Each year, thousands of Oklahomans reap the benefits provided by Career and Technology Education. CareerTech Champions tell the story of how individuals apply learning to become successful employees, entrepreneurs and leaders in business organizations.
Buddy Pearce – Pontotoc Technology Center
Firefighter followed his dream to the highest, driest, windiest, coldest continent on the planet.
THEN: After a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps, two years of college and an unsatisfying job in the oil and gas industry, Buddy Pearce needed a new challenge. He said the most exciting thing he could imagine was to be a firefighter, so he sold his Harley-Davidson motorcycle for tuition money and enrolled in the 20-week fire academy at Pontotoc Technology Center. Buddy said his instructors at Pontotoc:
- Taught him the importance of honor, loyalty and hard work.
- Helped him prepare for a number of certifications, including firefighter I and II, HAZMAT operations, EMT basics, CPR and first aid.
- Made it possible for him to land a full-time firefighter/EMT job in Seminole.
Buddy said his instructors inspired him so much he began working part-time as an instructor for the academy.
“The instructors prepared us not only for the fire service, but also to lead successful lives,” he said.
NOW: Buddy served four years with the Seminole Fire Department. He left Oklahoma to accept a position with the Antarctic Fire Department, the only full-time professional fire department in Antarctica. He is deployed six to seven months a year at McMurdo Station, a U.S.-managed scientific research station. He returns to Oklahoma between contracts.
“I am now skilled enough in my craft that I have been able to follow my dreams,” he said.
“I absolutely use the skills I acquired at Pontotoc Technology Center every day of my life.”