Hancock College holds firefighting academy graduation featuring dynamic live demonstration
LOMPOC, Calif. -- Allan Hancock College held a graduation ceremony on Wednesday morning for the latest round of cadets from its respected firefighter academy.
The ceremony by took place at the school's Public Safety Training Complex (PSTC) at Hancock College's Lompoc Valley Center.
"We're happy," said Leonard Champion, Allan Hancock College Fire Academy Coordinator. "We're super proud of the cadets of what they've done, what they've accomplished and all the skills that they've learned and they're ready. They're ready to go out and test and be successful in getting on in any fire department that they choose."
During the two-hour event, the 23 graduating cadets from Battalion 151 performed a dynamic live demonstration of their firefighting skills in front of audience members.
"It's just a lot of excellent skills that we've learned that are going to be crucial for us when we get onto our department," said graduate Eric Nisich.
The graduation ceremony marked the completion of a rigorous evaluation for the cadets, which included more than 600 hours of classroom and skills training.
"It's a little surreal," said graduate Keana Viss. "We learned a lot in just this short period of time and it's pretty amazing to see how far we've come and grown as a group."
Each of the graduates have met and exceeded the state and national certification training standards for Firefighter I Certification.
Thirteen of the graduates have already secured jobs as firefighters for various agencies across California, including some on the Central Coast.
"It's really validating about what we're doing here at the academy and what we provide," said Champion. "The skill level is amazing. The students are already getting jobs, so it just goes to show the types of cadets that we're attracting and the training that we're providing them is really preparing them for the future."
Champion noted it won't be long until the next group of cadets are going through the program. Thirty cadets are signed up for Battalion 152, which starts training in early August.