Dear Fire District 6 Cadets and Parents,
The past year has been difficult in so many ways. This pandemic is weighing on everyone. For high school students in particular, it is affecting their social-emotional as well as academic wellbeing and development. We recognize that students and parents are struggling to balance different demands. We are all anxious to get back to some type of normalcy.
The work that is being taught in the Fire Cadet virtual classroom is valuable and worthwhile. It allows students to connect to their interest in the fire service. Unfortunately, it does not follow the traditional structure of the Fire Cadet Program. In the past, the students attended class at the District’s main station. Outside of the classroom, they were be able to perform firefighting skills and learned to use the same equipment firefighters use.
When you signed up for the Cadet Program, a partnership of trust was built. You trusted that we would introduce you to the career of firefighting and support your education through academic and hands on training. You also trusted that we would ensure your safety while you were in our care.
As the Fire Chief, I have the responsibility to you and your families to keep you safe and healthy. I also have that same responsibility to our fire service personnel and over 75,000 citizens. Whether you’re young and healthy, live with elderly family members, have some type of health compromise or any other concern, we are all vulnerable to this pandemic.
Daily I put our fire service personnel on the front lines of this pandemic. That is not something I take lightly. Our people are still being exposed to COVID-19. Although the majority of our responders are vaccinated, there are still enough unanswered questions that carry risks. That is why our facilities remain closed to the public, meetings, families and anyone that is not essential to the business of the District.
Yesterday, we lowered our flags to half-staff in response to a Presidential Proclamation. This was done in remembrance of the 500,000 Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19. Although we all want to be on the other side of this, now is not the time to start being complacent.
I do not make this decision lightly, but to bring you into a first response facility carries different risks than bringing you into a classroom. I cannot with absolute assurance guarantee your health and safety or that of our first responders. Clark County Fire District 6 will continue with the virtual learning platform, but we will not allow students into our facilities. You and this program are very important to us and we are committed to bringing back all aspects of the program when we can do it safely for everyone.
Thank you to every single one of you. This is a team effort, and we will get through it together.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Clark County Fire District 6.