The Crusader Newspaper Group

Partnership creates EMT Certification Program for Students

The Gary Area Career Center already provides high school students in the city the opportunity to receive training, education and even certification in 14 career paths. Now, the Gary Community School Corporation is partnering with the Gary Fire Department to offer students EMT training and certification, which could not only open up doors to new careers, but could also teach life-saving skills.

Once the Board of Trustees for the district approves the program, classes will begin, which could be as soon as the second or third trimester of this year. Additionally, courses will be taught by state-certified fire professionals.

“There will be no charge to the district,” said Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt of the new curriculum.

The program will be available to high school seniors who meet eligibility requirements to take classes at the Career Center. Upon completion of the program, students will be EMT certified and able to go straight to work after graduation.

“I was in an EMT program as a senior at Lew Wallace,” said Gary Fire Chief Paul Bradley, who is one of the driving forces behind getting this program into Gary schools. “By the time I graduated from Lew Wallace, I had my certification and immediately went to work as an EMT. I know it can be done.”

In addition to providing Gary students with another avenue to a reliable career, the program will help to fill the gaps in staffing at the Gary Fire Department, which stem from the absence of a volunteer program in the city. These students will have the opportunity to receive a certification, find a career path and help their city.

“If we can get this curriculum going, it will give young people something to look forward to,” said GFD Training Officer Tia Thompson, who has used her experience with the Department to work towards and obtain her nursing degree. “This may be a stepping stone for some people to go further into the medical field.”

To learn more about programs available to Gary students through the Career Center, visit

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