DOWNEY – The 43rd annual California Fire Exploring Academy, featuring more than 150 aspiring firefighters, is being held in Downey this week.
The academy opened Monday, with fire explorers ranging in age from 16-20, along with 80 firefighter advisors from fire departments throughout California and Nevada, in attendance.
Downey High School is hosting the academy, which is being put on by the fire departments of Downey, Montebello and Santa Fe Springs.
The fire academy is a division of Learning for Life and the Boy Scouts of America. Participating cadets spend their spring break training on firefighting instruction and hands-on training in vehicle extrication, wildland firefighting, fire ground survival, structural firefighting and “old fashioned muster.”
Each training session involves mock experiences utilizing live fire, props and professional tools used throughout a firefighter’s career.
Cadets who finish the program will participate in a graduation ceremony Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Downey Theatre. Cadets and their family members, along with advisors, instructors and state, county and city public administrators will attend.
“This is a proud moment for all members involved and signifies the completion of an academy that was organized and executed by individuals that have a great desire to impact the communities they serve by contributing to the career development of teens and young adults,” organizers said.
Participants must have completed eighth grade and be interested in a career in fire service to participate in the academy.