On June 18th the Woodburn Fire District hosted the graduation of firefighter recruits from the Woodburn, Molalla, Aurora, and Canby Fire Districts who had completed the Firefighter 1 training program at the regional volunteer training academy. The Firefighter 1 program encompasses 185 hours of training in fire suppression and rescue techniques, fire ground operations, maintenance of equipment and tools and fire prevention skills. Once students complete this training they are qualified to enter a burning structure as part of a crew to conduct fire extinguishment, occupant search and ventilation assignments. Woodburn Fire’s three graduates Zack Richardson, Troy Jorden and Ginger Becker finished as the top three recruits in their class of thirteen. All three of these new recruits are currently enrolled in fire science or emergency medical service degree programs at Chemekta or Portland Community College and are part of the Woodburn Fire District’s student resident volunteer program. The resident volunteer program provides full-time college students with a place to live in two of the District’s four fire stations and assistance with college tuition through a four-year federal grant awarded to the district in the fall of 2018. Chief Budge quote: “The student resident program provides students with training and real-life experience in the fire service to augment their college studies. We help our students with their career and education goals and they help the fire district meet its emergency response mission to the community.” Once students complete the Firefighter 1 academy their training continues with detailed instruction and practice in driving and operating all of the equipment owned by the district beginning with the small apparatus on a pick-up chassis used to extinguish brush fires and then moving to fire engines and water tenders. For more information on the student resident program and other volunteer firefighter opportunities, please contact the District’s recruitment coordinator Jason Thompson at 503-982-2360.