Local fire recruits are one step closer to serving mid-Missouri

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Academy recruits are days away from completing their 12-week training before serving our mid-Missouri community.

"These recruits are going to be the future of the Columbia Fire Department," Battalion Chief Stephen Potter said.

The recruits have completed 400 hours of training to prepare them for responding to severe situations.

"When you arrive on the scene of a real emergency and senior officers ask for certain tools or need them to do certain things, they're capable of completing that task," Potter said.

The training covered topics ranging from fire behavior, search and rescue, fire control, live fire drills, water supply, building construction, hazardous materials, water rescue, driving training (fire truck driving) and radio communications.

Potter said the training is so crucial and some parts aren't as easy as they might look.

"When you see in the movies, you see the firefighter putting the fire out, but when you're in the real case it can be pitch black and you can't see your hand in front of your face," he said.

Many of the recruits said the best part of the job is knowing they can give back to our community.

"It's always good to be able to help your neighbors," said Brien Kiser, a recruit in training. "When they have their moment of need and you can be right there to help them, I think that's the best part."

The recruits will celebrate their completion at their graduation ceremony next Thursday June 16. Shortly after graduation the team will start working with their Field Training Officers.

"I'm very excited and I'm ready to be on those trucks," Kiser said.

Each team of recruits are expected to complete specific drill and fire training exercises.