Fire Academy GraduationRecruits graduate from Fire Academy

Fire Academy graduates are, top: Michael Lambert; middle (l to r): John Dakan, Tye Caldwell, David Williams, and Ryan Chatfield, Lisa O'Connor, Gus Boyd; front: Heidi Waterbury, Dan Waterbury; not pictured: Cory Bardonski and Derek Yasunaka.

OCEAN PARK - What does 209 hours represent? It represents the number of hours that 10 volunteers spent completing the recent Fire Recruit Academy sponsored by Pacific County Fire District No. 1. Seven volunteer members of Fire District No. 1 and three volunteer members from the Long Beach Volunteer Fire Department attended the academy, which started on April 19 and ended on July 14.

The academy incorporated multiple levels of training including classroom and practical instruction taught by Fire District No. 1 personnel, Washington State Patrol and wildland certified instructors. Live fire training experiences included structural and vehicle fires. The recruits also participated in live fire training at the Maritime and Emergency Resource Training Station (M.E.R.T.S.), a live fire training facility in Astoria.

The goal of the academy was to provide the recruits with the training needed to safely operate as a fire fighter. In addition, the recruits received valuable training, which will benefit them if they are interested in pursuing a career in emergency services. The academy ended with the recruits taking the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress test, which will certify them as a Firefighter I in the state of Washington.

Division Chief of Training Mike Karvia, who served as the program coordinator and lead instructor for the program said, "I am very proud of the volunteers in our community. These are knowledgeable and trained personnel who help protect our community by donating their time and effort. This was the most complete academy offered by the District to date and not one person dropped out; in fact, they wanted more."

Academy graduates include Heidi and Dan Waterbury, Derek Yasunaka, Cory Bardonski, Mike Lambert, Lisa O'Connor and John Dakan from Fire District No. 1; and Tye Caldwell, Ryan Chatfield and David Williams from Long Beach Volunteer Fire Department.

Visit the Pacific County Fire District No. 1 Web site at (, to see the recruit academy photo gallery.

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