Horry County school receives fire truck for students in training

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Students at the Academy for Technology and Academics in Conway are one step closer to becoming firefighters, thanks to the Loris Fire Department.

The fire department donated an old fire truck to students in the Fire Emergency Management program at the school so students could get more hands-on experience working as a firefighter.

Horry County Schools and Horry County Fire Rescue have a partnership that allows officers to instruct students wanting to become firefighters. Captain Billy Strickland is one of those instructors at the Academy for Technology and Academics, and he said having this fire truck helps because they don’t have to borrow trucks from recruit schools anymore. He also said it gives students a sense of responsibility.

“It’s really going to help them get more of a feel of what it’s like to be in a firehouse,” said Captain Strickland. “We check off the truck just like we do every day. The students have to wash it, wax it, clean it, and take some pride in it.”

The program consists of juniors and seniors, like Kacie James. She was involved in a serious car accident in 2014, and after being saved by firefighters and paramedics, James decided she wanted to go into the field as well. She said she is learning a lot more now that they are able to use the truck each day.

“It lets us have more knowledge and more time to know what we’re supposed to,” said James.

They have also had practice using the “Jaws of Life” to simulate cutting a car apart to save someone in a wreck. The students in this program are eligible to become firefighters by the time they graduate.