Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) students and alumni improve career readiness by completing FFT2 Basic Wildland Firefighter training at General Coffee State Park in Nichols, Georgia.
Three current students and several alumni participated in the training that took place over four days last December. Students Emma Gainous, Emily Roberts, and Ed Carbonaro began their training with an intense pack test that required them to walk 2 miles in 35 minutes while carrying 25 pounds. Carbonaro, an army veteran, opted to take the arduous pack test that required walking 3 miles in 45 minutes while carrying 45 pounds.
“I’m incredibly proud of my students. Completing the training requires routinely passing mentally taxing scenarios while also being physically tired,” said OTC Fish and Wildlife instructor, Casey Corbett. “Having this certification is required by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for anyone who wishes to help with a prescribed burn and will increase our student’s future employment opportunities.”
The training also included learning how to check weather, deploy fire shelters, construct a fire line, use various types of water pumps, put out a wildfire, and conduct a prescribed burn. OTC alum Mike Moore (2019), a Wildlife Technician at the Canoochee Sandhills and Burn Boss of DNR’s Southeast Burn Team, served as one of the training leaders for the certification. OTC alum Caleb Mills (2017) and Caleb Morgan (2020) completed their certification during the training as well.