16-week Fire Academy starts in August
Butler Fire Science creates intensive career track to support safety and workforce
Zachary Lindsey knows firsthand what Butler Community College’s Fire Science program teaches. He started his Fire Science education at Butler and spent 17 years in the fire service in North Carolina.
Lindsey, originally from Eureka and a Bluestem High School graduate, returned to Kansas in early 2020 and is now head of Butler’s Fire Science program. Since taking over the program, he’s been innovating to give Butler Fire Science students greater leverage in the marketplace. His most recent innovation is the creation of the Butler Fire Academy – designed to train students to be firefighters in 16 weeks. It’s a heavy lift but needed according to Lindsey.
By the end of one semester, successful students earn four certifications and complete one-third of the two-year degree. Courses include Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, Hazardous Materials, and Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B).
“Our Fire Academy is designed to move students through the same progression as our standard one-year or two-year program,” Lindsey said. “Typically, students attend maybe three days a week. Our Academy students are going to hit it hard. They’ll be working on becoming firefighters four days a week from 9 a.m. to – 4 p.m. It’s intense and it’s meant to be.”
Butler’s Fire training facility is attached to El Dorado Fire Station 2. In the fall of 2021, Lindsey partnered with the City of El Dorado to add a Live Fire Training Prop, a formidable, 1,100-square-foot structure made of five shipping containers stacked two stories high and can be made to emulate a two-story house fire or a basement rescue.
“Virtual training is valuable, but putting our students into controlled, live fire environments is what I want my graduates to leave with,” said Lindsey. “That means the first time they enter a burning home at night, it won’t be the first time they’ve entered a burning structure with loss of visibility. That’s critical in my book.”
The academy students will experience fiery, smoky situations in a progression, beginning with elementary and moving to more difficult challenges. For more information about Butler’s 16-week Fire Academy, call Angie Martin, 316-323-6150 or email email@example.com.
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