Public Safety Training students and graduates on campus at Blue Ridge Community College.

Public Safety Training Opportunities for 2024 at Blue Ridge Community College

Featured photo: Public Safety Training students and graduates on campus at Blue Ridge Community College.


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As a primary provider of qualified public safety professionals to agencies across Western North Carolina, Blue Ridge Community College announces several Public Safety Training enrollment opportunities for 2024. 

At Blue Ridge, students can earn degrees, diplomas, or certificates in proven, well-respected emergency medical services, firefighting, fire protection, public safety administration, basic law enforcement training, and criminal justice programs. The College also offers continuing education courses to help students prepare for needed credentials, and intermediate and advanced courses are available to current public safety personnel. 

“These academies are the entry-level courses for our public safety professionals,” said Philip Hosmer, dean of Public Safety Training. “Our experienced instructors and advanced facilities help students build a solid foundation for their future careers.”

Many courses take advantage of the College’s Public Safety Training Facility, a dedicated location for training exercises serving first-responders across Western North Carolina. The facility includes an advanced driving simulator, providing students with realistic training in diverse driving conditions and scenarios.

Complete program and enrollment information is available at www.blueridge.edu/public-safety.

Emergency Medical Technician

Enrollment is currently open through January 8 for Blue Ridge Community College’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program that begins January 8 and continues through March 7, 2024.

EMTs are essential emergency care providers and first-responders, providing immediate medical care and transportation for patients in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. They make a significant difference in their communities by responding to and managing medical emergencies and improving patient outcomes.

Through classroom instruction and practical field exercises, Blue Ridge Community College’s EMT program prepares students for the EMT certification and to serve in a variety of healthcare settings. A dynamic training environment gives students hands-on experience through practical exercises and simulations that mirror real-world scenarios, fostering the ability to act swiftly and effectively in actual emergencies. Students learn critical knowledge and skills for life-saving situations, from stabilizing and transporting patients in emergencies to routine medical transports.

An EMT education opens doors to a fulfilling career in emergency services, with opportunities for advancement into higher-level medical roles. Blue Ridge’s program aligns with guidelines the North Carolina Office of EMS sets, ensuring relevant and up-to-date training in emergency medical services.

Applicants must demonstrate basic reading comprehension by possessing a high school diploma or equivalent and by passing an entrance exam involving an eleventh-grade reading level. EMT and other Emergency Medical Services program and application information is available at www.blueridge.edu/ems.

Basic Law Enforcement Training

Enrollment is now open for Blue Ridge Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program, which will begin on January 29 and end on June 13, 2023. Students must apply by January 12.

Law enforcement officers play a crucial role in maintaining public safety, upholding the law, and ensuring the well-being of communities. At Blue Ridge, Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) teaches the essential skills required for entry-level employment as law enforcement officers serving the community through public or private agencies.

BLET covers 36 instructional blocks, including vital topics such as firearms, driver training, motor vehicle law, and procedures for arrest, search, and seizure. The program emphasizes ethical conduct and includes numerous practical exercises to prepare students for real-life scenarios. Successful graduates are qualified to take the state certification examination, which is a prerequisite to becoming a sworn law enforcement officer in the state of North Carolina. Blue Ridge is also proud to offer additional training hours in critical high-liability and risk areas, surpassing the state’s minimum standards for BLET.

To ensure candidates are prepared for the program’s demands, applicants must complete a reading comprehension test and a comprehensive medical review. 

Fire Academy

Enrollment is now open through February 11 for Blue Ridge Community College’s Fire Academy beginning March 11 and ending June 19, 2023.

Fire protection professionals are dedicated to fire prevention and safeguarding lives, property, and the environment, as well as serving as first-responders during emergencies of many kinds.

At Blue Ridge Community College, the Fire Protection Technology curriculum is designed to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge required for fire protection roles in public and private sectors. It also provides a sound foundation for continuous higher learning in fire protection, administration and management.

Students train in realistic emergency scenarios to hone response skills, including live burn exercises, car and dumpster fires. A 24-hour shift simulation offers a hands-on, full-day shift experience to mirror the real-life schedule and responsibilities of firefighters. The program emphasizes teamwork and leadership skills, rigorous physical training, and mastery of firefighting techniques using the latest tools and educational resources.

The following certifications are offered:

  • Firefighter I and II: Prepares students for critical fire service roles.
  • Emergency Vehicle Driver (EVD): Equips trainees with the skills to safely operate emergency vehicles.
  • Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC): Trains students for specialized rescue operations in fire emergencies.

Please note that limited housing is available in partnership with local fire departments for out-of-town students who need accommodations. Equipment rental is available.

Visit www.blueridge.edu/fire to learn more about the Fire Academy curriculum and registration.