Regional Fire Academy Cadets Test Their Skills by Extinguishing Live Fires
Article by: Rosa Linda Reynoso
The time came for the big test. Dressed in full firefighting gear and using appropriate equipment, 27 students with the College’s Regional Fire Academy demonstrated the skills they’ve learned to extinguish flames overtaking various practice props.
Cadets put out LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) live burns by suppressing flames of a burning car and dumpster, along with props that mimic those devices used in a refinery setting––including a liquid fuel spill and an LPG tank. During the exercises, cadets wore full personal protective equipment, including a self-contained breathing apparatus.
Faculty with the College’s Department of Public Safety Education watched to see if these future firefighters violated any safety issues while extinguishing the fires to ensure the processes were executed correctly.
Michael Schmidt, DMC assistant instructor and program director, says the exercises are a requirement for students to fulfill all aspects of firefighting operations for certification by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. He adds that the commission oversees the training and mandates the different types of scenarios the College performs during the live fire burning evolutions.
The program also uses a two-story burn tower for fire and rescue simulations.
Among skills individuals learn through the DMC Regional Fire Academy are the mechanics of saving a life using Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, including how to count chest compressions and perform an exercise administering oxygen to mannequins. Students also learn basic first aid and receive instruction about fire behavior, rappelling and the utilization of a self-contained breathing apparatus.
More information about Del Mar College’s Fire Science Academy is available at: www.delmar.edu/degrees/fire-science/index.html.
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.