OPSU Partnership with Guymon Fire Department

By Danae Moore on 08/29/2013 OPSU student and second year Guymon Fire Department intern, Dalton Bebout, preforms internship duties at the new fire station in Guymon.—Photo by Danae MooreOPSU student and second year Guymon Fire Department intern, Dalton Bebout, preforms internship duties at the new fire station in Guymon.—Photo by Danae Moore Goodwell, Okla.—Oklahoma Panhandle State University in partnership with the Guymon Fire Department offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection.

The partnership began in 1997. Ed Kirtley, serving as Chief of the Guymon Fire Department from March of 1998 to March of 2004, was instrumental in the process. Kirtley served on the leadership team of the Oklahoma Panhandle fire chiefs and helped establish the associate degree program at OPSU which offers an internship with the fire department in Guymon. Kirtley is now the Director of Oklahoma State University Fire Services Training.

Students must apply and be accepted to OPSU to begin the Fire Protection program. The two year degree combines general education courses with fire science classes taught by personnel from the Guymon Fire Department. Fire science classes are held at both the Guymon Fire Department and the OPSU Guymon Classroom.

In addition to the basic coursework, students may apply to intern at the fire department. Prospective interns will go through a selection process with the Guymon Fire Department. Upon selection, students will work shifts right alongside the full time employees allowing for plenty of hands on experience.

Serving his second year as an intern, Dalton Bebout, said, "You can take all the classes, but working an actual shift is a whole new learning experience."

An additional training opportunity for students as well as members of the area involved in fire service comes in Sept. at the Panhandle Area Fire School. Oklahoma State University Fire Services Training will teach the two day training to be held Sept. 21-22 at the Guymon High School. This free school offers a multitude of opportunities with participants receiving a certificate upon completion.

Combining the efforts of Dr. Justin Collins, Dean of Science, Math & Nursing at OPSU and Guymon Fire Chief, Dean McFadden, the program has seen 26 graduates. There are currently 22 students in the program. Graduates are serving in local fire departments as well as in Oklahoma City, El Reno, Okla. and Norman, Okla. Dr. Collins talks very highly of the program saying what a great partnership it is.

For more information regarding the associate degree program contact Dr. Collins at jkcollins@opsu.edu or 580-349-1522. Those interested in the Panhandle Area Fire School can contact Dean McFadden at 580-338-5536 or dean@guymonok.org.

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