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FDNY Foundation Commends FDNY High School Seniors on Fair

Nearly three dozen high school seniors at the largely FDNY Foundation-funded FDNY High School for Fire and Life Safety began working in September, meeting twice weekly, to prepare for the school’s Second Annual Community Health and Life Safety Fair.

“It was a lot of work in a short amount of time,” said Iyana Curtis, a member of the FDNY High School Prep Class. “But we are a part of this community and we want to teach people about their health, about what they can do to improve their health today to prevent problems in the future.”

The fair – held at the High School in Brooklyn on Wed., Oct. 22 – brought together the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit and Mobile CPR Unit – both funded by the FDNY Foundation – as well as the NYC Office of Emergency Management, the Bone Marrow Registry and other health organizations.

“They are all working hard to improve the health and safety of the community they call home,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “That’s the Department’s mission, and based on their work with this fair, these young students are clearly well on their way to successful careers as FDNY EMTs, Paramedics and Firefighters.”

“They’re so young and they’re heading in the right direction,” said First Deputy Commisioner Robert Turner. “These young people might not otherwise have had these opportunities. It’s great that we are able to provide this to them.”

The event also marked a special milestone: the High School is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. In its ten-year history, 90 of the FDNY High School graduates have become state certified Emergency Medical Technicians, including two FDNY Firefighters and 16 FDNY EMTs.

“We are so proud to have supported the FDNY High School for Fire and Life Safety for these ten years,” said FDNY Foundation Chairman Stephen Ruzow. “Through events like this one today, these young people are showing they truly embody the spirit of the FDNY.”

“It is an inspiration to see young people dedicated to the health of their fellow students, their teachers and the community that surrounds them,” said FDNY Foundation Executive Director Jean O’Shea. “They are taking the lessons they learn here and turning them into action. We look forward to their graduation this Spring and to watching them succeed well into the future

The fair was entirely designed and organized by the 32 students who make up the FDNY Prep Class of the FDNY High School. Prep is offered to FDNY High School seniors who have successfully completed the first three years of FDNY Curriculum and are on track for graduation. They have also participated in the FDNY Summer Leadership Academy, and have expressed interest in pursuing careers in emergency medicine or with the FDNY.

“It means a lot to me to have this school,” said Curtis. “I want to be an EMT, and then become a paramedic. This school means that we get to be a part of the FDNY family, even though we aren’t on the job yet.”

“What makes this program so special is that these students feel so connected to us and feel that they truly are an extension of the FDNY family,” said Assistant Commissioner of Recruitment and Diversity Michele Maglione. “It’s so rewarding to see what this program is doing for them and to see how proud they are of their work.”

The Fair brought back some of the FDNY High School’s alumnus, who have gone on to become New York State certified EMTs and were on hand to do blood pressure screenings for attendees. In addition, current FDNY High school seniors provided information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent hypertension. The students say seeing alumnus succeed is a great inspiration

“It might be that this school changed their life,” said Curtis. “Maybe someone is on the wrong road but this school put them on a new pathway, a positive pathway and changed their life and helped them change others’ lives.”

“It feels good to have them come back to me and ask me about what I’ve been through,” said EMT Nhandi Brown, who graduated from the High School in 2014. “To be able to pass down the wisdom and be an inspiration to these young people feels great.”

“This school is so important to not only insuring the Department reflects the diverse communities we serve,” said Nigro, “it also helps us reach talented, dedicated young men and women seeking a career with the best Fire Department in the world.”

The school is housed on the Thomas Jefferson Educational Campus in Brooklyn. Its curriculum includes special emphasis on the academic, physical and moral requirements of emergency response. Click here for more information.

"It means a lot to me to have this school. I want to be an EMT, and then become a paramedic. This school means that we get to be a part of the FDNY family, even though we aren't on the job yet."

Iyana Curtis, FDNY High School for Fire and Life Safety Prep Class Member