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Early Admission/Bridge Program a Win-Win for NYS College Students & Vol. Fire/Rescue Departments

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July 11, 2022 | NEW YORK HOWARD SHAPIRO , Correspondent

Being a Life Member with my local Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department, I was delighted when my 17-year-old son, a senior in High School, wanted to join as a Rescue Squad member.

Attracting recruitment has been a major issue with volunteer Fire/Rescue departments in New York State and throughout our nation for many years now. There are many reasons for this, and bringing younger people into the rewarding experience of helping others and giving back to our communities has been a challenge.

During the process of finding an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program for my son to attend, I discovered that he could earn 6 undergraduate college credit hours.

As a High School senior, he was eligible to attend the EMT course two nights a week at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie through the Early Admission/Bridge Program. The cost of earning these 6 college credits was $406. Yes, four-hundred-and-six dollars. What a value! Plus, upon successful completion of the course and passing the state EMT test, New York State and the local fire district will reimburse him all costs.

While the cost of the EMT course may differ slightly at each community college throughout New York State, the process of High School seniors taking this course through the Early Admittance/Bridge Program does not. High School counselors need to be more aware of this wonderful opportunity for their juniors and seniors.

Each fire district should work in collaboration with their school district Superintendent and High School principal in order to get the word out to the Junior and Senior class student body. This is a WIN/WIN for the High School student and for our local volunteer Fire/Rescue departments.

-Howard Shapiro
Vice President Board of Education, Millbrook Central School District
Fire Commissioner, East Clinton Fire District

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HOWARD SHAPIRO Correspondent

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