College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Fire Service Technology program and its students have received tremendous support and dedication from the different fire departments in the surrounding Treasure Valley. This support includes that of the Caldwell Fire Department who has graciously allowed CWI Fire Service Technology students to utilize the department’s facilities, personnel, and equipment to enhance their education and training.
Multiple graduates from CWI’s Fire Service Technology academy program now have the privilege of working alongside many of the same people who were teaching them during their training as full-time firefighters for Caldwell Fire Department. In addition to hiring CWI’s students, Caldwell Fire has created opportunities within their Fire Prevention Division where students can gain valuable experience while exploring different careers within the fire service industry.
“For years, fire departments across the Treasure Valley have sought a solution for basic firefighting training to assist us in identifying quality, entry-level candidates,” said Caldwell Fire Deputy Chief, Steve Donahue. “CWI’s program has been a great solution. Students who finish the program are certified and possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities, and physical stamina to perform as firefighters. We are finding CWI students provide us with a diverse, well-trained pool of candidates who have proven to be very capable and skilled at their craft. Unfortunately for us, the rest of the departments are now starting to discover the advantages of CWI’s program.”
Kevin Hargan, a recent graduate of the program, began working for Caldwell Fire this past June.
“The program prepared me for coming online and working full time,” he said. “I had been testing for a few years and had missed out on some opportunities because I didn’t have some of the minimum qualifications as far as certifications went. I looked into the program at CWI and saw it as an opportunity to gain those certifications, more experience, as well as an opportunity to build relationships with the instructors. It was a great way to get good references and a foot inside the door.”
“Our work with Caldwell Fire Department is just one example of the great industry partnerships the College has within the community,” said CWI Fire Service Program Manager, Darrin Raskopf. “We look forward to many more of our graduates filling their ranks!”