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Blare the Sirens - LSC-Montgomery’s Fire Science Academy Graduates First Class

Photo Caption: Graduates from Lone Star College-Montgomery’s fire science academy pose for a quick photo before entering their graduation ceremony. These students are the Class of 2009, the first class to graduate from the fire science program.The first 18 cadets from Lone Star College-Montgomery’s newest and ‘hottest’ academic program–fire science–graduated from the fire science academy on Friday, August 21. The commencement ceremony took place in the theatre (Building D) on the LSC-Montgomery campus.

“This is definitely an exciting time for the students and also for the fire science program,” said Keith Campbell, director of the fire science academy at LSC-Montgomery. “We’re all very proud of these students and what they have worked hard to accomplish.”  

The ceremony included a keynote message from Houston firefighter Raymond L. Flannelly and a presentation of colors from the Montgomery County Fire Chief’s Association Honor Guard. The Class of 2009 captains, cadets Christopher Keith and Christopher Mixon, were also a part of the ceremony. Keith addressed his classmates, and Mixon led them in reciting the Fireman’s Prayer.

The fire certification training is a two-semester program. Upon completion, students are required to take the state exam from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, the agency that dictates the exact skills and curriculum taught in the fire science program.

Graduates are prepared for entry-level firefighter positions with most area fire departments. They are also eligible for hire to respond to 911 emergency calls and operate as a member of an emergency services team.

One of the graduates, Ben Matthews, has immediate plans to return to Montgomery Fire Department, where he has served as a volunteer for three years, before ultimately becoming a full-time career firefighter like his father, Keith Matthews, an engineer operator with Houston Fire Department.

“Being a part of the first class was a real privilege,” said Matthews. “We sort of set forth the way things are going to be in the future for this program.”

“The student to teacher ratio was pretty even, so all the students got plenty of hands-on and one-on-one training with the instructors. No one got left out,” said Matthews.

To provide state-of-the-art equipment and training resources for students, LSC-Montgomery partnered with The Woodlands Fire Department. Training and instruction in the program takes place at both the college campus and The Woodlands Emergency Training Center, a brand new facility dedicated last fall.

“We have had plenty of support from local leaders in the firefighting and emergency services. Truly, a lot of people have had a hand in training and preparing these graduates for the field,” said Campbell.

The 18 graduating cadets of the Class of 2009 Fire Science Academy are:

Cory Albright
Gary Bowker
Eric Burns
Michael Dominguez
Travis Forrest
Christopher Keith (Class Captain)
Tyler Kutter
Christopher Madero
Jamie Maglalang
Benjamin Matthews
David Mays
Christopher Mixon (Class Captain)
David Neff
Kevin Obanion
Shaun Skrehot
Aaron Steely
Jonathan Walker
David Younger

In addition to the fire science program, LSC-Montgomery recently expanded their public service offerings to include emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic training in partnership with the Montgomery County Hospital District.

For more information about the fire science program or the EMT and paramedic training, contact Keith Campbell, director of emergency response at (281) 210-5831 or keith.m.campbell@LoneStar.edu.

LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery.

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Center, LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. With more than 51,000 students in credit classes last fall, LSCS is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and third largest community college system in Texas. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.