BISMARCK, ND- When it comes to teens driving for the first time, a parent's main concern is typically safety behind the wheel. 1st Geer Driving School in South Bismarck has implemented a special measure to keep concerns at bay.
Joel Elston, a student at 1st Geer Driving School, says he knows he's in good hands while on the road because of who's teaching him.
"If we were to get into any issues, he'd be able to keep a level head because he's used to working under stress," Elston says.
Working under stress is right. Jed Geer, owner of 1st Geer, employs a team of local firefighters to help teach students to pass their driving test. He says the criteria firemen have to go through already, makes them a great fit for his team.
"They end up responding to accidents, so they understand the need for safety," Geer says.
Tom Hardmyer, Captain at Bismarck Fire Department and Driving Instructor at 1st Geer, says it's tricky finding time from his busy schedule but says this job is rewarding because it's an extension of his service to the community.
"This is another thing I can do to contribute back to the community, where I'm helping out that younger generation moving forward with their life, getting that license, getting that responsibility of being on their own," Hardmyer says.
Hardmyer explains that working as a firefighter offers him insight into the danger of distracted driving and allows him to pass that knowledge on to his students.
Geer says his driving school is in the process of partnering with the North Dakota Safety Council.