Garland ISD

Garland ISD Offers Program for Students to Train to Become Firefighters

Garland ISD is one of several districts teaching firefighting while students are still in high school

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Garland ISD is offering students the opportunity to graduate from high school with a diploma, an associate's degree and a certification in fire science through a partnership with the city's fire department.

The program requires a three-year commitment and gives students a chance to work at the Garland Fire Department's training academy.

"I just thought I'd try my hand in the fire department, you know who doesn't love a firefighter," said Cash Chaney, a student in the program, who glowed as he performed drills for his mother and other parents who gathered to see their students hard work.

"He's showing me all his bruises, his battlescars," his mother Lisa said.

Emily Laning is one of three young women in the graduating class this year. In fact, the top cadet has been a woman every year the district has offered this program. Laning said her friends were still surprised by her choice to sign up.

"They look at me like I'm crazy and say, 'You want to be a firefighter?'" Laning said. "And I say, 'Yes I do and I love it.'"

Garland is one of several school districts offering firefighting courses. They partner with local fire departments who help guide the training and go to the training center to look for recruits.

It's a childhood dream for Laning, one she said she was so grateful to chase while still in high school. She said she planned to graduate and work for a local department.

Cash Chaney will head to the Air Force and train to put out fires on jets one day.

"You can ask any firefighter, it's all about getting in that rush, having this much fun," Cash Chaney said.

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