Fired Up: Fire Protection Technician

Fired Up: Fire Protection Technician

Spring 2015

| By: Britten, Casey

FVTC was an integral part in California native’s choice to pursue a fire career in Wisconsin.

Los Angeles native Sarah Cooper gave up sunny California to move to Suamico, Wisconsin. The decision to move from a major hub to rural America was easy for the 32-year-old after learning about Fox Valley Technical College’s Fire Protection Technician program.

“I was an EMT and dispatcher in Los Angeles but wanted to earn my fire certification,” Cooper states. “Los Angeles’s fire training programs do not come with certification. I heard great things about Fox Valley Tech way out in California and I wanted to relocate here for better job opportunities, so I applied for the program and moved my family here.”

In 2014, thanks to earning certification through the Fire Protection Technician program, Cooper became a member of the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. “As a firefighter, I get to integrate what I know as an EMT with what I learned at Fox Valley Tech,” she says.


FVTC gave Cooper a career foundation in a short period of time. “All my classes directly correlate to the job,” she says. “It was well worth the move. I got an outstanding education that gave me the certification and hands-on skills needed to land my dream job.”

Cooper is excited about FVTC’s new Public Safety Training Center for future training with high-risk fire and emergency simulations. “Law enforcement, paramedic, and firefighting students, in addition to existing public safety professionals, can now train as teams in realistic disaster settings thanks to the center,” she says.

Fire Place

The place for fire training in the United States is Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety Training Center. Here’s why:

A 6-story burn tower presents several training venues, including 2-story and 6-story apartment buildings, a 2-story residential home with attached garage, and a commercial site with a flat roof.

An ascending platform with 32-ft. climb-skill training highlights an Indoor Fire Training area that also provides confined space, trench rescue, rope rescue, and other tactical drills.

An Outdoor Fire Rescue area includes a 400-ft. confined space simulator; concrete trench rescue venue; burn pods to enhance training in fire transfer, convection, and conduction; a flashover container designed to teach combustion concepts; a ventilation-style simulator; propane and natural gas scenarios; and more.