Program allows high schoolers to train with local fire department

COBB COUNTY, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A unique program in Cobb County is giving teens the chance to learn what it takes to be a Cobb County Firefighter.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything!” said 16-year-old Edith Banos.

Students from Osborne High School have the opportunity to enroll in the Firefighting Pathway Program. They take a bus from school to Cobb County Fire Department Training Center.

“The program is two years long. So, the first full year is firefighting and the second year is that EMT class,” said Pathway Program Instructor Kayla Greene.

Students are taught how to apply a tourniquet and administer CPR; they train to break down doors, to maneuver through a fire with their team in mind.

“I have been pushed to my limits. This program has shown me that I definitely have some weak spots but it has made me grow,” said 18-year-old Madeline Valenzuela.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are in the program now.

“I see test scores go up. My kids’ grades are better,” said Greene.

Four seniors in the program have already started the hiring process with the Cobb County Fire Department.

“It has taught me so much responsibility, respect, and leadership that I didn’t know I was capable of,” said 17-year-old Evie Hague.

Sawyer Buccy

Sawyer Buccy

Sawyer Buccy is a reporter for Atlanta News First, Atlanta. She comes to Atlanta from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she told community-focused stories of resilience.