Firefighter Academy Students participate in mock search and rescue exercise
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Mayor Jorge O. Elorza joined Commissioner of Public Safety Steven M. Pare, Assistant Chief of Administration Derek M. Silva, RIDE Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green, Providence Public School Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez, Junior Achievement of Rhode Island President Lee Lewis, and Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity Kadeem Leslie for a tour of Providence’s first-ever Student Firefighter Academy.
The Student Firefighter Academy has placed 12 Central High School rising seniors in a 150-hour paid summer program covering the Firefighter I course curriculum, provided by a state certified instructor. The summer program includes hands on training including search and rescue and ground level training as well as classroom lectures.
“Firefighters provide an essential service to our city, so it is critical that we create opportunities to develop talent from our own community,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “I’m proud to have launched Providence’s first Student Firefighter Academy alongside our partners, providing a valuable opportunity to Providence students and preparing the next generation of firefighters that will serve our city.”
Upon completion of the summer program, students will then complete Firefighter 2 courses during the upcoming school year. Courses will be conducted at Central High School and off-site at PFD training facilities. Upon completion of the 450 paid hours of training, students will undergo a physical fitness and agility assessment and psychological interview prior to consideration for entrance into the Providence Fire Department Training Academy in Summer 2023.
This new program falls under the Providence Public School Department (PPSD)’s expanding Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum, which is focused on preparing students for entrance into a number of career paths through paid internships working within high-demand professions such as engineering, graphic design, nursing, and now, public safety.
“It’s our job to prepare our students for success in life. But that can take many shapes, so we have to keep evolving as a school district and provide new programs like this for our students,” said Providence Public School Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez. “We are honored and excited to partner with the Providence Fire Department and Junior Achievement of Rhode Island to create new career pathways for our students right here in their community.”
Funding for the program, including preparation and instruction, is funded by the Providence Office of Economic Opportunity and the training and technical expertise is being conducted by the men and women of the Providence Fire Department. Transportation and lunches for students in the academy this summer are being funded by Junior Achievement of Rhode Island, a non-profit organization that works with educational partners to build the school-to-career pipeline.
“It is critical that students learn what career opportunities are out there and explore them prior to graduation,” said Junior Achievement of Rhode Island President Lee Lewis. “Junior Achievement’s vision is to provide students with the skillset and mindset to build thriving communities. Partnerships like this one with Central High School and the Providence Fire Department are how we are going to build communities. We are grateful to be a part of this program.”