Albany, GeorgiaAlbany Technical College President, Dr. Anthony Parker presented the first two graduates of the Fire and Emergency Services Occupation Associate of Applied Science Degree with a special Challenge Coin to recognize their superb achievement. On hand for the presentation were Tracie Naylor-Griffin, Chair/Instructor, Paramedicine Program, Dr. Anthony O. Parker, President of Albany Technical College, Teancum Millerd, Challenge Coin Recipient (currently employed with the Albany USMC Logistics Base Emergency Services), Joseph Stodola, Challenge Coin Recipient (currently employed with Lee Co. Fire & Emergency Services), and Frank Flanigan, Chair/Instructor, Fire Science Technology. This is the first degree of this kind in the state of Georgia. These students took advantage of an opportunity to sign up to be dual certified. It gives a student both components ‒ Fire and EMS. Plus, it also is a degree designed for promotional purposes at the occupational level.

Fire and Emergency Services Occupation Associate of Applied Science degree is five terms in length and is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in the public safety areas of fire service and emergency medical services. Upon completion of the Fire and Emergency Services Occupation degree, students may be eligible for certification and/or licensure in the following areas: Firefighter I, Firefighter II, EMT, and AEMT.

"Today's industry demands both certifications, Fire, and EMS dual certified, creating more marketable graduates. Albany Tech's programs are designed to put that workforce out there for in-demand jobs of the future. On the Fire side, your entry levels are Firefighter I and Firefighter II. On the EMS side, you have the Basic EMT and the Advanced EMT. Albany Tech is the first college in the state of Georgia to combine both Firefighter and EMT and create a new degree," stated Frank Flanigan, Chair/Instructor, Fire Science Technology at Albany Tech.

Flanigan goes on to say, "Now, the student that comes in to take the program obtains both entry-level occupational certifications, and they've also received a degree component attached to it for other promotional purposes. This is why it is called the "Entry Level Occupational Degree." At this point, a person can decide if they would like to further their education on the Paramedicine side or the Fire Science side. Each one bridges into the other."

Albany Tech was the first college to see a need for dual certification and a degree concept. Students have programs out there that provide both certificates at a diploma level. The Fire and Emergency Services Occupation Associate of Applied Science Degree is the only degree of its kind offered in the Technical College System of Georgia.

A Challenge Coin, sometimes called a medallion, is traditionally given to recognize an impressive achievement or a challenge to a member of an organization. This coin was created specifically for this degree of accomplishment and can only be received once a student completes the program. Typically, Challenge Coins are distributed to service members and law enforcement personnel in special recognition of accomplishments. 

Albany Technical College's Fire Science Technology Program placement in-field in the service area is 99%. Firefighters from this program have been successfully placed locally and all over the state of Georgia, including Atlanta and even into Florida.  

Firefighters' employment is projected to grow seven percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The employment of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) is expected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much quicker than the average for all occupations.

Photo: (Left to Right) Tracie Naylor-Griffin, Chair/Instructor, Paramedicine Program, Dr. Anthony O. Parker, President of Albany Technical College, Teancum Millerd, Challenge Coin Recipient (currently employed with the Albany USMC Logistics Base Emergency Services), Joseph Stodola, Challenge Coin Recipient (currently employed with Lee Co. Fire & Emergency Services), and Frank Flanigan, Chair/Instructor, Fire Science Technology. 


About Albany Technical College

A public postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Albany Technical College provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce needs of Southwest Georgia through traditional and online classroom settings. Albany Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/COC). For more information about Albany Tech, go to www.albanytech.edu or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlbanyTech or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbanyTech. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel by visiting www.youtube.com/albanytech1 .