Front row, left to right: Dallas A. Ray; Dakota J. Flowers; William J. Campos; Jon R. Hamby; Destiny Robles-Hamrick; Danielle B. Cox; Justin A. Wells; and Casey Silvers, fire and rescue school director. Back Row, left to right: Michael Ostrander, fire and rescue qualified assistant; Michael C. Ehlen; Christopher A. Alquiza; Kyle C. Uptain; Tyler B. Williams; Austin K. Reynolds; Joshua D. Girmann; Jesse I. Chavez; and Fred W. Klumpp. Photo by: Rich Keen.

Fire Academy of Blue Ridge Community College Graduates 17

Featured Photo: Front row, left to right: Dallas A. Ray; Dakota J. Flowers; William J. Campos; Jon R. Hamby; Destiny Robles-Hamrick; Danielle B. Cox; Justin A. Wells; and Casey Silvers, fire and rescue school director. Back Row, left to right: Michael Ostrander, fire and rescue qualified assistant; Michael C. Ehlen; Christopher A. Alquiza; Kyle C. Uptain; Tyler B. Williams; Austin K. Reynolds; Joshua D. Girmann; Jesse I. Chavez; and Fred W. Klumpp. Photo by: Rich Keen.


Benjamin Rickert, Marketing & Communications Dept.

Fueling the fire fighting workforce of Western North Carolina, the Henderson County Fire Academy graduated 17 cadets during a July 1 ceremony held in the Bo Thomas Auditorium of Blue Ridge Community College. Over three months, the cadets learned basic skills and competencies of the firefighting profession and earned the North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal certification.

The annual Fire Academy is a partnership between Blue Ridge Community College and the Henderson County Fire and Rescue Association. In addition to campus resources, area fire and rescue agencies provide equipment, personnel, and facilities that ensure students experience numerous realistic training scenarios. Upon graduation, academy graduates are prepared and qualified to begin entry-level careers in fire departments statewide.

“We applaud our most recent Fire Academy graduates for choosing a career path that serves the public safety needs of our community,” said Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, president of Blue Ridge Community College. “This spring, each graduate showed commitment and perseverance in learning the essential skills of the life-saving firefighting profession. We’re proud to continue this collaboration with the Henderson County Fire and Rescue Association and local fire agencies to build a stronger public safety workforce in Western North Carolina.”

The graduation event featured congratulatory remarks by Casey Silvers, fire and rescue school director; Dr. Scott Queen, vice president of economic and workforce development; and Michael Ostrander, fire and rescue qualified assistant. Graduates were celebrated by public safety and fire department representatives, families and College leaders, including President Leatherwood.

“We are extremely proud and appreciative of our Fire Academy graduates,” said Dr. Queen. “Choosing a profession so critical to the safety of our communities is truly admirable.”

Registration is now open for the Fall 2024 Henderson County Fire Academy, which begins August 26, 2024, and runs through November 29, 2024. Additionally, Blue Ridge offers a fire protection technology associate degree, a certificate or diploma in fire protection, as well as numerous fire and rescue certification programs. Visit www.blueridge.edu/fire to learn more, view course schedules and enroll online.

The Spring 2024 Fire Academy graduates of Blue Ridge Community College included:

Christopher A. Alquiza

William J. Campos

Jessie I. Chavez

Danielle B. Cox

Michael L. Davis

Michael C. Ehlen

Dakota J. Flowers

Joshua D. Girmann

Jon R. Hamby

Benjamin E. Julian

Fred W. Klumpp

Dallas A. Ray

Austin K. Reynolds

Destiny Robles-Hamrick

Kyle C. Uptain

Justin A. Wells

Tyler B. Williams