It wasn’t an average high school fire drill recently for four Fort Knox Middle High School students.

The students enrolled in a unique program involving a partnership between FKMHS and the Fort Knox Fire Department participated in an active fire training event last week where they practiced putting out a car fire.

The event is part of a yearlong certification course students are invited to sign up for.

Fort Knox firefighter Lt. Kaleb Draper is an instructor for the course.

He compared the experience to that of trade schools, where students receive hands-on training to prepare them for a future career in their chosen occupation.

Draper said for these students, however, it’s more than just preparation.

“If and when they complete all the required training that we put on for them, they will be certified in the state of Kentucky to be a firefighter,” he said.

Following their graduation, students who complete the program will then have the option to apply for a job as a firefighter.

Assistant training chief Jacob Geer said while this training certifies the students in Kentucky, the program is uniquely beneficial to military students who often move.

“Kentucky will transfer to most other states, I think to 48 out of 50,” Geer said. “After this they can apply for city jobs or join a volunteer fire department and be certified and ready to fight a fire.”

The program provides students with the required 150 hours of specified training needed to receive their certification. Upon completion, they will be given a special certificate along with their diploma at their high school graduation.

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