The Utah Fire and Rescue Academy (UFRA) emerged from a long tradition of providing Fire Service education in Utah. For over 30 years, Utah Valley University has been the sole provider of fire-related higher education to the firefighters of Utah.
In the early 1980s, standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) led to the development of programs designed to certify firefighters. What was then Utah Valley Community College became the agency charged with the responsibility to oversee the certification program for Utah. As this program developed, it became apparent that most of the firefighters in the state did not have the resources or skills to meet the NFPA standards on their own.
In 1993, by legislative action and through the efforts of many dedicated people, the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy was founded and situated as part of Utah Valley State's Fire Science Program. Funding for UFRA was provided by a state grant derived from a tax on fire insurance premiums. Over the next ten years, UFRA grew in scope and became the main source of training for rural firefighters, as well as a great aide to the metropolitan fire departments.
Recently, due to the expanding role of emergency responders within homeland security and disaster response, the Institute of Emergency Services and Homeland Security was created at Utah Valley University. UFRA has become a vital part of this Institute. The Institute provides services through three platforms: Staff and Command Development (in which UFRA is a major contributor), Academic Development, and Research and New Program Development. Through these platforms, the professionalism and impact of our nation's first responders will be enhanced and improved.