Gulfport High students get a taste of law enforcement, fire careers
November 5, 2014 at 9:38 PM CST - Updated July 21 at 2:40 AM
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX)
Understanding how rescue teams handle emergencies can be fascinating, especially if you're a high school student with dreams of wearing a badge someday.
On Wednesday, more than a dozen Gulfport High School students got a valuable career lesson and look into what they could be doing in the future.
Eric Camp is a junior at Gulfport High and says he joined his school's clinical rotation program for one reason; the hands-on experience.
"My mom would always ask us, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' I'd always say Batman," Eric explained. "When you get older, you start realizing, you know, you have to stop thinking about super heroes and start thinking about being serious. Then, what's the next part about being Batman? You have to protect people. Batman does this, police officers do it."
This is the second year Gulfport Police and Fire Departments have partnered with the Gulfport School District to teach and prepare students for their careers as well as college opportunities.
"You could sit in a classroom all day every day and read and have somebody come to you and say, 'Oh, this is what we do,' but until they get out and see it and feel it and touch it and become a part of it, they're not really sure if that's what they want to do," said Sandy East, who serves as Gulfport's Career Pathway Specialist.
From learning what it takes to respond to a fire, to seeing who's on the other end of a 911 call, these students are learning valuable lessons that they can hold onto for a lifetime.
"This is a lifetime of work. This is 25 years. This is a career," Gulfport Fire District Chief Greg Griffin said. "We try to use that eight weeks to try to cram in a little bit of everything that's hands on for them."
"Let them know what opportunities exist here for them, and show them how they can actually benefit from coming right out of high school," said Lt. Jeffrey Necaise, with the Gulfport Police Department.