Eastern Wake News

Knightdale firefighter recognized for new high school academy

jwhitfield@newsobserver.com

Knightdale Fire Lt. Chris Miller put 12 years worth of experience to work to help establish a new high school career academy, an effort that didn’t go unnoticed.

Miller was one of 12 volunteers recognized at Wake County Public Schools’ School to Volunteer awards program last week for his work in establishing and supporting Knightdale High School’s public safety academy.

“I’m humbled,” Miller said. “(But) it’s not for the awards ... it’s making sure the students are pointed in the right direction.”

Miller is a member of an advisory panel that helps guide the academy, which began this school year. He used his 12 years of fire service experience to help the academy tap into different careers students can pursue.

“I pretty much (told them) different paths students can use to get into the fire service,” he said. “There are different avenues than just being a firefighter.”

Miller grew up in Knightdale and went to East Wake High School, where he said he knew he wanted to pursue a career as a firefighter.

He became a volunteer firefighter with Knightdale in 2002 and went on to become a full-time firefighter in Cary until 2010, when he returned to Knightdale.

As a third-generation firefighter, Miller lends his expertise to KHS’s academy because he knows the academy is helpful regardless of whether a student knows what they want to do after graduation.

“I wish there (had been) an academy to help show me the way,” he said.

In addition to helping with policy, Miller also participates in hands-on activities.

He’s been a guest speaker at the school, chaperones field trips and coordinated a student visit to the fire station.

He also helps with the instruction of practical classes.

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