Local students' everyday curriculum includes police and firefighter training

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

Little kids say it all the time, ‘Firefighter and Police Officer’ is what they want to be when they grow up. Well, as 3TV shows us, they could be getting that training earlier in life, thanks to a new Valley school.

These students are getting exposure to what police officers and firefighters face everyday on the job, but this isn't a field trip. It’s all part of the daily curriculum at the Franklin Police and Fire High School.

“It is the first school of its kind in the nation,” Dr. Christine Ybarra. “So it's the first school dedicated to police and fire.”

Ybarra has been the school's principal since it opened in 2007.
“As freshman and sophomores they come in and their grounded in academics,” Ybarra said. “They don't get to pick their classes because their pre-selected, so they can go on to a university.  As a junior, they transition to half the day,” she continued. “They do police or fire and the other half of the day they take the rest of their academics.”

When it comes to learning the ropes of public safety in the classroom, instructors are former police, fire and even swat members.

“Our goal is that we want to introduce them to law enforcement, to the fire service, but we don't know if their ever going to get that job,” Joe Wolfer said. “But we know one thing, we want them to be better human beings, better people and we're preparing them for college.”

Wolfer is a law enforcement instructor at the school. He said the students are also learning the importance of teamwork.

“We let them self-train,” he continued. “If I can show you and teach you and you can go teach your partner, you know the subject.”

As for senior Felipe Ramos and freshman Summer Klair, going to Franklin Police and Fire high school is giving them an edge. Not only when it comes to applying for college, but also when it comes to starting a career. 

“I think it's good because they [instructors] already experience it,” Ramos said. “So they’re training us to kind of do it. So when we're ready to be in law enforcement, we'll be ready.”

“I really think what their doing is awesome,” Klair said.  “I'm really into it and I think everyone is going to leave being a leader and have a career and future.”

The school is also excited to have its first graduating class this spring. For more information call (602) 764-0200 or go to Franklin Police & Fire High School.