The future firefighters of Fire Academy Class 51 participated in their final burns on Thursday, November 16 at the St. Petersburg College Fire and Public Safety Center in Clearwater, Florida.
In the final three weeks of the academy, the class battled a liquid propane pit fire. The burn was controlled by two live fire training instructors. Members of the class’s family and friends were able to watch them take their turn at the nozzle as cadets battled the fire. Each of the 28 members of Class 51 had a chance to stand at the front of the hose as the class fought the fire. Soon they will take their college practical and state certified firefighter exam.
“They’ve spent the last nine weeks learning how to properly don their personal protective equipment, their air pack, and then hose management as well as teamwork,” said Fire Academy Instructor Mark Prohaska on the St. Petersburg College Facebook Live broadcast of the burn.
For Cadet Steven Lecroy, firefighting is a family affair. After he completes his exam, he hopes to join his sister in serving with the Tampa Fire Rescue Department. He would be the third member of his family to serve with the fire department, his sisters are five- and seven-year firefighting veterans, and his father served with the department for twenty five years.
He described his turn at the nozzle, “an incredible feeling- and incredible heat. If you don’t like firefighting after that, I don’t know how else you can learn to like it.”
SPC’s College of Public Safety Administration offers certificates that provide training in specific and employable skills such as computer-related crime investigation, homeland security and crime scene technology – all of which can be applied to an associate degree in either Fire Science Technology, Crime Scene Technology, Emergency Administration and Management or Criminal Justice Technology.