Story and Photos by Rick Snodgrass
Twenty three recruits are currently enrolled in the Lakewood Fire Academy. This is a multi-agency recruit academy consisting of; Lakewood Fire (4 personnel), University Place Fire (8 personnel), Gig Harbor Fire (6 personnel), and Graham Fire (4 personnel).
Having multiple agencies participating helps with realistic fire operations, team building, as well as equipment and cost sharing.
This eleven week academy covers many aspects of fire fighting, starting with the basics then moving into advanced fire fighting techniques.
Classes cover most aspects of actual firefighting including, hose handling, search and rescue, fire behavior, fire streams, ladders, and hazardous materials. Many hours are spent on the drill ground as well as classroom training and tests. As the recruits get the basics established they move on to advanced training with live fire, training for flammable liquids and multiple company operations.
The “Red Knights” fire academy is very demanding mentally and physically. Physical training is a big part of becoming a firefighter. This class starts everyday with stretching and a workout which often continues through the day on the drill ground.
Graduation will be held June 20, 2008 at 6 PM at the Sharon McGavick Center, Clover Park Technical College Bldg. #23, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, WA 98499.