Northwest Region Fire Training Center Celebrates Graduating Class

If the last year has taught us anything, it’s the value of first responders.

Northwest Michigan fire departments are now gearing up to welcome new recruits.

On Wednesday, Northwest Regional Fire Training Center celebrated their graduates.

Morgan Chalup has worked for more than six months to graduate from the Northwest Regional Fire Training Center. Now, she’s on her way to becoming a full-fledged firefighter.

“We’ve been in class since November,” said Chalup. “It’s been all virtual expect for every other weekend where we did get to into person.”

Even though going through virtual training may not have been ideal, it’s the reason why she was able to participate.

“I do have two kids at home and so kind of being able to do my classes on Wednesday nights online is what made this possible for me,” says Chalup.

She waited three years for the class to go virtual, and says she’s not the only one.

“I think that goes for a couple of the people in our class,” said Chalup. “They might not have been able to do this if it wasn’t for the virtual opportunities.”

On Wednesday, thirteen students graduated.83f87980 4b6e 4d19 Bb4d 4ba03c6a3ec0

“Our career definitely needs those people,” said Lead instructor Captain Dan Kreft. “We need new people everyday so we were very fortunate to have this much interest in our class.”

He says the shortage of firefighters is starting to affect the region.

“On a department level, almost every department in the area is constantly searching for people,” says Kreft.

Students, like Chalup, are eager to step up and start.

“I’ve been in the EMS side of things this whole time, so I’m just excited to learn something new,” Chalup said.

Once each student has received their certificate from their state written exams, they will be able to join local fire departments.