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SCC Fire Academy to Begin in February

SCC Fire Academy LogoAccording to, firefighters tend to be those who enjoy working outdoors or applying themselves to a hands-on project. They also tend to be social, meaning that they thrive in situations where they can interact with, persuade, or help people. Firefighters rate their career happiness 3.8 out of 5 stars which puts them in the top 16% of careers. They find their jobs meaningful and make the best use of their personal abilities.

The Fire Academy at Sandhills Community College has been training firefighters since 2012. The College is now accepting applications for the class that begins Tuesday, February 9.

At the end of this full-time program, cadets will have earned certifications in Firefighter I/II, Hazardous Materials Ops, and Technical Rescuer. Students will also take EMT-Basic as part of the program and, upon successful completion, will be eligible to take the state certification exam.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in or observe advanced training with surrounding departments, many of who provide support, equipment use, and accommodations for students when needed. Full- or part-time job opportunities are available at most local fire departments.

With a few exceptions for specialized training, classes are from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Fridays for this six-month course of study that ends on July 29.

“Those who have graduated from the Fire Academy include recent high school graduates beginning a career and those who have been in the workforce and plan to change careers,” says Academy Director Chad Thomason. “We have had many who have come out of the military train to become firefighters. Other students have served in a volunteer capacity for local fire departments and decide to make it a career.

“The Fire Academy offers a thorough course of study at our state-of-the-art Caddell Training Center, which includes a residential burn building, a four-story drill tower, control tower, burn and auto extraction pits, and other components. It is our team of highly qualified, experienced, and dedicated instructors who make this program a success.”

The Larry R. Caddell Public Safety Training Center is at 333 Niagara-Carthage Road in Carthage. A 360° virtual tour of the facility is available on the College’s website. Go to and click the “Campus Tour” link and then the link to the center.


Those interested in being members of this Fire Academy class should request information and an application packet from Michelle Bauer, Sandhills’ Fire and Rescue Director at (910) 695-3774 or

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) scholarship funds may be available for this class. Please mention when inquiring.

Current volunteer firefighters may be eligible for a fee waiver based on their membership with a local, city, county, or state fire department.

The Academy classes will be held in-person as mandated by the state. CDC recommendations and precautions for a safe environment will be followed.

Other SCC Fire Classes and Programs

The Continuing Education division offers night and weekend firefighter certification classes in nine areas. The Curriculum division offers an associate degree in Fire Protection Technology and can be taken and completed online.

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