Mitchell graduates eight Basic Firefighter students in Fire-EMT cohort

Mitchell Community College graduated eight Basic Firefighter students on Friday, October 12. The graduates completed all requirements and passed written and practical exams to obtain their Firefighter Certification through the NC Office of State Fire Marshal.


This Basic Firefighting Certification course was the first section in the Fire-Emergency Medical Technician Certification cohort that began in August 2018. Mitchell designed the training schedule to allow students to earn the certifications to begin a career in firefighting in a single semester. Each graduate completed a total of 391 hours of training, including training in emergency vehicle driving and hazardous materials. Most of the graduates plan to continue on to the Emergency Medical Technician training for an additional 200 hours. David Bullins, Director of Public Safety at Mitchell, noted, “This is the first time we’ve offered the basic firefighter training in conjunction with the emergency medical technician training, providing a smooth pathway for students to train for their career. We are proud of these students completing the first step.” Keynote speaker Statesville Fire Chief, Spencer Lee, said, “This is your first phase of firefighter training. You've received your basic firefighter training and have completed the requirements to be called a NC firefighter. This is your ticket to keep on learning.”


Medical responses make up 70–80% of most U.S. fire department responses, and as such, it is critical for firefighters to be cross-trained. Combined fire and EMT certifications increase an individual’s employability potential. Growth in the firefighter profession is projected at 7% in the near future. “There is a misconception that a firefighter must be a big and strong person,” said Mitchell’s Director of Public Safety, David Bullins. “The reality is that firefighters simply need to be fitness minded, health conscious and have a desire to serve their communities.” Firefighters typically begin their careers with salaries in the $30,000 - 35,000 range. As firefighters obtain advanced certifications, formal education and move up in the ranks, so does salary. Firefighter schedules are often one day on, two days off. Both Statesville and Mooresville fire departments currently have positions open.


Firefighters certainly fight fires but they also teach fire safety in the community, train daily, assure water distribution system functions properly, responds to rescue calls such as confined space, trench collapse, and hazardous materials. Firefighters work in a team environment and most feel their firefighting crews are their extended families. Firefighters spend 24 hours at a time with their peers and quite often spend their off time together with their families. To learn more about this unique opportunity to jumpstart your career as a firefighter, contact David Bullins at (704) 978-5446 or


Pictured above 
Front Row L-R: Sydney Aymar, Hunter Hess, Ryan Karpik
Second Row L-R: Samuel Speaks, Michael Ashe, Matthew Baynes
Third Row L-R: Jonathan Florez, Luke Bolmer