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Industry Council: Fire Science


As part of the City of Rockford’s efforts to be involved in the Rockford Public Schools, the Alignment Rockford Industry Councils were formed to build a robust pipeline for students who are interested in a career in public safety from elementary to post-secondary education. In addition, the council works to implement different tactics to streamline careers within Fire Science Pathways including: EMT, EMR, Firefighter, and pre-med. Students that are interested in these careers will be able to have robust work-based learning experiences through the Rockford Fire Department. Alignment Rockford hopes to expand these experiences to middle and elementary schools. 


To provide elementary and middle school students career awareness experiences within the Rockford Fire Department; To develop robust experiences within the Fire Science pathway at Rock Valley College; To provide high school students with work-based learning experiences directly connected to careers within the Rockford Fire Department resulting in college credits and industry certification. 

Growing talent from within the Rockford Public Schools will ensure continuity of services, a supply of high quality recruiting prospects, and a sustainable way to satisfy a long-term employee need for the City of Rockford. 


How does the council plan do accomplish this? The council has identified a few tactics that will help reach our goals as outlined in the Industry Council vision. Click on each tactic below to learn more.

Rig visits incorporate a career awareness component though science and social studies curriculum for 5th grade students. Rig visits are currently implemented at the Rockford Fire Department. The Industry Council will create a standard work around this experience for students. This tactic has not been started yet. Come back to soon to see updates! 

Site visits demonstrate to students and teachers how technology tools are used in the daily world of Fire services. Students will visit the academy headquarters to get a first real look at what firefighters (and other careers within the fire science realm) do every day. They will be able to use the equipment. The visit is for students who are interested in health and public service careers. 

This tactic is in it’s pilot phase. Schools attended site visits at these locations: 

  • East High School – April 3, Fire Station 3 
  • Jefferson High School – April 16, Fire Station 3
  • Auburn High School – April 18, Fire Station 3 
  • Roosevelt High School – April 26, Fire Station 3

Out of the surveys that were collected: 90% of students found the Site Visit interesting; 70% of students were still interested in a career in health or public service; 30% of students weren’t sure or wanted to change their focus; 90% of students learned something new! 

IDES data suggests that Fire Science careers will increase by 4.13% from 2016 to 2026. In the Winnebago County area, EMT Paramedic jobs will increase by 3.17%, Firefighter jobs will increase by 2.01%, and ambulance drivers/attendant jobs will increase by 13.64% from 2014 to 2024. This pilot will create interested and qualified candidates for Fire Science careers (upon completion of the courses) to fill the state and regional need.  

This initiative will provide students with an EMT Certification Course option for dual credit through RVC in the HS Academy and various pathways. Students will receive their EMT Certification (after taking the course and the test). This certification is required or desired at most pre-medical careers. 

Right now, the team is discussing options for which healthcare system will be able to teach the courses.

This summer program will combine work-based learning with summer fun! 

The Rockford Fire Department currently holds an annual summer camp. By aligning resources with RPS, this team will create a plan around summer programming to keep track of successes and opportunities for improvement for years to come. This camp will be scheduled for Summer 2019. More details to come!