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Tuesday was a big day for students at the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy.

Firefighters at emergency medical technicians were there conducting a realistic training exercise with students featuring a mock vehicle wreck for some hands-on experience.

Students in the public safety program can train and prepare for a career as a firefighter or as an EMT, along with several other fields..

TCTA fire instructor Randy Latner, who is also a firefighter with Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue, said the program is a beneficial training method for students.

“This is also we do fire here as well, so we do a lot of hose pulling, air pack things, things with ladders, forceable entry, anything that we do in the fire service,” he said. “Our job is to teach them the method and also let them deal with the madness at the end of it and learn put those two things together.”

The program begins with ninth-graders, and two Tuscaloosa firefighters serve as instructors.

Also on Tuesday at TCTA, a high school senior was presented with a scholarship for the Alabama Fire College.

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Gabriel Latham has been training to be a firefighter since his early high school years, and said he’s excited for the next step in his journey.

“I’ve been here since 10th grade, and I’ve been in this class ever since,” Latham said. “I’ve been through every class, and now I’m finally getting the opportunity to go to the fire college in the fall, and I’m really appreciative of it. Not many people get this opportunity.”

Latham is the first ever recipient of the fire college scholarship.

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