Students look into First Responder careers


Photographer Candace Villasenor

Students were able to stand inside an ambulance and receive information.

Candace Villasenor, Staff Reporter

As part of the new Career Pathways, DCHS has a new section. This new addition is Law and Public Safety Corrections and Security.

On April 25 students were given the opportunity to sign up for “First Responders” Day. This was an event that allowed students to visit the local fire station, police department, and the jail. During the day, those who participated were able to see, hands on, what a typical day looks like for those who work in these areas. They were able to ask questions and get information on the different career options.

“The goal is to give students the opportunity of being a first responder as a career choice. With the pathway, it gives you the choice to be a lawyer, police officer, firefighter, a court reporter,” said Jonathan Hansen, teacher.

There’s a broad range as to what this pathway could do for students. When the school organized Manufacturing Day in the fall, students learned first hand about working in manufacturing companies in Dodge City. When students came back they knew they have opportunities.

There’s a huge demand in Southwest Kansas for people to go into fire emergency medicine.

The majority of these careers don’t need a college degree all students need is be 18 years old to work at the jail. To enter the Police Academy, students need to be 21 years old, and 17 years old to work in EMT.

“I signed up for this activity because I have considered being a first responder, but I’m still thinking about it and it just may help me make my decision,” said Cedric Rosales, 11.

With the move to career pathways, events like First Responder Day will give students more opportunities to see first hand what choices they have after graduation. DCHS is striving to not only include speakers, but to also take students outside the classroom into real world situations, where interest is set to boost.

“I hope a lot of our students see Dodge City has a lot to offer and that you don’t always have to go into massive debt at a four year university to find a worthwhile career,” said Hansen.

Next year, Law Enforcement will be added as a class, in 2021 a new Forensics Science component will also be added, and in the next couple of years, Michael Pelton, Health Science teacher and athletic trainer, will be teaching a class to certify students as an EMT.