Protective Services

Course Description:

The Protective Services Program is intended to present a comprehensive public safety education to students interested in pursuing a career or volunteer service in the fire, emergency medical, law enforcement or emergency management services. Since all areas of public safety must work together, and responsibilities often overlap career boundaries, the student will be expected to meet a minimum level of proficiency in all areas of the training program. The program also serves as a springboard into health-care, legal, industrial safety and public administration education careers. The primary focus in this program is personal safety and the interrelationship between public safety agencies.

Skills Learned:

Some of the skills a student will learn are:

Emergency Medical Services:

The emergency medical services section of the program is designed to prepare the student to sit for the Pennsylvania Department of Health First Responder and Emergency Medical Technician certification examinations. The section covers anatomy and physiology; patient examinations and assessments; and emergency care for cardiac and respiratory problems, fracture, bleeding and shock, childbirth, psychiatric and other medical emergencies.

Law Enforcement:

The law enforcement section offers the student an overview of the criminal justice system and the police officer's role within it. The student will explore the development and structure of criminal justice and policing; the impact of the Constitution and Bill of Rights on the police officer; the Pennsylvania Crimes and Vehicle Codes; criminal behavior; corrections; investigations and evidence collection; patrol procedures; traffic control and safety; as well as arrest procedures and the use of force. This section will help to prepare the student to pursue post-secondary training and education in a criminal justice or criminology program, or to enter a municipal police officer training academy.


The firefighting section will introduce the student to engine and truck company operations. The program covers fire chemistry and behavior; prevention and inspections; apparatus; fire hose, appliances and tools; fire extinguishers; water supplies; sprinkler systems; salvage and overhaul and ventilation. Students will also be eligible to receive certifications for Essentials of Firefighting Module I, Incident Management, Structural Collapse Operations Level I and II and State of Pennsylvania Fire Academy Basic Vehicle Rescue.

Students will be enrolled in a State of Pennsylvania Essentials of Fire Fighting class and will be taught how to extinguish live fires during the Interior module of the EBM program in a Class A training structure located at the PSTC in Smithton. This courses involve hands-on training in fire and smoke conditions.

Many Academy courses involve heavy physical and mental exertion, usually while wearing protective clothing, under simulated or actual hazardous conditions. Since participation in all class activities is a requirement of graduation, students should be sure that they are in adequate physical condition to cope with the demands placed on them by such activity. Fire Academy staff reserves the right to limit or deny participation by any student when (in their opinion) his or her physical or mental state poses a safety threat to themselves or others. Students who participate in courses with practical exercises will be monitored through Rehab for their mental capacity, vital signs, and general well-being for the safety of each member and the integrity of the operation.

All protective clothing (pants, coat, helmet, gloves and footwear), personal alarm devices (PASS) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) MUST meet the requirements of NFPA Standards. Inspection of protective clothing and equipment by the Academy instructional staff will precede all training exercises. The Academy staff reserves the right to approve or reject any or all protective clothing or SCBA equipment used in training which may result in the student being excluded in practical activities.

It shall be the policy of the PSFA that persons taking part in any class whose subject matter involves the use or potential use of SAR/SCBA in any real or simulated hazardous or Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) atmosphere as defined by NIOSH and OSHA shall be clean shaven, except for the option of a well-trimmed mustache.


The rescue portion of the program deals with vehicle rescue as well as rescue with ropes and technical rescue. Covered are subjects such as vehicle stabilization, control of hazards, use of hand and power tools, extrication of patients, construction of mechanical advantage systems to haul patients from below ground, construction of A-frames, rigging of various rope systems, and construction of knots and repelling. The construction of temporary shoring systems as they apply to trench rescue and collapsed structures will also be covered in depth. Students will be given the opportunity to become eligible for certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as Basic Rescue Practices Technicians, Basic Vehicle Rescue Technicians and Special Vehicle Rescue Technicians provided students pass the practical and written portions of the state exam.

Interdisciplinary Topics:

There are many aspects of public safety that cross lines between police, fire and EMS agencies. Personal safety, radio and oral communications; disaster planning and response; stress prevention; development of ethics; incident command systems along with job seeking skills. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to become eligible for Hazardous Materials Awareness certification through the National Fire Academy.

Related Occupations and Earnings:

Related occupations include Police Officers, Firefighters and EMT Workers. Earnings range between $13-$23/hour.

Post-Secondary Opportunities:

Articulated credits can be earned toward an Associate’s Degree at Institutions such as Lackawanna College and Westmoreland County Community College.


Mr. Dortenzo – Protective Services Phone Number – 724-925-3532 x. 1380 Office Hours: 7:15am to 7:45am 10:45am to 10:55am 2:30pm to 2:45pm Please leave a voicemail message outside of these times.

Suggested Prerequisites:

Industry & Skills Certifications:

Student Requirements:

Student Costs:

Text Book:


Pennsylvania Youth Survey

Passive Parental/Caregiver Permission Letter

Dear Parent or Guardian:

Our school is taking part in the 2021 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) sponsored by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The survey will ask questions about the behaviors of students in the 10th, and 12th grades, including questions about school climate, violence, depression, bullying, and substance abuse. 

The information we receive will assist us and our community partners in working to prevent adolescent drug use and other problem behaviors. We want to ensure that all parents and caregivers are notified that the survey is being conducted and provide you with as much information about the survey as possible.  As a parent or caregiver, you have the right to prohibit your child’s participation. The following facts about the survey will help you make an informed decision about your child’s participation:

Participation in this survey is completely voluntary. Students will be instructed by their proctor that they can skip any questions they do not understand or choose not to answer. If they have any questions or concerns after taking this survey, they are instructed to talk with their school counselor or a trusted adult.

The survey is designed to protect each student’s privacy. It is anonymous and confidential. Students will not put their names on the survey, and no student will ever have their individual responses reported. 

The survey is well tested, having been administered to over 1,000,000 Pennsylvania students since the 1990’s. The information collected has proved invaluable to prevention planners in selecting programming to promote healthy youth development.

You can request a list of the survey questions by visiting this link: For more information about the survey, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit then click on “2021.”

The survey will be administered during the school day later this fall and will take one class period to complete.  If you do not want your child to participate, please submit your request to [email protected] or in writing to the CWCTC.

Thank you for your help in our efforts to keep our schools drug free and safe for learning. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Darcy Szymkiewicz  724.925.3532 ext 1360.

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