PRISM impresses future firefighters

Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2003

For TJ Hancock and Kenny Dormady, juniors at Kenai Central High School, it was a day to get fired up about fire fighting at the Pacific Rim Institute of Safety & Management (PRISM). "I've always wanted to be a firefighter and recently I've gotten serious about it so I signed up to come out here and see if it really is what I want to do," said Dormady, as he and TJ watched Randy Ernst, PRISM director, start a computerized fire starting sequence. The PRISM center is able to produce multiple fires, which allows for simultaneous training for internal and external fires as well as aircraft and fuel spill fire simulations.

Ernst was happy to demonstrate the facilities to the young men interested in becoming fire fighters, "What we do here is train firemen and if these shadows want to pursue a career in fire service area we can make a fireman out of them once they turn 18 in 11 weeks and that same certification would take them about two years at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. They would earn an associates degree at U of A, but when they finish their 11 weeks here they are an internationally certified firefighter one and nationally certified EMT one, for a total cost of about $3,200," said Ernst.

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