Firefighting and Emergency Response Essentials

Get certified as a Firefighter and explore the area as a career.


  • Essential Question: How can I expand my knowledge of the Firefighter certification process and explore whether or not I am suited for a career in firefighting?
  • Areas of study: Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • Type and amount of credit earned: 1 elective credit
  • Community partner: volunteer firefighter in town


  • Acquiring information – determine the central idea, gather evidence from diverse sources, integrate information.
  • Analyzing information – evaluate a primary source, compare and contrast elements, analyze and make a decision.
  • Connecting information – interpret chronological events, connect them to broader themes, connect to current events.
  • Communicating information – write responses, participate in collaborative discussions, present information.

See the detailed ELO description for the full text of these competencies.

Student activities

  • Complete the Firefighters Explorer curriculum offered at the Fire Department.
  • Attend class meetings approximately four hours per month.
  • Complete assignments and participate in activities such as:
    • Understanding a firefighter’s protective equipment
    • Understanding the basics of CPR, first aid, and use of a semi-automatic defibrillator
    • Learning how to use a fire hose
    • Learning strategies for motor vehicle accident rescue
  • Keep a logbook of activities.
  • Write reflections on topics like:
    • What do you hope to accomplish in this ELO?
    • How has your perception of the ELO organization changed?
    • What did you learn about yourself during this ELO experience?
    • What was your biggest success or contribution to your ELO site?


The student kept a logbook of various activities from the class as well as pictures of interesting events.  He made a presentation to the ELO Committee describing what he had learned and how he met the competencies of the course.  ELOs at our high school are graded pass/fail.

More information

The keys to a successful ELO are a dedicated mentor and a motivated student who really wants to learn about the topic.

This ELO was for a student on a 504 plan. The ELO helped the student decide that firefighting was not the career he wanted after high school because of the low pay and the limit on the number of hours he could work in a week. Instead, his postsecondary career plans are now focused on working for a local Department of Public Works and on getting his commercial trucking license. ELOs can be valuable learning experiences to figure out what you don’t like!

This ELO was submitted by Lou Yelgin, School-to-Career Counselor at Hillsboro-Deering High School. Email for more information