Dammeron Valley Fire and Rescue (DVFR) held its Fall Fire Academy graduation on Tuesday, 13 December at DVFR’s Station 13 to a standing room crowd of family, friends, and community members.
DVFR’s Fall Fire Academy graduated 25 candidates representing seven departments in Washington and Kane counties. The graduating Candidates completed more than 12 weeks of intense classroom and skills-based training to meet the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy’s (UFRA) standards for Firefighter I and Firefighter II objectives.
Class 04-2022 represents the second Fire Academy delivered through Dammeron Valley’s Fire & EMS Training Center, which cooperates with UFRA to train and certify firefighters in Southern Utah. UFRA Director, Bradley Wardle, addressed the Candidates and attendees as the Keynote Speaker for the event and acknowledged the time and effort the Candidates committed to complete the Fire Academy. “You’ve had to put in the work. You can’t mail it in,” Wardle commented, noting that Candidates complete as many as 240 hours of training for full certification.
Other speakers included DVFR Fire Chief John Hennessey, Dammeron Valley Fire Special Service District Board Chair Mack Sorenson, and UFRA Program Manager Kevin Bowman.
Candidates began training in September and attended training on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and full Saturdays to prepare for both written exams and skills testing conducted using UFRA’s standards. Skills testing included live fire exercises utilizing UFRA props, vehicle extrication training using donated vehicles, and forced entry training where Candidates learn how to breach a variety of doors and safely enter buildings.
“We are extremely proud of the graduating candidates and DVFR’s CADRE Instructors for the hard work, dedication, and professionalism exhibited during this Fire Academy,” stated DVFR Fire Chief, John Hennessey. “In particular, I’d like to recognize DVFR’s Director of Training, Captain Skyler Skinner, for his time preparing for and delivering this Fire Academy. His commitment to the Candidates’ success was apparent every step of the way.”
The graduates included Candidates from Cedar Mountain Fire Protection District, Gunlock Fire Department, Santa Clara-Ivins Fire & Rescue, Pine Valley Fire Department, Washington City Fire Department, and Winchester Hills Fire Department. DVFR will add 12 new certified Firefighters to its ranks, seven of whom are new members to the department.
Chief Hennessey added that DVFR will continue to expand upon its Fire & EMS Training Center’s capabilities, including deepening its partnership with UFRA to increase training and certification opportunities in Southern Utah. “We appreciate the partnership we’ve built with UFRA and the opportunity it provides departments across Southern Utah to build their forces and strengthen their capabilities as the population grows in the region.”