Thank you for taking the time to familiarize yourself with our team of highly qualified professionals who will be working to ensure your career and educational goals are met!

Matthew Trent

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President – Instructor

Matthew Trent started his fire service career in 2006. Matthew has served in the position of Firefighter, Driver/Engineer, Lieutenant, and now serves in the position of Battalion Chief in the Operations Section for his organization. In 2010, he achieved an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science & Technology and in 2013 a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Administration from Edison State College. In 2014, Matt completed his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Barry University and received Fire Officer Designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). In 2015, Matt was designated as Member (MIFireE) by the Institution of Fire Engineers. In early 2017, Matt received the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the CPSE.
Currently, Matt is continuing his educational journey with Walden University, pursuing a PhD in Public Policy and Administration with an emphasis in Emergency Management. Additionally, he is a student in the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFO) at the National Fire Academy. Matt has participated on the International Fire Chiefs Association (IAFC) Company Officer’s Section Strategic Planning Committee and as a Peer Reviewer for the International Public Safety Association (ISPA) Executive Journal Committee. Passionate about instructing and academic delivery, he serves as an Adjunct Instructor for Florida Southwestern State College.
Well-accomplished, he has successfully written numerous grants; including the FEMA SAFER grant and developed numerous SOPs and SOGs to help improve both public and private organizations. Matt is extremely dedicated to improving safety through research and development, as he is embarking on empirical research pertaining to “How post-disaster community resilience contributes to firefighter line-of-duty deaths”. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Danielle and their two wonderful children, Paxton and Annelise.

EDUCATION CREDENTIALS AND CERTIFICATIONS
  • Ph.D. Public Policy and Administration w/specialization in Emergency Management (in progress)
  • Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Barry University
  • Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFO)
  • Member Grade (MIFireE)
  • Fire Officer IV
  • Instructor III
  • Live Fire Burn Instructor II
  • Florida Safety Officer
  • Hazardous Materials Technician
  • Fire Safety Inspector II
  • Fire Investigator
  • Pump Operator
  • Firefighter II
  • EMT-Basic
  • NIMS Instructor
PRO BOARD AND NATIONAL CERTIFICATIONS
  • Firefighter I/II
  • Fire Officer IV
  • Hazardous materials First Responder at the Operations level with Product Control
  • Hazardous Materials Technician
  • Fire Instructor II
  • Fire Inspector I/II
  • Plans Examiner I
  • NREMT-Basic

Jay Harper

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Adjunct Instructor

Jay Harper has been in the fire service for over thirty-one years, which began in 1984 as a volunteer and a paramedic for over twenty-four years. Harper has been with his current department as a Lieutenant/Paramedic for fifteen years. In 2006, he completed an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science & Technology from Florida Southwestern State College (formerly Edison State College) in 2006, a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2007 from Hodges University and a Master’s in Professional Studies in 2011 from Hodges University as well. Currently, I am in my second Internship with the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program with Hodges University, which will be completed in early 2016. The goal with the mental health degree will be to assist emergency service providers that suffer from cancer. I have been a CPR instructor since 1994, was an EMT instructor with Southwestern State College, a past Basic Trauma Life Support instructor and have taught with Southwest Florida Public Service Academy (Fort Myers Fire Academy) since 2007. I love teaching and my goal is to make the learning experience fun for all students.

EDUCATION CREDENTIALS AND CERTIFICATIONS
  • Master’s in Professional Studies-Hodges University
  • Fire Officer IV
  • Instructor III
  • Live Fire Burn Adjunct Instructor
  • State of Florida Safety Officer
  • Fire Safety Inspector II
  • Fire Investigator I
  • Pump Operator
  • Firefighter II
  • Florida Paramedic
  • Life Safety Educator
  • National Registry Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic