Ten firefighters from Rim Country fire departments are heading to school thanks to a recent grant.
Firefighters from Blue Ridge, Christopher-Kohl’s, Houston Mesa, Whispering Pines and the Tonto Basin fire districts received scholarships to attend an upcoming fire school on behalf of Arizona Public Service.
The Arizona Firefighter Foundation announced APS donated $25,000 to send 65 rural firefighters to the Arizona State Fire School.
Firefighters will go through drills and learn the latest techniques in firefighting.
The school holds 30 to 35 classes at more than 10 locations throughout the Valley, Sept. 4-7, with nearly 1,000 firefighters attending.
The school has been held the past two years without state funding and relies on the support of businesses, like APS.
The Arizona State Fire Training Committee this year funded an additional 30 firefighters, but more help is needed with firefighters still waiting funding.
“Our goal is to establish a permanent endowment to pay for 500 rural firefighters’ tuition to fire school each year,” said Randy Redmond, Sierra Vista Fire chief and director of the foundation. “We have been very fortunate to have support of the businesses like APS, but there are still firefighters that need scholarships to attend the training, so we would love additional support from the community.”
Each APS scholarship is $500 for one firefighter or $750 for two. This covers more than 90 percent of the total cost to attend, including tuition, hotel and per diem.
To donate or for more information, visit www.helparizonafirefighters.com.