Double Duty: EMT & Fire Protection

Double Duty: EMT & Fire Protection

Spring 2015

| By: Britten, Casey

Appleton native Bryce Sternhagen is doubly committed to a career in public service.

For 20-year-old Bryce Sternhagen, success is all about setting goals and gaining as much education and experience as possible. The double-major student at Fox Valley Technical College is enrolled in both the Fire Protection Technician and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) programs while working part-time.

“My long-range goal is to be a firefighter, but these days EMT goes hand-in-hand with firefighting,” he says. “The EMT program is giving me a better understanding of how to help people in a medical sense. Having both skill sets is important in whatever role I play in public safety.”

Before coming to FVTC, Sternhagen completed two years at a four-year university. “I attended classes, but found it nearly impossible to talk to a professor,” he states. “At Fox Valley Tech, we meet in small groups led by an experienced instructor who observes you, helps you, and guides you.”


After completing the EMT program, Sternhagen plans to take classes to become a licensed paramedic and eventually a firefighter. “If there’s a fire department that also runs an ambulance, the organization will only hire someone who is both a firefighter and a paramedic,” he explains. “Even departments that don’t run an ambulance mostly still require EMT certification, so it’s beneficial to be licensed in both fields.”

Sternhagen believes that FVTC is second to none in public safety education. He is especially excited about its new Public Safety Training Center. “In real-life situations, police, firefighters, and paramedics usually arrive on the scene simultaneously,” he says. “The new center will help us learn how to work together. There’s no doubt this will soon be seen as the nation’s premiere public safety training facility.”


93% job placement for graduates of FVTC’s Emergency Medical Technician programs over the past two years.
FVTC’s Graduate Employment Research Reports, 2013 & 2014

From a Boeing FedEx Aircraft to a simulated derailment of Train Cars to a state-of-the-art village in River City, high-tech emergency response training is happening now at FVTC’s new Public Safety Training Center.