Wesmor program offers pathway to employment in emergency services

Wesmor High School Facebook Photo In Nov., 2022 students in the Emergency Services Response Training Course tested out fire uniforms at Wesmor High School.

Wesmor High School in Prince Albert has operated an Emergency Services Response Training Course for several years.

The program provides students with real world training to set them up for careers in the public safety sector.

The Saskatchewan Rivers School Division board of education received an update from Superintendent Cory Trann during their regular meeting on Monday.

“That’s a program that there was lots of work around and it’s a great partnership with the province, with other agencies,” education director Robert Bratvold said. “It has been going for quite a long time and so it kind of just exists under the radar, but it is a fantastic opportunity for those students who are interested.”

The goal of the course is to help students develop career management competencies through an exploration of personal change and growth, explore the connections between learning and work pathways and their connections to community and will engage in inquiry to construct a personal work and life plan.

Students start at the Grade 10 level, and proceed all the way through Grade 11 and 12. Bratvold said it allows students to receive significant certification opportunities.

That includes opportunities to explore career options in the public safety area, develop skills in order to transition from high school directly to the workforce and develop personal knowledge and skills in order to engage in the safety initiatives of their local community.

“There is certainly some keen student interest,” Bratvold said. “It is also is great for some of those certifications around First Aid and some of the other employment certification training requirements that can be met. Then, there are opportunities for students, if they are interested in the work, to move directly into that work first from high school or pursue further training in it. It is a fantastic opportunity.”

In Grade 10, six students attained credits. There are currently seven students registered for Block 4 in the current year’s block system and three graduates from ESRT are expected this year.

“The ESRT program has opened many doors for students who have enrolled,” Wesmor principal Jennifer Ferguson said in a school division press release. “I have seen our students develop discipline, a strong work ethic, a sense of pride, and a joy of learning. It allows students to dream big, and see themselves in a field they might not otherwise pursue.”

Trann’s presentation was part of a series of presentations by Trann and Superintendent Jennifer Hingley about learning, innovation, and the school division’s Strategic Plan. Bratvold said they wanted to update trustees on a handful of learning innovations in the division.