Security & Protective student 20 year-old Thomas Flanery from Langley, KY, enrolled at the Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center in Prestonsburg, KY, on June 11, 2013. Thomas was a high school graduate, but wanted to pursue a career in the Security field. Once at Perkins, Thomas immediately started working hard on center, becoming a student leader in his class and in the dorms after hours. While working with different entities in the city of Prestonsburg, Thomas was given the opportunity to do Work Based Learning (WBL) with the Prestonsburg Fire Department for 6 weeks. Thomas immediately got to work on Safety inspections of the trucks and equipment at the station. On January 2014 after his 6 weeks were finished, Thomas decided he would like to enroll in the drill classes held each week at the station.
Thomas would attend a 2-hour drill class every week while working weekends at the station learning various elements of being a firefighter. It wasn’t long until Thomas completed all of the qualifications to become a certified Kentucky Firefighter.
In Kentucky, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma to become a firefighter. It is also necessary to complete an application, pass a written exam, and complete a rigorous physical fitness test for which practice and preparation is highly recommended in order to become a recruit. If a candidate passes both the written and physical exams, he/she is then an eligible candidate.
If selected to become a firefighter, the candidate must complete a training course that spans several weeks, depending on the facility in which the test is administered. This course ensures that the firefighter has sufficient strength and stamina. Generally, the test assesses the firefighter’s abilities in four categories: cardio-respiratory (heart-lung) fitness, appropriate body composition, strength and muscular endurance, and flexibility.
After completing the Job Corps program, Thomas plans to start EMT classes, while still working with the Fire Department.