New fire academy to debut next school year at Cedar Hill High School

Students at Cedar Hill High School will soon have the opportunity to graduate with a job as a firefighter.

The new fire academy is a career track that also builds college credits and also helps develop a talent pool for area fire departments, who are always looking for new recruits.

“There’s a lot of shortage at this time, a lot of departments having to be very creative how they recruit,” Cedar Hill Deputy Fire Chief Rodney Smith.

Moija Fuentes Burrell is a freshman in a Cedar Hill ISD public safety class. She could one day be one of those firefighter recruits.

“If I’m in law or just public safety, I’m fine,” Burrell said of her goals. “My interest is to be a police detective or Fire Marshall. I’m always in stuff, I want to find clues, figure out what’s going on -- like to solve problems.”

Cedar Hill ISD’s new fire academy could be a good fit for students like Moija, who after 3-years will graduate with a job in fire service.

Students will get training at El Centro College with up to 21 hours of college credit.

“This is a natural fix and great fit for that need,” said Billy Robinson, El Centro Fire Science. “You may get some students who say they’d rather be an attorney or something, can still use those hours in your electives.”

Graduates could work in the place where they grew up.

“I would have a connection with them,” Burrell said.

The program will begin in August 2019 with room for 25 students.