Texarkana College’s Board of Trustees approved an agreement between the City of Texarkana, Texas, and the College to offer a structural firefighter training academy at its meeting on Tuesday, March 25. The program will provide state-of-the-art training to help meet projected workforce vacancies in the regional, national and international markets.
The College presented an Interlocal Agreement outlining the roles of the City and the College in the partnership at the board meeting. According to the agreement, the city will provide the use of its current Fire Training Facility, located at 1101 W. 21st Street, Texarkana, Texas, along with the use of firefighting equipment and vehicles needed for training. Texarkana College will provide instructors, curriculum, classrooms and marketing materials.
“The creation of a fire academy in Texarkana will be a huge accomplishment for our community,” said Eric Schlotter, Texarkana, Texas Fire Chief. “This academy will not only provide many benefits for the fire service in our region, but will impact our economy in many ways as well. I am very excited about the partnership between Texarkana College and the City of Texarkana, Texas.”
Texarkana College was previously designated as a fire academy site several years ago but is not currently offering training courses. The Texarkana College Board of Trustees will consider the proposal to reestablish the program and seek designation from the state to operate an active fire academy training site.
“Texarkana College was approached by the City to reestablish a Fire Academy for future firefighters, said Donna McDaniel, TC Vice President of Instruction. It is a good fit for both entities because the City has a state-of-the-art training facility that will support the high quality of Texarkana College programs. This program has the potential to develop into more partnerships with the City of Texarkana and other local volunteer fire programs through continuing education training for current fire fighters and other certification trainings. In addition, Texas is unique in that we are allowed to internationally certify firefighters, which will potentially bring international students to the Texarkana area.”
The Texarkana College Fire Training Academy will be a 14-week course and will cost $1,950 for in-state residents. To qualify for the program, a student must be 18 years old by the end of the class date and complete Emergency Care Attendant or EMT Basic within one year of the class ending date. Once Texarkana College meets all State requirements to reestablish the program, training will begin September 2014.