The Columbia College Fire Academy will hold its graduation ceremony and presentation of certificates on Wednesday, April 30th, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Oak Pavilion. The event is open to the public.
Certificates will be awarded to 26 students based on their successful completion of the academic and manipulative training as mandated for a California Firefighter Level One. Before applying to the state for Firefighter I Certification, students must still complete six months of full-time or one year of part-time field experience. “Some of the graduates have been hired by the Columbia College Fire Department, local Fire Districts, City of Sonora, Tuolumne County Fire Department, or seasonal employment with CAL FIRE or the United States Forest Service. Most students have obtained intern or volunteer positions at local fire departments since entering the academy,” said Shane Warner, college fire technology instructor. “Many of the students will pursue full-time jobs in the fire service once their education is completed at Columbia College.”
In addition to the “routine” fire training classes, specialized training was delivered involving Auto Extrication, Confined Space Awareness, Incident Command System 200, Hazardous Material First Responder Operation, Firefighter Safety and Survival, Basic Power Saw Safety, Low Angle Rope Rescue, Emergency Medical Responder and live fire suppression training. Another component that has been embedded in many of the certifications is the CAL FIRE Basic Wildland Firefighter Certification (179 hours).
The event will open with traditional bagpipes being played. Angela R. Fairchilds Ph.D., Columbia College President, will deliver a welcome message. Todd Skrabak, Aptos/La Selva Fire Department Division Chief – Training, will deliver the keynote address, and Mike Ferreira, Captain/Paramedic from Ebbetts Pass Fire Department will present closing thoughts.
Family and friends will view a student produced audio/visual presentation of their intensive 16 weeks of training. The rigorous training is designed to help serious candidates meet the requirements for demanding careers as professional firefighters, including more than 576 hours of academic and manipulative training.
Spring 2014 Columbia College Fire Academy Certificate Recipients:
For additional information, contact Shane Warner, Fire Technology Program Coordinator, at (209) 588-5308.