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Ten DMC Regional Fire Academy Cadets Get Tested During Live Fire Exercises

Hands-on exercises put cadets through paces as part of program completion requirements; individuals wanting to attend College’s spring academy have until Dec. 10 to submit application

Article by Rosa Linda Reynoso

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On Wednesday, Nov. 17, it was time for the BIG test! Dressed in full firefighting gear and using appropriate equipment, 10 cadets with Del Mar College’s Regional Fire Academy demonstrated the skills they’ve learned to extinguish flames overtaking various practice props. 

Cadets extinguished LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) live burns by suppressing flames of a burning car and dumpster. During the exercises, they wore full personal protective equipment, including a self-contained breathing apparatus. Faculty with the College’s Department of Public Service scrutinized procedures the cadets demonstrated to determine if these future firefighters extinguished the fires correctly or violated any safety issues.

Michael Schmidt, DMC Fire Science Program Director and Instructor, says that the exercises are a requirement for students to fulfill all aspects of firefighting operations for certification by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP). “The commission oversees firefighting training statewide and mandates the different types of scenarios the College performs during the live fire burning evolutions,” he noted. 

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DMC’s program also uses a two-story burn tower for search patterns, fire extinguisher training and for live fire evolutions and rescue simulations. Cadets receive instruction about fire behavior, rappelling and the utilization of a self-contained breathing apparatus. 

To meet the growing emergency medical services responsibilities of the modern firefighter, the Academy also includes Basic– Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) courses, including basic first aid, the mechanics of saving a life using Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, and administering oxygen, among other skills.

Cadets will take the TCFP examination for certification upon completing the College’s program. The Academy’s current state certification pass rate is 92% for DMC cadets taking the exam for the first time compared to the average first-time pass rate in Texas of 50%.

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The DMC Regional Fire Academy offers a Level II Basic Firefighter Certificate and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Fire Science/Basic Firefighting Option. The Academy is one of eight programs in the College’s Public Service Department located on the Windward Campus (Old Brownsville and Airport Roads).

Currently, application packets are available for the Spring/Summer Regional Fire Academy. The deadline for submission is Friday, Dec. 10. All applicants must complete the College’s admissions process prior to applying to the Academy.

Information about the College’s Fire Science Program is available at www.delmar.edu/degrees/fire-science/index.html. Individuals can also contact the Public Service Department at 361-698-1724 or publicsafety@delmar.edu.

About Del Mar College

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.