RCHS Fire Science Program Launches Career

Rock Canyon High School’s Fire Science Program Launches Successful Career
Posted on 04/19/2024

Rock Canyon High School’s Fire Science Program Launches Successful Career Upon graduating high school, Matthew Jablonski took his first steps to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter. He enrolled at Arapahoe Community College, where he received his Emergency Medical Technician certification. Matthew then attended Aims Community College where he earned Colorado State Firefighter 1 and Hazardous Materials Operations certifications. In July 2023, he joined Brighton Fire Rescue District as a firefighter.

“My proudest moment since graduating from Chaparral High School was completing the North Area Fire Academy and being pinned as a firefighter with Brighton Fire Rescue District as the youngest cadet among 22 others. Becoming a firefighter was my lifelong dream. Hugging my mom after I was pinned with my firefighter badge and telling her I did it, meant the world to me,” said Matthew.

Man sitting on fire truckA memory that has stuck with Matthew from high school was being able to meet his best friends. One was in the same kindergarten class with him at Cherokee Trail Elementary and now they are both firefighters.

“During my last three years of high school, I knew college just wasn't for me, and being a firefighter was going to be my path. Many teachers supported me, but Mrs. Gappinger, Mr. Mullens, Coach Jeff Ketron, Mrs. Howard, and Mr. Chapman stepped up to make this possible. They all worked extra hours going above and beyond to make sure I had every available resource and were there for me every step of the way. They were more than teachers to me. They became my idols, my motivation to be the best, and individuals who I could go to and trust with anything,” he said.

headshotAs a student at Chaparral High School, Matthew took advantage of the opportunity to enroll in the Fire Science Program at Rock Canyon High School.

“I owe so much to the Rock Canyon Fire Science Program. This program gave me a big stepping stone into fire service, especially getting into the career field right out of high school. The amount of training, instructors, and resources this program exposes you to gives aspiring high school students the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see what being a firefighter is like and be one step closer to a career coming out of high school. I truly would not be where I am today without everything this program has given and taught me along my journey,” said Matthew.

Looking back on his high school years, Matthew says he would tell his 15-year-old self that everything you’re about to do won’t have a path to the finish line.

“You will need to create the path every step of the way. You’ll have to work harder than you ever thought possible, stay up late, get up very early, and believe in yourself even when you have no idea where you are headed. As long as you keep your head up, show up every day, and never give up, you will get to tell your parents you have achieved every dream you ever had. And when you get to that day, cherish every step it took to get there, and remember those who walked along the path with you,” he said.

Matthew wants to help give back to his community by helping others explore first responder careers.

“I am currently planning on how I can create a foundation for high school students to have the opportunity for exposure to first responder careers and have the resources necessary to have a head start in beginning their careers in public service. I also plan to attend paramedic school to serve my community,” he said.

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