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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — Keeping you safe and creating jobs for your children and grandchildren. That’s the idea behind a new high school class that’s just been approved.

The Davidson County School Board has given the go-ahead to a public safety academy that will be taught at Central Davidson and North Davidson high schools.

It will be a collaborative effort by local law enforcement and fire departments.

Students who are interested will start by taking a general public safety course.

After that, students can choose to take a firefighter, police or EMT course which will allow them to get certified by the time they graduate high school.

“If you don’t think you want to go to college and you don’t think you want to go into the military then the next place is going to be a job,” said Matt Coloton, principal at Central Davidson.

Coloton said students will be taught a lifesaving trade hands-on by local first responders.

“We try to put students in classes here that will get them job-ready and this is just another way, another course selection, another avenue kids can go get themselves job-ready so when they leave us here they can become gainfully employed,” Coloton said.

The courses will be offered to freshmen, sophomores and juniors. The hope is that they will choose careers in public safety by the time they graduate high school.

“Get kids really to have a job if that’s what they want to do,” Coloton said.

Midway Fire and Rescue is one of the departments involved in the new program. A spokesperson tells FOX8 it’s becoming harder to recruit new firefighters and the course could change that. Students in the firefighting class will learn how to use ladders, hoses, gear and how a fire starts.

“We would like to try to get 15 to 25 kids, anywhere in that range because once they take public safety then that moves them on to the next level,” Coloton said.

The classes will be offered five days a week and can be taken for college credit.

“I think it will be a good program for our kids. I can’t wait to see what happens when we start to promote this and see what the kids are going to say,” Coloton said.

The public safety class will begin next semester. This is the first time North Davidson and Central Davidson have offered a program of this kind.