Wisconsin State Journal: Sun Prairie Fire Chief Chris Garrison remembers his “aha” moment, when he knew he was on the right track with a pilot program in which high school students at Prairie Phoenix Academy attend the Fire Academy program at Madison Area Technical College.
Garrison said one of the students, D.J. Presley, had put on the firefighter gear and when asked how it felt replied, “It just fits.”
That’s all Garrison needed to witness as he was spearheading the year-long academic program created by the Sun Prairie Fire Department, Prairie Phoenix Academy and Madison Area Technical College. MATC shuttles the 11 students from their school each morning to the Fire Academy, where they attend classes and training, and then returns them to Prairie Phoenix Academy to finish their school day.
“Usually people don’t do this,” said Presley, about the program which is being offered free to students. “It’s like being handed a couple thousand dollars.”