Rapid City, S.D. (KELO) — Rapid City’s Fire Department recently announced their Cadet Program.

High school Juniors and Seniors now have an opportunity to learn essential skills to be a firefighter.

With applications now coming in, they look to get everything rolling soon.

“Well the push for this was that our organization and command staff had identified that we needed a good way to engage high school students. And to give them an opportunity to look into a career as a Rapid City Firefighter and look into a career in emergency services.” Cadet Program Instructor Jim Bussell said.

Younger firefighters such as Mason Harlan believe that having experience before the academy can be huge.

“Getting that experience and figuring out what the fire service is and what the EMS field is like. I mean that would help tremendously before going into the academy. Just to be prepared and have more skills than no skills when you join the fire service.” Firefighter EMT Mason Harlan said.

Getting into the cadet program is more than just filling out an application, as there will be an interview and a physical exam as well to make sure that those students are up to par for the course.

“They’re going to have the opportunity to learn how to wear personal protective equipment and breathing apparatus. They’re going to learn how to do building searches, they’re going to learn what medical emergency services are all about.” Bussell said.

Getting a head start in high school can set these cadets up for success post graduation.

“I couldn’t ask for a better job. I know I’m only 21 years old but I’m living the dream. These guys are amazing to work with, I couldn’t ask for better officers. I couldn’t ask for better people to work under. I mean, if you’re thinking about a career in the fire service, I say do it.” Harlan said.

The Rapid City Fire Department looks to get everything started this October.

If you have interest in this program you can find out more here.