DENVER - When Brian Bagwell designed the Fire and Emergency Response Administration program at Metropolitan State University of Denver, he knew exactly what numbers to use for the first course offered.
"We numbered the first course, FER 3430," Bagwell said.
He picked 3430 for the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11.
"New generations come through--that's going to be a part of the program, that's going to be there forever," Bagwell said.
Chris Inglee and Hayley Camara are part of the next generation. These students both say that the firefighters who died on 9/11 pushed them both towards pursuing careers as firefighters.
"I do remember 9/11 as a young kid and I do believe it has shaped my desire to become a firefighter," Inglee said. "I do believe that being a firefighter and continuing that, we are honoring them and we do have a connection to those firefighters."
Camara says those firefighters serve as inspiration for her.
"Absolutely, everyone involved in 9/11 was so brave and that loss was so unfortunate," Camara said. "Their legacy will forever be carried on."
Kevin Hammons is an instructor in Metro State's program. He can't believe that his students are influenced by 9/11.
"I have to tell you, I am actually surprised," Hammons said. "I would not have guessed what a powerful motivator 9/11 would be in 2016."
Bagwell is pleased that the legacy of the firefighters who died on 9/11 will live on through the program. He used to work as a firefighter in the New York area and lost a friend that day.
"It really is something to hear someone who was maybe three, four years old when that happened and yet that memory is still very clear," Bagwell said. "So clear, that they've decided that want to dedicate their career to follow in those same footsteps."
Bagwell says Metro State's degree program is unique to Colorado. It just started this year.
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