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Columbia College Graduates Fire Academy Students
Columbia College

The Columbia College Fire Academy will recognize 34 students who have successfully met the requirements for graduation and earned Certificates of Completion from the Fire Technology Program. Students who completed Firefighter 1 and 2 will be awarded their certificates on Thursday, Dec. 14 at Columbia College in Oak Pavilion at 6 p.m.

Certificates are awarded upon students’ successful completion of academic and manipulative training mandated for California Firefighter 1 and 2 Certification. The students must additionally complete six months of full-time or a year of part-time field experience before applying for the state certification.

“Some graduates will apply for or continue with reserve, intern, and volunteer positions at local fire departments that they’ve held since entering the academy,” said Chief Shane Warner, Columbia College Fire Technology Program Coordinator/Instructor.

Instructor Andy Van Hoogmoed added, “Students are given the opportunity to complete the standard application process for seasonal employment with CalFire, US Forest Service, and local fire agencies.”

The students completed an intense 16 weeks of rigorous training designed to help serious candidates meet the requirements for careers as professional firefighters, including more than 616 hours of academic and manipulative training, according to Chief Warner.

In addition to routine fire training classes, they received specialized training in Incident Command Systems, Hazardous Materials, Firefighter Survival, Low Angle Rope Rescue, Mental Health and Peer Support, Confined Space, Basic Power Saw Safety, and Common Passenger Vehicle Rescue.