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Columbia, Calif. – With the anticipation of a possible busy fire season, Columbia College announced the graduation of its fire academy students just in time for the start of fire season.
Last Thursday (4/28), 33 students graduated and received certificates of completion from the Fire Technology program. Certificates are awarded once students have successfully completed the academic and manipulative training required for California Firefighter 1 & 2 certification. Before applying for state certification, students must complete six months of full-time experience or a year of part-time field experience prior to applying for state certification.
“Some graduates will apply for or continue to reserve, trainee and volunteer positions with local fire departments that they have held since entering the academy,” said Chief Shane Warner, coordinator/instructor of the Columbia College Fire Technology program. Instructor Andy Van Hoogmoed added, “Some students have already completed the standard application process for seasonal employment with CAL Fire, the Forest Service and local fire departments.”
Chief Warner also noted that the students went through an intense, rigorous 16-week training designed to help serious candidates meet the demands of professional firefighting careers. This included over 576 hours of academic and manipulative training.