New SCC Program on Fire

One of Sampson Community College’s newest programs has already found success as the Fire Academy at SCC held its first-ever graduation ceremony this week. The Fire Academy, offered through SCC’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education Department, provides many levels of training for various positions in the firefighting realm.

“These students learn everything from putting out a fire and taking care of victims to traffic management and hazmat procedures,” says Aleta Whaley, Director of Public Service Training at SCC. “Fire chiefs here agree that having a centralized place where firefighters can receive fire training is a plus.”


Front row: Benjamin Boone, Rialey Garcia, Crystal Weber, Jorge Juanchi and Matthew Spell. Back row: Holden Champion, Dyllan Edge, Aaron Lee and Christopher Gray. Sampson County Firemen’s Honor Guard left to right: John Turner, Wendy Colantuono and Jason Kelly.

Sampson County has one paid fire department and all others are volunteer. Firefighters are required to have a certain amount of training and SCC is providing a forum for this event to happen. The academy is also open to the public which allows someone to come in who has an interest with no background and walk out a certified firefighter.

Interested students must be at least 16 years old and a high school diploma or GED required if you are over 18. Candidates must have a valid driver’s license, have passed a physical examination but there are no residency requirements.

Among others, certifications earned through the academy include NC Firefighter Certification by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Traffic Incident Management (TIMS) and NC Hazmat Level One Responder Certification. Orientation for the academy begins November 14th and classes begin in January. For more information, contact Aleta Whaley at or at. 910-900-4018.