LA PINE, OR -- Each year the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District offers a dozen full academic scholarships to students enrolled in Central Oregon Community College Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services programs.
Chief Mike Supkis says it is as win-win relationship. “We said, 'okay, here are students going to this program. Can we capture them and give them the real world experience that they’re learning in the classroom?' And then as an incentive, we offer a full ride scholarship. And then that student, they get three years of living in a career fire station, working with career folks.”
Supkis says the real world experience helps students find their first jobs in the competitive fire fighting industry. “These guys and gals are going on calls, riding the fire truck, driving the fire truck, are in charge of the fire truck, running the medic unit, working with our paramedics, all the way up until they complete their paramedic intern and actually then they’re in charge of the call.”