this program demonstrates the student’s perseverance to complete the course. This is a great way to prepare for the future.”
The program’s inaugural session was spring of 2018 and continues to grow in class size. Current classes range from 15-20 participants, with a goal of 40 participants each class.
Donations through the First Responders Foundation supplements registration costs, CPR certification, program training materials, and a graduation event.
Support the Tri-County Fire Corps Exploring Program participants!
Special thanks to the following agencies that participate in the program: Bennington Rural Fire District, Gretna Volunteer Fire Department, The LaVista Volunteer Firefighters Association, Omaha Fire Department, Papillion Fire Department, Ralston Volunteer Fire Department, Springfield Volunteer Fire Department, Yutan Volunteer Fire Department, Irvington Fire Department, Sarpy County Emergency Management Agency, Tri-County Homeland Security Working Group, Village of Boys Town Fire Department, Metropolitan Community College Fire Science Program, Omaha Professional Fire Fighters Association – IAFF Local 385.
For more information and photos visit the Tri-County Fire Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TriCountyFireNE/
For questions, please contact the program advisor, Omaha Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick at Scott.Fitzpatrick@cityofomaha.org