WELLINGTON, Fla. -- There's a new program now offered at Wellington High School this school year.
Freshmen, and some sophomores, can now sign up for the school's Fire Science Academy.
The course will be taught by James Marshall, but he says students will get plenty of chances to meet with professionals in the field as well.
Marshall says, "We'll put in the different chemistry, the physical aspects of fire, fire extinguishment. We're going to give them tremendous exposure to professionals. We'll have a number of firefighters come in as guest speakers."
The idea for the program was brought up last April during the school's DUI demo before prom. During the demo, first responders from around Palm Beach County responded to a fake DUI crash. Marshall says he noticed a lot of the first responders were Wellington graduates, and thought the program would be a vital tool for other students.
Marshall says, "We really want to, kind of grow our local firefighters here, give the kids an interest in high school. Then move them onto Palm Beach State Fire College ideally."
The four year course is expected to get students ready for fire college. Marshall says they should be able to take the state fire exam once they graduate.
Right now, the program is exclusively for Wellington students. Marshall hopes to one day expand the course as a magnet school program within the next few years so students from other parts of Palm Beach County can attend.
He says, "We need to have environments where kids can step into a employable field. Granted they're not going to be employed right out of high school, they do need some college. But it's still considered to be a program that gets them career ready."
There are fifty spots available for the class. About two dozen spots have already been filled. Students can still enroll for the program. They must have good grades and a good behavior record to enroll. If accepted, Marshall says students and their parents will have to sign a contract which says they'll agree to maintain a good behavior record and keep certain academic levels while in the course.