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Santa Barbara County Fire Department to hold live fire training for new recruits

Santa Barbara County Fire Training
Santa Barbara County Fire Department recruits go through training drills at the Hancock College Public Safety Training Complex on Sept. 12, 2023. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

LOMPOC, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Fire Department held live fire training Tuesday afternoon at the Allan Hancock College Public Safety Training Complex in Lompoc Valley Center.

The drills were part of an soon-to-be-completed training program for six firefighters who are taking part in a "lateral academy," meaning they are coming on board the department from other agencies.

"They're learning how they how to do our operations because all six personnel come from other departments," said Santa Barbara County Fire Department Public Information Officer Scott Safechuck. "They're learning how we do our ropes systems, how we deploy our hoses, just all the different type of disciplines that we deal with from hose to medical emergencies to just all the policies and procedures that are specific to this county."

The new firefighters have been hired by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department having already worked for other departments, and bring with them previous training and experience levels, but need to compete this specific training for their new position to officially join the staff.

"There's commonalities between the different, different fire departments, ut every fire department does their operations slightly different," said Safechuck. "It's important that they come on board, learn how do we do it, and then the operations are more effective and safer."

The eight-week long training course is finishing this week and culminated in Tuesday's dramatic live training exercise at the Public Safety Complex.

"We put them through a state course which is called Fire Control Three, or we put them through several evolutions of live fire," said training captain Matt Osborne. "It's a smoke filled environment, lots of heat, limited visibility. It doesn't get any more real than this. We try to give them the most realistic scenarios to prepare them for a real event."

On Friday, the six firefighters will graduate from the training, take an oath and earn their county badge, making them immediately ready to answer the call once they soon begin their position.

"It's been a dream of mine for a while now to have a county patch on my shoulder and wear a county hat," said recruit Jayden Davis. "I'm just really excited to get this started."

Article Topic Follows: Safety
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Dave Alley

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