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Tue, Jan. 28

Ladder Day a ‘rite of passage’ for Valley Academy

Students from Camp Verde, Sedona-Red Rock and Mingus Union high schools participate in Ladder Day, a part of Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education’s Fire Science program. (Photos courtesy of V’ACTE)

Students from Camp Verde, Sedona-Red Rock and Mingus Union high schools participate in Ladder Day, a part of Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education’s Fire Science program. (Photos courtesy of V’ACTE)

CAMP VERDE – A “rite of passage” is what Steve Darby calls Ladder Day at Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education.

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Students from Camp Verde, Sedona-Red Rock and Mingus Union high schools participate in Ladder Day, a part of Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education’s Fire Science program. (Photos courtesy of V’ACTE)

This annual drill, held at Camp Verde High School, affords cadets the opportunity to climb to the top of a fire engine’s 75-foot ladder, then secure their safety harness to the ladder and finally, lean backwards with their arms straight out.

According to Darby, Valley Academy’s Fire Science instructor, 13 high school seniors have enrolled in this year’s program, which includes three from Camp Verde High School, three from Sedona Red Rock High School, six from Mingus Union High School, and one home schooled student.

The program’s fire science students each earn 15 college credits from Yavapai College and are also eligible for the Arizona State Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 certification and the Hazardous Materials First Responder certification.

Through Valley Academy, the community’s career and technical education program, Fire Science is available to all high school seniors from the area’s three local public high schools, as well as from Cottonwood’s American Heritage Academy, other local charter schools, and local home schooled or online students that are at least 17 years old at the beginning of the class.

Students who want to enroll in next year’s program can contact Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education – also known as V’ACTE – at 928-634-7131, or they can reach out to their school’s counselors. 

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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