By Steve Lestarjette
There is a direct correlation between HCC’s Public Safety programs and stable, well-paying jobs.
Records show that nearly every student that successfully completes the college’s highly regarded Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Fire Technology and Robert Garner Fire Academy, or Law Enforcement/Police Academy programs has found work in the profession of study. Most find career positions in the Houston area; others choose to work in other communities across the United States.
Emergency Medical Services
That’s certainly the case for the EMS program, which provides “human-like” simulators to teach paramedics how to perform a variety of emergency medical functions in a home or on the scene of an accident.
Students learn how to deliver babies under emergency conditions, how to determine injuries and stabilize patients for transport to nearby hospitals.
In a growing and aging metropolitan such as Houston, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) can expect to earn, on average, $34,190 per year with a two-year certification. Paramedics generally make more.
Last year, 100 students completed the HCC EMS program at HCC-Northeast and found work as EMTs or paramedics.
The HCC Public Safety program with the fastest growth is its Fire Technology and Robert Garner Fire Academy, which prepares firefighters for positions in fire departments across Houston and throughout the nation.
Thanks to funding from the Robert Garner Foundation, the college offers scholarships totaling up to $300,000 annually to entering students seeking a firefighter career.
HCC-Northeast contracts with communities across the Gulf Coast to provide certification training or continuing education courses for currently active firefighters. Much of the instruction is offered in controlled burn facilities that simulate homes, and multi-story businesses.
Salary.com reports that Houston area firefighters earn a median salary of $44,307, with a range between $33,231-$55,385, not including bonus, overtime and benefits.
Career projection for fire service first responders is expected to grow seven percent through 2022.
Police Cadet Academy
HCC-Northeast trains law enforcement and police officers for positions in police, sheriffs or constable departments across the region. Career projections estimate nine percent more personnel will be needed through 2022. The HCC program, which is highly regarded by the state and local law enforcements as a source of new employees, graduates 150-175 police cadets annually.
And the 9-1-1 Center, a new program opening this fall is expected to be equally rewarding for persevering students.
“We are scheduling our first classes in July,” said Johnny Sessums, director of the Public Safety and Automotive Technology Center of Excellence at HCC-Northeast.
In a one-week, 40-hour class, the 9-1-1 Center will train students to become certified as emergency dispatchers for fire, police, and EMS. Also dispatcher training can be customized for the trucking industry, energy companies, and other professions.
According to www.salary.com, the median salary for dispatchers in Houston is $41,173, with a range usually between $35,342 and $48,275. Most positions are full-time with benefits.
The 9-1-1- Center, like other Public Service programs, will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to help students train in “real-world” conditions.
Public Safety Programs
555 Community College Drive