Community Colleges train 84 percent of area first responders
Like many firefighters, Brandon Keilsers has a strong sense of helping the community. This led him to enlist into the Marine Corps, where he served for five years after graduating from high school.
Thinking toward the future, Keilsers began researching on what it would take to become a firefighter. While on leave, Keilsers met with Chief Michael Naglieri, LSC-CyFair fire science technology department chair, who helped explain the process of becoming a firefighter.
There is currently a nationwide shortage of firefighters and paramedics. As the population in greater Houston area continues to grow, and the “baby boomers” get older, there will be a greater demand on emergency services, with EMS in particular.
“My friend had gone through the program at Lone Star College,” said Keilsers. “He really recommended it and also gave me some helpful insight on what to expect as a firefighter. I was taught the skills necessary to earn a firefighter basic certification (TCFP).”
Keilsers is currently a firefighter with the Conroe Fire Department.
The Fire Science Technology AAS degree is offered at LSC-CyFair and LSC-Montgomery and has additional entrance requirements. The associate of applied science degree in fire science technology is designed to prepare graduates for employment in the fire service field. The program is also designed to provide opportunities for job advancement for currently-employed firefighters.
“To become a firefighter, I also needed to be a certified EMT-B. EMT was like learning a completely new language, but is doable if you have the right-mindset and are able to see the end goal,” said Keilsers.
“I was very excited to be able to work in a career that offers comradery like the military provided,” said Keilsers. “Knowing I set a goal, I achieved it and being able to help the community is really rewarding. I am happy with the route I took and would not have done it any differently.”