SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Southern Maine Community College is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Public Safety Live-In program.
While most students live in dorms or rent apartments in college, SMCC's fire science students can apply to live in one of 17 fire stations in southern Maine.
Those students get real-life hands-on training running medical and fire calls with the actual station crews.
This year, there are about 30 new students participating in the program. These freshmen have already taken a 3 week course, and had live-burn training before the semester even begins.
For the fire stations housing students, they get the benefit of extra crews on hand in their department, and knowing that when these students graduate they'll already have the training and experience they're looking for in new recruits.
For the students, they say that experience gives them a boost in the job market over the other graduates in the program.
The Scarborough Fire Department has one of the largest programs, housing 13 students throughout their 6 stations. While it varies from department to department, the students here live for free, and get paid for the calls they go on.