Garland ISD offers students the opportunity to graduate from high school with a diploma, associate degree, and certification in fire science through a partnership with the city’s fire department.
The program requires a three-year commitment and gives students the chance to work at the Garland Fire Department Training Academy.
“I just thought I would try my hand at firefighters, you know who doesn’t like a firefighter,” said Cash Chaney, a student in the program, who beamed as he performed exercises for his mother and other parents. who came together to see their students working hard.
“He’s showing me all his bruises, his battle scars,” his mother Lisa said.
Emily Laning is one of three young women in this year’s class. In fact, the best cadet has been a woman in every year the district has offered this program. Laning said his friends were still surprised at his choice to join.
“They look at me like I’m crazy and say, ‘You wanna be a firefighter?’,” Laning said. “And I say, ‘Yeah, I do and I love it.'”
Garland is one of several school districts offering firefighting classes. They partner with local fire departments who help guide training and come to the training center to search for recruits.
It’s a childhood dream for Laning, a dream she said she was so grateful to pursue while still in high school. She said she planned to graduate and work for a local department.
Cash Chaney will travel to the Air Force and one day practice extinguishing jet fires.
“You can ask any firefighter, it’s about rushing, having so much fun,” Cash Chaney said.