Future Firefighters is a volunteer service organization associated with the national Fire Exploring program. Future Firefighters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (EIN 73-1681490). The organization supports potential firefighters and teenage boys and girls around the world through three primary areas:
- Granting U.S.A. and international scholarships/financial aid for firefighter and certification classes
- Offering multi-national, youth engagement opportunities in coordination with fire departments in different countries
- Providing educational and participatory programs and activities through FutureFirefighters.org regarding careers in firefighting and acquiring various firefighting certifications
Firefighter and EMT Scholarships
Future Firefighters provides scholarships (age 17 and above) in four areas:
- Fire Academy training
- Paramedic training
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training
- Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)
Visit the following link for scholarship application forms and instructions:
Future Firefighters programs, activities and scholarships are open to young men and women in any country.
Future Firefighters Introduction from Roland Dykes
Multi-National Youth Programs
Future Firefighters provides multi-national, cultural programs which involves international trips where teenagers visit, learn and train with firefighters in different countries. As well, Future Firefighters hosts visitors from other countries to visit fire stations in the United States.
So far, the programs have included trips to Germany, Alaska, Argentina and New Zealand.
The intent is help kids become well-rounded, independent thinkers, even if they don’t become firefighters.
Part of the qualifications for kids to benefit from these sponsored trips is they must commit to a minimum of 18 months service in the Fire Exploring program. (However, participating in Fire Exploring is not a requirement to receive scholarships).
National Fire Exploring
Fire Exploring is a program divided into numbered local groups called “Posts” which are sponsored and organized by a local fire department.
Fire Service Explorer Posts do not train Explorers to a level of certification, but offer correct methodology for tasks that the Explorer may encounter upon official entry into the fire service. There are strict guidelines and regulations that must be followed for the Explorer’s safety.
Future Firefighters and the Fire Explorers Booster Committee were both founded by Roland Dykes.
Roland Dykes: Founder of Future Firefighters
Roland Dykes is a retired, 31-year veteran firefighter with a passion for helping others.
In May of 1984, Roland began his firefighting career with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Within a few years he was introduced to the Fire Explorers program and became an Explorer Advisor to help young men and women realize their dreams of becoming firefighters.
Roland expanded the Explorers program by creating opportunities for Explorers to travel to other countries to experience international firefighter training. So far, Roland has organized training and cultural expeditions to Germany, Argentina and New Zealand. Additionally, here in the United States, he organized a similar training expedition to Alaska.
As part of these educational expeditions, Explorers participate in drills, exercises and equipment operations with global firefighting brothers and sisters. Additionally, the young men and women compare international techniques with their training from the Los Angeles County Firefighters and Fire Explorers.
Since retiring, Roland has been able to focus even more effort towards the mission of helping youth become firefighters and/or more responsible citizens. Additionally, he founded the nonprofit organization, Future Firefighters, to further support and expand this mission and also established a scholarship program to help young men and women from around the United States and other countries to become firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT).
Roland Dykes Firefighter Awards
- “Explorers, Firefighter Service, Highly Effective Public Service and Community Leadership and Retirement Honor” 2015, California Legislature Assembly Resolution
- “Hall Price” Lifetime Achievement Award 2013, presented by the LA County Explorer Program
- “Exemplary Service Award” 2013, presented by the LA County Fire Department
- “Firefighter of the Year” award 2012, Rotary Club of City of Diamond Bar
- “Overachievers Award” 2011, presented by County of Los Angeles
- “Service Above Self” award 2005, presented by the Rotary Club of Los Angeles
- “Award of Merits” 1998, presented by the LA County Fire Department
Captain Rafael Ortiz, Retired: Ambassador and Future Firefighters Board Member
Rafael Ortiz is a retired captain of the Los Angeles County Fire Department as well and an ambassador and Board Member for Future Firefighters. He is most known for his congenial nature and no-nonsense attitude for getting things done.
Key positions Ortiz has held for twenty-nine years encompass responsible public safety experience in the fire service profession, along with nineteen years as a professional reserve peace officer (POST). Additionally, he has an extensive background in hazardous materials, including biological, radiological and explosives.
He has instructed all manner of subjects and topics for the fire department and is knowledgeable in field exercises, training assessments, and hands-on testing of training programs.
Ortiz has developed organizational charts for response teams in order to orchestrate resources in a manageable manner during times of crisis. As well, he has extensive experience meeting performance objectives set by Federal and State guidelines.
“Your progress is my reward.” Roland Dykes, retired firefighter and founder of Future Firefighters.