Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Today, Mayor Brett P. Smiley will join Providence Fire Department Chief Derek Silva, Providence Fire Captain Felix Ramos, Providence City Council members, Junior Achievement RI President Lee Lewis and Central High School seniors, to highlight a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program that prepares students for a career in fire service. This initiative was made possible through a partnership with the Providence Fire Department (PFD), the Providence Public School Department (PPSD) and Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. Members of the media are invited to view a portion of this training during a Hazmat Response Exercise, October 24, 2023, from 1:00PM-1:45PM at Collier Point Park, Henderson Street.
“I am incredibly proud of this program that gives our students a real sense of what a career in public service is like and shows them a new way they can give back to their community,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “Public safety is a top priority for our residents and for my Administration, which means we are often looking for dedicated individuals who want to serve in our Fire Department. This program offers a direct pathway to a fulfilling career and prepares the next generation of Providence firefighters.”
Starting in 2022, a new program was created to provide Providence students with a focused educational experience in fire service. Through the program, PFD provides Central High School senior year students with firefighter level 1 and level 2 training. Upon completion of the program, these students will have will have met or exceeded the national standard through 248 hours of classroom instruction and practical training. Course programming and instruction is primarily provided by Fire Captain Felix Ramos, who is uniquely positioned as a Providence Firefighter and certified teacher in the State of Rhode Island.
“The students enrolled in this program were carefully selected by their teachers, school administrators and members of the Providence Fire Department to receive a better understanding of the necessary requirements in order to pursue a rewarding career within the fire service,” said Chief Silva. “I thank Captain Ramos for his leadership throughout this program and also the school department for their ongoing support of this very important and valuable resource for the young adults in our city to help them achieve their goals.”
In its second year, the program had 12 graduates and the second cohort of 9 students is currently underway. The selection process to enroll in the CTE program begins at the end of the student’s junior year of high school and the training takes place through the months of July and August, Monday through Friday, for eight hours a day. Upon the start of the school year, classes take place once a month. Students engage in hands on and in classroom training towards a career as a Providence Firefighter.
Junior Achievement of RI has partnered with the PFD and Central High School to create a school to career pipeline for high school students to train and learn what it takes to become a firefighter and EMT. JA provides the following JA programs for the students to engage in: JA Job Shadow, JA Financial Literacy and JA Career Speaker Series, in order to prepare the students for both their future success in their careers as Providence fire fighters as well as their financial success. They also support the program with JA staff, transportation, and other logistical needs, as necessary.
“Junior Achievement is proud to partner with the Providence Public School District and the City of Providence Fire Department in the development of the Student Fire Academy. By helping students connect what they are learning in school to life outside the classroom we are giving young people the skillset and mindset to build thriving communities,” said Lee Lewis, President, Junior Achievement of Rhode Island.
In addition to training provided by PFD, PPSD separately provides Emergency Medical Technician – Basic (EMT-B) level training through the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). This provides students with new training opportunities, gain more essential skills, and better prepare them for a career in public safety or emergency management, depending on their interests.
WHO: Mayor Brett Smiley, Providence Fire Department Chief Derek Silva, Providence Fire Captain Felix Ramos, Providence City Council, Junior Achievement of RI President Lee Lewis, members of the Providence Fire Department and Central High School Students
WHAT: PFD Career and Technical Education (CTE) Fire Program for Central High School Seniors
WHEN: TODAY, October 24, 2023, media availability from 1:00PM-1:45PM
WHERE: Collier Point Park, Henderson Street