New partnership prepares EVIT firefighting students for careers in rural Arizona communities

Aug 19, 2023, 6:30 AM

fire personnel in training putting out a blaze...

EVIT students training in how to put out fires. (East Valley Institute of Technology Photo)

(East Valley Institute of Technology Photo)

PHOENIX — A new partnership between the East Valley Institute of Technology and a metro Phoenix fire department is improving how prepared some students are for firefighting careers in smaller Arizona communities.

Though the partnership with Superstition Fire and Medical District, students at EVIT can earn state-recognized credentials, which will allow them to apply for work in rural communities immediately after they’ve completed the program.

Typically, EVIT students interested in firefighting careers in large communities attend fire academies hosted by cities such as Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson. With the collaboration, graduates can enter the workforce right away in communities that don’t have academies.

What can EVIT students expect from the program?

The partnership will include job shadowing opportunities, content expertise and knowledge by the fire district and fire personnel supporting skill development.

“This partnership is an example of EVIT’s mission to serve our communities. In this case, our community is the state of Arizona,” Chief Academic Officer Ronda Doolen said in a press release.

“Our smaller community neighbors need firefighters and emergency response personnel and with the support of the Superstition district, EVIT fire students will be prepared to serve those communities.”

Students will also get the chance to earn certificates in CPR, wildland fire fighting and more.

Superstition District Chief John Whitney applauded the program for its high level of education and exposure for students to experience the fire service.

“Although SMFD firefighters attend post-hire Regional Fire Academies as part of our valley-wide automatic agreement, we felt this was an incredible opportunity to provide educational connectivity, focused access to potential candidates and assistance to our Arizona fire service partners across the state as we all face unprecedented challenges,” Whitney said in the release.

“Providing this sponsorship enables EVIT to produce state-certified firefighters for agencies that need personnel immediately.”

About 180 students are enrolled in the EVIT Fire and Emergency Services program, which started at the end of July and ends in May.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Cactus Park Precinct...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Dec. 8-10

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend from Dec. 8-10.

4 hours ago

Members of the U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection organize a group of migran...

Associated Press

Smugglers are bringing migrants to a remote Arizona border crossing, overwhelming US agents

With migrants crossing daily, the U.S. shut down the nearby crossing near Lukeville to free up officers to help with transportation.

7 hours ago

Kris Mayes, Arizona Attorney General...

Arizona Attorney General Mayes launches investigation into gift card cloning

Arizona AG Kris Mayes launched an investigation into an organized retail theft scheme, his office announced Friday.

8 hours ago

James Osgood, Silver Alert...

Silver Alert issued for 67-year-old man in Phoenix

The Arizona Department of Safety issued a Silver Alert for 67-year-old James Osgood, who went missing on Sunday.

8 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department, file)...

Police identify teen boy who died after shooting in central Phoenix

A teenage boy who was shot and later died in central Phoenix on Saturday afternoon has been identified, according to Phoenix Police. 

14 hours ago

Solar panels...

Damon Allred

Gila River Indian Community to receive solar panels over canals

The Biden-Harris Administration will give $5.65 million to construct and install solar panels over the Casa Blanca Canal.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

New partnership prepares EVIT firefighting students for careers in rural Arizona communities