Arlington Earns Another Award for Innovative Fire Academy Program

Arlington Fire Academy Award

Earlier this month at its annual conference and exhibition, the Texas Municipal League recognized Arlington for its groundbreaking Fire Academy program with a 2014 Municipal Excellence Award in Public Safety for cities with more than 25,000 residents. The honor distinguishes the City for its efforts, along with local partners, Tarrant County College and Arlington Independent School District, to develop a fire academy for high school students.

The unique program trains high school students from Arlington’s six high schools on firefighting and emergency medical care and enables graduates to immediately enter the workforce after successfully completing the program.

On hand at the conference to accept the prestigious award were City Council members Jimmy Bennett, Kathryn Wilemon, Robert Rivera and Michael Glaspie, and Arlington Fire Department Assistant Chief Bill McQuatters, Fire Chief Don Crowson and Fire Lieutenant Pete Arevalo.

The Texas Municipal League is a voluntary association of more than 1,140 Texas cities of which Arlington is a member. Its primary objective is to serve the needs and advocate the interests of Texas cities.

The Municipal Excellence Award is not the first honor the Fire Academy has received. Earlier this year, the Texas Association of Partners in Education bestowed a Gold Award to the program in the Partnership Program Innovation category.

AISD Fire Academy participants are expected to maintain a high level of physical fitness and academic standards throughout the two-year program, and courses require classroom instruction, as well as hands-on exercises to demonstrate proficiency. By the end of the training, students have received the necessary skills, discipline, knowledge and confidence to enter the workforce. Fire Academy graduates earn 24 college credit hours, a certifiable status with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, and a National Registry EMT certification.

For more information about the Fire Academy, visit the Arlington Fire Department’s website.