ORLANDO — Thirty-three students made history on Friday, April 4, when they became the first fire-fighting graduates of the Central Florida Fire Institute at Valencia College.
At a graduation ceremony held in Valencia’s Performing Arts Center, Valencia celebrated the first recruits to complete the Fire Fighter Minimum Standards class.
The students, who are now trained as entry-level fire fighters, began the rigorous 11-week training program in January. The average salary for a beginning fire fighter/emergency medical technician is $39,329.
“I have worked in the fire service for 38 years and am very fortunate to be working at CFFI, where I can continue to educate and be a part of the fire service,” said Stephen Chancey, CFFI director and former fire chief at the Orlando International Airport. “I am very proud to be associated with this graduating class and share in their excitement.”
At the ceremony, Orange County Fire Rescue’s Honor Guard presented the colors. Bagpipers from the Orlando Fire Department ushered in the new graduates.
Valencia College created the Central Florida Fire Institute in 2013, taking the reins for firefighter education from the former Central Florida Fire Academy. The nearly 35 years of fire service training and education excellence that has been CFFA’s trademark will now be carried forward by CFFI.
The Central Florida Fire Institute offers education programs for all levels of fire service professionals including: fire fighter, fire officer, fire safety inspector, fire investigator and fire instructor. With the new Associate in Science degree in Fire Science Technology, students can continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree, thanks to a partnership with the University of Central Florida.
Please click here for more information about the Central Florida Fire Institute.