Hands-on training helps high schoolers make career choices

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- High schoolers are working side-by-side with first responders Tuesday to determine if public safety careers are right for them.

The hands on training at KCK Community College is designed to help students make better career choices.

About 80 freshmen from the Human and Public Safety Academy at Wyandotte High School are learning what's expected of them in an emergency situation.

The students are working side-by-side with public safety professionals at staged events that include a car crash, a domestic violence call and a homicide scene.

Professional firefighters, emergency medical technicians and police officers serve as supervisors at these scenarios, telling students what needs to be done and then the kids actually are doing the work.

"At first I was thinking about being a police officer, but then I really didn’t get into it until i saw firefighters," said Jesus Salinas, a freshman. "I just did their activities and I really enjoyed it. So I feel like having this opportunity to be with the firefighters will get me pumped up to be one, get training to be a firefighter when I grow up."

The program is a partnership between KCK police and fire and the KCK school district and community college.

Students apply what they learn in the classroom to real life scenarios so they can make an informed decision about what they really might encounter on the job.

The school district offers similar programs for students interested in careers in health, information technology and construction design.