Just outside the Fire Technology and Administration of Justice classrooms is a flagpole that has been dedicated by Basic Academy 9 to “Our fallen Heroes.”
The dedication does not refer exclusively to those fallen in the national tragedy of September 11. In fact, the flagpole was erected prior to the attacks. The sentiment, however, has become more poignant in recent months.
Such sentiment may partially explain the jump in student enrollment this semester in Yuba College’s Fire Technology program.While last semester fifteen students were enrolled in the Fire Technology program, this semester thirty-six are enrolled, more than twice the enrollment of last semester.
However, most Fire Technology students say that their choice of career is not a knee-jerk reaction to the events of September 11. They are simply furthering their goals of serving the public as fire fighters. Mike Yandell, a volunteer for the Wheatland Plumas Brophy Fire District, said, “It’s the certifications I’m after!”
One of Yandells’ fellow cadets, Dan Hatz, said, “I’m furthering my career in Firefighting, and of course the heightened awareness due to September 11 is a good reason to be here, but it was not the deciding factor in my decision to join.”
According to Gary Schoessler, Director of Public Safety Training Programs, “All across the state more students are enrolling in Administration of Justice classes. Each student has his own reasons for this unique and rewarding, if not hazardous, training.”
Schoessler also explained that there has been an increase in the number of older students enrolled in the programs.
Fire Academy students are continually training and improving their specialized skills. For example, February 20 was a special training day for “Low Angle Rescue.” Cadets took a plunge off buildings using rappelling harnesses.
This March will be scenario training, said Schoessler. “Anyone interested in role playing is encouraged to join in and help. The volunteers will be asked to play the role of sick and/or injured persons in various scenes designed to enhance each of the cadet’s training by incorporating all the elements of an actual emergency.”
Schoessler claims, ” The local Law Enforcement and Fire Districts have been very generous with all their help in time and equipment for these scenario training days.”
The community works with Yuba College Fire Technology students to live out their class motto: “the desire to serve, the courage to act, the ability to perform.”
The students of this semester’s fire academy, Fire Academy 11, will graduate May 3, at 2 p.m. Applications for Academy 12 will be accepted beginning May 20.
Applications should be submitted to Deanna Tinsley in the Public Safety Center, room 725, and are accepted on a first come, first served basis. The college program caps enrollment at 40 cadets.
Next semester’s academy will begin its training and instruction on August 26.