Columbia College Fire Academy officials recently announced that 29 successful students have received degrees and certificates of completion from the Fire Technology Program. Students who have completed Firefighter 1 and 2 should receive their certificates at 6pm on December 15, 2022 in the Oak Pavilion
Certificates are awarded upon successful completion of the academic and manipulative training required for California Firefighter 1 & 2 certification. Students must also complete six months full-time or one year of part-time practical experience before applying for state recognition.
“Some graduates will apply for or continue in reserve, internship, and volunteer positions with local fire departments that they have held since entering the academy,” said Chief Shane Warner, Columbia College Fire Department Technology Program Coordinator/Instructor.
Instructor Andy Van Hoogmoed noted, “Students have the opportunity to complete the standard application process for seasonal employment with CAL FIRE, the US Forest Service and local fire departments.”
The students completed an intensive 16-week rigorous training designed to help serious candidates meet the requirements for a career as a professional firefighter, including more than 616 hours of academic and manipulative training, according to Chief Warner.
In addition to “routine” firefighting training, they received specialized training in dispatch systems, hazardous materials, seasonal firefighting courses in wild areas, confined spaces, basic chainsaw safety, and vehicle extrication.
Special thanks to the Columbia College Fire Department, Copperopolis Fire District, Ebbetts Pass Fire District, Columbia Fire District, Sonora City Fire Department, Twain Harte Fire Department, Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indian Rancheria Fire Department, Tuolumne City Fire Department, Mi Wuk Sugar Pine Fire Department, Tuolumne County Fire Department, CAL FIRE TCU, Hayward Fire Department, Merced Fire Department and Sierra Conservation Center.
“Columbia College Fire Science students are considered role models on our campus,” said Steve Amador, dean of technical vocational education. “These students are hardworking and committed to their success. I am proud of every single one of them.”
Columbia College President Dr. Lena Tran, said: “I welcome our graduates. Firefighters have a demanding job that requires strength, dedication and motivation, challenging their mental, emotional and physical readiness. We are proud to know that our students are well trained to serve the community.”