Reinstate Horry County Fire Rescue Junior Firefighters for ATA students
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Students who currently attend The Academy for Technology and Academics and are enrolled in the Emergency & Fire Management Services major through Horry County Schools and Horry County Fire Rescue should be allowed to partake in volunteering as junior firefighters if they are at least 16 years old. The students who have chosen this as their major and have been accepted into the program are high school juniors and seniors. This program has allowed students who are between the ages of 16-17 to volunteer with HCFR at their assigned stations. This has allowed them to obtain limited firsthand experience under the supervision of the station officers. This experience has given students a better understanding and appreciation for the possibility of future jobs with HCFR as firefighters, paramedics, EMT’s and other first responders. These students can also help support and recruit future students and volunteers. Currently in order to become a volunteer with HCFR a person (student or not) must be at least 18 years old, pass a county physical, pass a drug test and background check. This also allows volunteers to get paid per call. For students under the age of 18 (16-17) who have chosen to volunteer as junior firefighters, have been ineligible for any type of monetary amount. The value has been experience based or internship only until they reach the age of 18. In order to become a junior volunteer these students have also had to apply thru the same process. Due to insurance and liability issues these students are covered under the Boy Scouts of America umbrella during school activities in the event of an accident. Outside of school activities students are covered by their own private insurance.
We, the undersigned, are concerned parents, students, friends, family and neighbors of the community urge HCFR to act now to allow all students enrolled in Emergency & Fire Management Services major at ATA to continue volunteering at their assigned stations.
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