Firefighters demonstrate skills at the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District academy.

Carrie Hodousek/ KCBS Radio

State Elevates East Bay Fire Academy

Carrie Hodousek
November 03, 2018 - 9:11 am

An East Bay firefighter training program has joined a select group of fire department academies around the state. 

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District announced Friday that its academy has earned accreditation from the California State Fire Marshal Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"It basically prepares someone who may have never even walked into a fire station before to become a professional firefighter and to be able to provide fire rescue and emergency services at the highest level," said Assistant Fire Chief of Training Lon Goetsch.

It's one of 20 such accredited firefighter academies in California.

Fire officials were at the district's Training Division in Concord Friday afternoon to demonstrate lessons from the 18-week program.

"How to utilize hose lines, how to get water to the fire engine and how to apply water in all different types of circumstances," Goetsch explained.

The training, conducted annually, is designed to develop a recruit's ability to function under stress and to perform as a team.

"They've taught us how to be a unit because out at each scene, you're working as a unit together, so everyone has their own job," said firefighter recruit Patrick Largo.

Friday's training session focused on techniques to put out a structure fire, which requires a different approach than extinguishing a wildfire. 

"We're dealing more with the contents of what's inside the room, how the building is structured, what the building looks like. It's a lot different," he said.