Flagler Palm Coast High School was presented with a $25,000 check from the Flagler County Education Foundation to help grow the school's Fire Leadership Academy. Photo by Ray Boone

A head start: Flagler County Education Foundation presents $25,000 check to fund FPC's Fire Leadership Academy

FPC Principal Dustin Sims said the school will use the money to help with transportation costs, online classes and other forms of training.
By: 
Sep. 1, 2017

The Flagler County Education Foundation presented Flagler Palm Coast High School with a check on Friday, Sept. 1, in an effort to grow the school’s fire academy.

The education foundation received a total of $37,000 from the Paul Hunter Foundation, $25,000 of which was allocated to funding FPC’s Fire Leadership Academy.

FPC Principal Dustin Sims said the Paul Hunter Foundation did not specify what the money will go toward for the academy.
A student at FPC's Fire Leadership Academy dresses out in full gear. Photo courtesy of Jason Wheeler

Sims said the school plans to use the funds to help with costs transporting students to the county’s fire training facility. In addition, Sims said that some of the money will go toward providing students with online classes and other forms of training, including forest fire and nuclear training.

“Without financial donations, to be able to take it to the level we want it at where kids are actually walking out with a certificate, we can’t sustain it without financial contributions,” Sims said. “This is the lifeblood of this program.”

Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito said the program is a great way to get a head start on a career in firefighting. While aspiring firefighters traditionally require two years of training after high school, graduates of the academy will only need to complete a few more months of training to become eligible for employment.

“They’ll still be 18 and will be able to get hired,” Petito said. “That’s unheard of.”