Support Quality Education Newsletter features AISD Fire Academy

The Arlington Fire department, Tarrant County College, and Arlington Independent School District have collaborated to train high school students from across the city in the field of Firefighting and Emergency medical training. This program pulls students from 6 different high schools and by the end of graduation high school graduates could immediately enter the workforce as a Firefighter / EMT.

To get accepted into the program students must have a 7.0 GPA (80 average), good standing with attendance / discipline, students must fill out an application to include one page essay. Students must also complete a fire department physical agility test and conduct a panel interview. Applicants are selected based off of all the information gathered on the student. The City of Arlington Fire department and AISD both provide coordinators to oversee the day to day operations of the program based off of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Basic Fire Suppression curriculum. Students learn skills necessary to complete skills and written testing from the State over basic fire suppression. We conduct personnel evaluations with each student every 5 weeks to keep students on track in the Fire Academy and other high school work These students come out of high school with 24 college hours, a certifiable status with the Texas commission on Fire Protection, and a national registry EMT certification. Students are able to seek employment anywhere in the United States with these credentials. Coordinators also work closely with parents with discipline infractions and fundraising efforts. Students are required to complete community service while in the program and help out with incoming classes. By the end of the program students get the necessary skills, training, discipline, knowledge, and confidence to enter the workforce once hired by a Fire Department. Prior to this program the AISD had zero dual credit programs. This model proved that high school students could be successful in a college program and now the district is responsible for 17 duel credit programs that offer skill based training along with college hours that can be applied to a specific degree program with certification. These 16 other programs employ the same operational guidelines that the AFD / AISD Fire Academy has used since August of 2011.