Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Clarification on the High School Classes

Spotsy schools will offer EMT classes next year. I reported that both EMT classes and firefighter classes would be suspended, but that was a mistake.

I had been writing a post to let you know that these classes were never fertile recruiting grounds; I was waiting to hear from all of the volunteer agencies before reporting that. But some of the online comments to the story wondered why the county would get rid of a program which could help recruit volunteers.

We’ll run a correction on my Saturday story in tomorrow’s paper, but since those are sometimes hard to find and because there are more details to share, I thought I’d post this information from Spotsylvania County:

Firefighter and EMT courses in county schools have been taught by FREM staff at the Spotsylvania Career and Technical Center, offered in blocks (classes) with a maximum of 20 students/class.

During the 2010-11 school year, one firefighter class was held, and  18 students were in the class this year. Of that number, nine rising seniors indicated that they were interested in EMT classes next year.  They will have that class available for them next year — there is no change in this schedule.

During the 2010-11 school year, two EMT classes were held, and 34 students were in these classes this year.  Of that number, only three rising seniors indicated they were interested in firefighter classes next year.

As county staff have stated, the firefighter class is being temporarily suspended pending further re-evaluation.

Since the program began in 2002,  a total of 289 students have completed one or both classes.  Over the nine years, 68 of the 289 students have volunteered.  Now, 48 of the 289 are volunteering.  Six of the 289 have been hired as career firefighters.  This is an average of approximately five volunteers each year and less than one FREM staff member per year over this 9-year period.

While the firefighter class will not be available through the schools next year for the reason indicated above, the three rising seniors who took EMT and indicated an interest in the firefighter class will have the option of taking the Firefighter1 class through FREM — if they join a volunteer system.


  • LarryG

    FEMS, deputies, teachers are local jobs that local kids can train for and make a living at and still live in Spotsy.

    Many young people join the military, get training and then come home to become deputies, etc.

    So it’s a natural “in-house” job for young people who may want a skill or even community college but are less interested in going off to college and onto somewhere else for a job.

    So it’s a “win-win” for the county if they want to set a program up to encourage, incentivize, recruit.

    I think given the escapades of late – more than a few young people and their parents might have doubts about aspiring towards a Spotsy FEMS career.

    That’s where a damaged reputation plays a role ….

    FEMS is a time-honored career in many, many places and there is no reason why it should not be so in Spotsy IMHO.

    I hope we have the good sense to invest in our young people and in FEMS careers for them.