By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– Less than one year after coming online, the Victorville Fire Department has established a Fire Internship Program with Victor Valley College aimed at developing the next generation of firefighters to serve the Victorville community. Graduates of Victor Valley College’s Firefighter I Academy are eligible to compete for six, one-year-long internships where they will work side-by-side with Victorville Firefighters. The inaugural class of Victorville Fire interns includes Joey Dowling, Chase Dowty, Nick Farina, Duncan Harriman, Steven Odein, and Brandon Pound.
All six interns enter the internship program as state certified Firefighter I’s after graduating the Victor Valley College Accredited Fire Academy. They will gain valuable hands-on work experience while continuing to earn college credits. Interns who successfully complete the program will be certified as Firefighter II making them more competitive for jobs in the fire service.
“We are proud of our Victorville Fire Department for delivering on its promise to develop this fire internship program, and we are grateful to Victor Valley College for partnering with us to ensure a pipeline of homegrown talent is available to serve our community as Victorville firefighters,” said Victorville Mayor, Gloria Garcia. “Programs like this not only strengthen our fire department, they help us build a strong Victorville.”
“Victor Valley College Fire Technology is honored to partner with the Victorville Fire Department to enhance the career pathway for our Firefighter I Academy Graduates. The Fire Internship Program will ensure that the legacy of providing highly trained fire service professionals for our hometown fire department is carried well into the future,” said Heath Cohen, Victor Valley College Fire Technology Program Director.
In the coming weeks, Victorville Fire will launch its Fire Explorer Program for high school students. Victorville Fire Explorers will be given an opportunity to learn about fire service careers, train with Victorville Firefighters, develop leadership skills, and participate in community-related events. Applications will be available at local high schools and City Hall in March. High School students and any applicant ages 15 to 21 are welcome to compete for 30 Fire Explorer positions.
Victorville Fire personnel also mentor students through the Victorville Police & Fire Activity League, which promotes fitness and discipline through its boxing league. PFAL plans to add additional sports like soccer and mixed martial arts in the coming months.
For additional information about the Victorville Fire Department and its various training programs, call Battalion Chief Washington at (760) 951-8722.
The history of the Victorville Fire Department dates back to 1926 when the Victorville County Fire Protection District was established. In 1930, the Victorville Volunteer Fire Department was established. In 1976, approximately 14 years after Victorville was incorporated, control of the Victorville Fire Protection District was assumed by the City of Victorville. In March 2019, the City of Victorville re-established its Fire Department after contracting the fire services for 10 years. The Victorville Fire Department is staffed with 60 personnel, and the department is led by Fire Chief Greg Benson.
Located in Southern California at the high-point between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Victorville is the leading city for both industry and retail in the High Desert region. Victorville is a growing, vibrant community that is home to approximately 125,000 residents and some of the area’s largest employers. Clean air, abundant mountain vistas, family-friendly recreational activities, spectacular sunsets and breathtaking night skies entice locals and visitors alike to fall in love with this city that is within a few hours of SoCal beaches, National Parks, mountain retreats, and other major attractions. Ontario International Airport is less than an hour away.