Being a firefighting instructor is all about giving back to the community, according to Kevin Murphy, the Delaware Area Career Center’s new fire coordinator.
Murphy has been an instructor at the DACC’s fire program for five years and also works as a firefighter for the City of Columbus. Murphy said that he was made the lead instructor in August by the previous fire coordinator, Bill Grubb, and then promoted to the coordinator position when Grubb was injured and had to step down.
Murphy served in the U.S. Army from 2001 to 2006 and then worked as a firefighter for Marion until taking a position in Columbus in 2015.
“Becoming a firefighter was about bettering myself,” Murphy said, “(being a fire instructor) is about giving back.”
Murphy said he was nervous about stepping into such big shoes but accepted the position because he believes in the program at the DACC.
The DACC offers Firefighting I & II courses as well as volunteer firefighter courses for adults. Murphy said the program is very popular because there’s always a need for firefighters.
“This is one of the few places around where you can get these certifications.” Murphy said. “86 percent of (the program’s) graduates have obtained some sort of public safety job. Columbus wants to hire between 60 and 80 firefighters a year.”
Murphy said adult students who get the volunteer certifications go on to work for smaller local fire departments and the students who get Firefighting I and II certifications typically go on to work for bigger cities.
“Our objective isn’t to give a certification. You come here, put in the work and the effort and you earn your certification,” Murphy said.
Murphy said one of his favorite parts of the job has been working with all the local fire departments either for training or equipment.
“Now that I’ve been doing it for a few years you see those connections,” Murphy said. “It’s pretty rewarding. The hair on the back of your neck never lies.”
Murphy said the DACC just concluded a course and said the next adult course will begin on Jan. 14. More information about the program can be found on the career center’s website, www.delawareareacc.org.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.