CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Future first responders are still training despite the pandemic, as parts of their curriculum has changed and continues to change.
Once they graduate, they'll have new skills that past graduates never had to learn.
Fire cadets are enrolled in Fire science training while also required to complete EMS training as part of their curriculum.
“I'd get to help people,” said Alexandria Garcia, whose family has dedicated their lives to public service. “I'd get to challenge myself physically, mentally.”
“Spacing the students out and doing as much remotely as we can that's the biggest thing we've been able to do,” Michael Schmidt, program director for fire science at Del Mar College. Adding, “it's impossible to do skills at home.”
“The semester before us, they had to do it online but I had come in this semester and we started doing it in person now,” Mason Moczygenda, another cadet told us. “But training in person or online, the need for firefighters in Corpus Christi is high.”
That’s especially with more firefighters retiring and many graduating cadets saying they want to move on to bigger cities.
We asked if there’s a shortage of firefighters right now. Schmit said, “there's always a need because of growth.”
Especially teaching cadets how to fight fires and save lives while staying safe in the age of COVID-19.
We asked Garcia if she had fear of training during the pandemic. “You have to, I think,” she told us. “I think you have to use it to try and make sure you're keeping yourself safe and you're keeping your brothers and your sisters that go in there with you too safe.”
Friday night, we’ll look into the need for more nurses on the frontlines and how future nurses are getting real world training right now during the pandemic.