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Local fire departments coordinating efforts to establish regional fire training academy

house fire
Photo Credit: Gorodenkoff

The Harrisonburg Fire Department will work with Rockingham County Fire and Rescue and Augusta County Fire and Rescue this summer to create a joint-partnership career fire academy designed to train selected personnel to become firefighters.

ACFR has operated a similar effort in the past, but this new effort will widely broaden the availability of the unique program in our region.

Candidates selected for employment by one of these agencies will be sent to a four-month, full-time academy – scheduled to begin in mid-August – a resulting in certification as a firefighter/EMT.

Graduates of the Academy will be assigned as firefighters in their respective sponsoring agency. Previously, prospective employees needed to already hold such certifications prior to applying to one of the departments.

“We are excited about the introduction of the full career regional fire academy and we look forward to serving the Harrisonburg community with the best trained firefighters possible,” HFD Interim Fire Chief Steve Morris said. “We encourage anyone who has an interest in a career in the fire service to apply.”

Deadline for firefighter testing is June 12

In order to be considered for the upcoming academy, applicants must apply to the Regional Firefighter testing by June 12. A $25 fee is due to the City of Harrisonburg by June 18.

Testing is for the Counties of Rockingham and Augusta, and the Cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro.

Prospective applicants who have already completed Firefighter I or II, Hazardous Materials Operations or Emergency Medical Technician, (or some combination of these certifications) are also strongly encouraged to apply.

No certifications are required to apply for the Regional Firefighter test.

The regional firefighter testing will be conducted at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds on June 27 with the opportunity to practice the physical agility portion on June 26.

To ensure compliance with the recommended guidelines related to COVID-19, you will be required to practice social distancing at the testing. Additionally, to ensure the safety of both employees and candidates, you will be required to submit to a temperature check and answer a simple health questionnaire prior to entering the testing site on both Friday, June 26 (if you choose to attend the optional physical ability test practice session) and Saturday, June 27.

Applications for the regional firefighter testing can be found here.

Testing is required for any individual interested in taking part in the new career fire academy being offered by the Harrisonburg Fire Department, Rockingham County Fire and Rescue and Augusta County Fire and Rescue. Additionally, individuals interested in any Firefighter position with the City are required to register and pass the Regional Firefighter Test.