Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

The  College of Lake County is the only community college in Illinois to offer an associate degree in firefighter basic operations that includes an internship with a local fire department. And since the internship program began in August 2016, the practical, real-world experience has proven to be invaluable, say CLC’s fire science technology students.

Of 10 CLC students who have completed a two-semester, unpaid internship with the Grayslake Fire Protection District, three have been hired by the department as part-time firefighters. Another four have landed part-time firefighting positions with other local departments, and one is a wildland firefighter in Oregon.

A major strength of CLC’s program is that graduates not only earn an A.A.S. degree, they are eligible for certification at the Fire Basic Operations level by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Additionally, they receive licensure as emergency medical technicians by the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

The internship program was created under an inter-governmental agreement between CLC and Grayslake fire officials. Both CLC instructors and Grayslake fire administrators collaborate on areas ranging from interviewing candidates to evaluating student performance.

Grayslake Fire Protection District Chief John Christian said, “CLC students are well-prepared for their roles as interns. They know our equipment, procedures and policies. We’re excited to have a strong partnership with CLC.” The Grayslake district serves 37,000 residents and answers 4,000 calls per year.

For those interested in applying to CLC’s program, the process has several steps and requirements. All prospective students must complete the Introduction to Fire Science class as a prerequisite. Students also must agree to earn the degree within two years.

For more details on the application process, contact Justus at rjustus@clcillinois.edu or (847) 543-2928. Learn more about the college’s fire science technology program at www.clcillinois.edu/programs/fst.

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