On December 12, HCISD held a ribbon-cutting for a fire training structure which will allow our Fire Academy students to complete required live-fire training.
The fire simulator was made possible by a triple partnership between HCISD, the city of Harlingen, and the Texas Workforce Commission.
“This structure is proof of what collaboration can provide for our community,” HCISD Board President Dr. Bobby Muniz said. “On behalf of the school board, I would like to say thank you to the Texas Workforce Commission and the city of Harlingen for partnering with HCISD so that together we can provide this opportunity for our students and our community.”
HCISD opened its Fire Academy in 2018 in collaboration with the city of Harlingen. Cadets in the Fire Academy are taught the skills required for certification by Harlingen firefighters.
“This gives me peace of mind knowing that my family is secure,” Harlingen Mayor Norma Sepulveda said. “I met so many of the firefighters over the last few months and I will tell you that the brave men and women of the Harlingen Fire Department, I would put them against any fire department in the country because they are committed and dedicated and work hard 24/7. To know that our students are going to be working side by side with these brave men and women brings me satisfaction as a constituent of my own community.”
Back in May 2022, Commissioner Julian Alvarez, representing Labor on the Texas Workforce Commission, presented the district with a JET grant check for $332,500 which allowed for the purchase of the structure.
“These seniors that are here today are receiving credentials that will make them employable once they finish their state exam,” Commissioner Alvarez said. “I represent the interest of 14.5 million workers, but I will tell you one thing, I talk about this fire simulator everywhere I go, and I talk about the innovative things that are happening in the Rio Grande Valley.”
The fire training structure is located on the grounds of the Harlingen Fire Administration Building and will be used for training purposes by both students and firefighters.
It is the only fire training structure in Cameron County and the only of its kind in the state of Texas.
“As we sat and discussed what proposal we were going to bring forward for this JET grant,” Superintendent Dr. Alicia Noyola said. “One of the things that was clear for us was that whatever it was could not just impact our school district, but it had to also impact our community and so this fire simulator was the answer. We are incredibly proud and grateful for the community partnerships that we have here in Harlingen and definitely the partnership that we have with the Texas Workforce Commission.”