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Student firefighters learn outside the classroom

Future firefighters: Twelve students from the Public Service Academy at LeCroy Career Technical Center participated in a training session last week.

Future firefighters: Twelve students from the Public Service Academy at LeCroy Career Technical Center participated in a training session last week.

Students in the Public Service Academy last week got a chance to put their instruction into action.

Firefighters-in-training spent the day on Dec. 11 going through simulations of scenarios that could occur while on a call.

At one point, for example, students worked to remove an “incapacitated” classmate from the second floor of an abandoned house off Crowson Avenue. The pretend victim was dragged to a window, hooked up to a harness and pulley system that had been created, and then lowered down to the ground.

“This is awesome,” said William Armstrong, one of 12 students in the class. “It’s life-changing.”

How it’s done: Public Service Academy student Bobby Watley is lowered down by classmates as part of a training exercise last week at a vacant house off Crowson Avenue in Clanton.

How it’s done: Public Service Academy student Bobby Watley is lowered down by classmates as part of a training exercise last week at a vacant house off Crowson Avenue in Clanton.

Clanton Fire Chief David Driver, who is helping teach the class, said students who pass the class will be certified volunteer firefighters through the Alabama Fire College.

The students would then have the option of taking a five-week “bridge” class through the college to become certified career firefighters.

“Our goal is for them to transfer from this class to the other class and never realize it,” Driver said.

The students are also going through physical training as a way to prepare them for the career class.

“We’re getting them ready for all of that,” Driver said.

Austin Bone, the student ambassador for the morning class taught at LeCroy Career Technical Center, said the course has helped him decide to pursue a career in firefighting.

“I always thought about doing it when I was younger, but I didn’t know for sure,” Watley said. “Now, there’s no doubt.”