On May 18, 29 fire cadets from of City College’s Fire Fighter One Academy became the 15th class to graduate and receive the Educational Fire Fighter One Certificate authorized by the California State Fire Marshall.
These graduates are now qualified to test with fire departments all over California and can take Fire Science 105A, which gives the graduate practical work experience as a trainee in a local firehouse.
The Fire Fighter One Academy has been offered through City College since 2008. The academy itself is a one semester class spread over 300 hours. It is divided into two evening class lectures per week and a full day of hands on training on the weekend.
Weekend trainings start out with a heavy dose of physical training and are followed by fire science specific trainings.
This training includes how to load hose on fire engines and deploy from an engine, the use of self contained breathing apparatus in fires, how to raise and lower ground ladders, the use of forcible entry tools, how to work in live fire environments, and the proper handling of hazardous materials.
The diverse faculty come from fire departments all over the bay area and are either working firefighters or recently retired from the fire service.
“The instructors are dedicated to the success of the cadets,” Captain Jim Connors said, the Fire Academy Coordinator.
There are a handful of prerequisites including classes covering an introduction to fire science and Public Safety that should be taken before joining Fire Science 111, the Fire Fighter One Academy.
Recent graduates of the academy have taken full-time firefighter jobs all over California in city fire departments, for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.
Other graduates have gone on to take jobs in West Virginia, Texas and the ever illusive Fire Department, City of New York.
Connors said getting a full-time job as a firefighter in New York City is a great privilege since New York City residents are given top priority followed by New York State residents.
The graduates also come from a diverse background.
“Our class exemplifies the meaning of diversity; it is a microcosm of our society today. Our ages range from 19-39,” Scott Eisen said, a graduate of Class 2015, in the speech he gave at the commencement ceremony in May.
“We work as carpenters, contractors, insurance underwriters, paralegals, ramp leads at SFO, EMT’s, Paramedics, and we even have a Starbucks barista within our ranks. Our international community is also represented with students from Belarus, Russia and France. This is in fact, what today’s modern day fire service looks like,” Eisen said.
To be a part of the next Fire Fighter One Academy class or for more information contact Monica McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 452-7302 or Jim Connors, Fire Academy Coordinator at email@example.com or (415) 239-3359