When Pahranagat Valley High School (PVHS) class of 2015 graduate, Utah Ray, enrolled in Utah Valley University’s Firefighter Recruit Candidate Academy (RCA), he had no idea there would be a connection to his hometown.
Shortly after instruction began in January 2022, Ray applied within the academy to be a company officer. Recruits were required to submit an essay detailing why they believed they were qualified to lead their fellow recruits. Ray mentioned in his essay that he had been a football team captain who had helped lead his team to a state championship. This seemed to pique the interest of his lead instructor. Ray was questioned by his instructor about where he had played high school football. When he revealed that he had played football for PVHS, Ray was questioned in detail about the multiyear winning streak and his various coaches by name.
As he was being questioned about his time at PVHS, Ray wondered how his instructor could possibly know so much about his little high school in rural Nevada. His instructor finally revealed that he also was a PVHS alumnus, class of 1989’s William Mackintosh. After graduating from PVHS, Mackintosh served in the United States Marine Corps and has been a firefighter for the Salt Lake City Fire Department since 2006. Mackintosh has been an RCA instructor since 2007. After serving as an instructor for 15 years, Ray was Macintosh’s first student from the Pahranagat Valley.
Ray graduated from the RCA on April 21. He represented his hometown very well by earning the Physical Training Excellence Award, the Outstanding RCA Student Award (selected by his peers), and the Recruit Excellence Award & Instructor Recommendation (selected by his instructors).
Ray looks forward to the next chapter of his life and looks forward to starting his career in the fire service very soon.