• Local Fire Departments To Create Regional Academy

    Monday, June 08, 2020

    A trio of Shenandoah Valley fire departments are bonding together to establish a Career Fire Academy to train up-and-coming firefighters.

    The Harrisonburg Fire Department, Rockingham County Fire and Rescue and Augusta County Fire and Rescue plan to launch the academy in mid-August.

    “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,” said HFD Interim Fire Chief Steve Morris. “We encourage anyone who has an interest in a career in the fire service to apply.”


    Those hired by any of the three agencies will attend a four-month, full-time academy that will result in them receiving certification as a firefighter/EMT upon graduation.

    Prior to the formation of the academy, applicants to the fire departments would have already had to have had certifications in firefighting and basic level EMT.

    For example, Morris said, if someone recently graduated from James Madison University, or another local college, he or she would have had to volunteer at a station, gain the certification, and then apply to the fire department.

    Or, he said, they could go to larger departments that already had training academies in place.

    “We probably missed out on applicants because of that,” he said.

    Between the three agencies, he said, they are looking to fill about 15 to 20 positions.

    To be eligible for hire, applicants must pass a regional firefighter test. Testing will take place on June 26 and 27.

    The deadline to apply for the test is Friday. A $25 fee is due to the city of Harrisonburg by June 18.

    Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6267 or

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