The Stockton Fire Department’s Regional Fire Academy will hold a graduation ceremony, Friday, December 18, 2015, 3:00 p.m., at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium, 525 N. Center Street, Stockton. Academy graduates include five firefighters who will join the Stockton Fire Department and three who will join the Lodi Fire Department.
Effective December 16, 2015, the new incoming Chief Erik Newman will take the helm at the Stockton Fire Department, with a total of 168 sworn firefighters. One of his first official duties will be to attend the academy graduation.
“In my short time with the Stockton Fire Department, I have had the privilege of being part of the first full fire academy that the City has held since 2008,” said Interim Chief Bill Weisgerber. “Stockton has an excellent training facility at Company 2, which has been a regional training facility since 2003 and a joint academy since 2002. Graduates from the Stockton academy receive 16 weeks of training from some of the most highly qualified instructors in the state.”
Academy participants must successfully interview and pass both and physical ability tests, before being accepted into the academy. Recruits enter the academy with various levels of experience; some have attended other academies or worked for other fire departments or agencies, and others are completely new to fire service. In academy, recruits learn about fire protection systems and firefighting techniques, while running continuous drills involving self-contained breathing apparatus, confined space rescues, rope rescues, ladder placement and use, and effective deployment of fire hose and nozzle work.
“It takes a special individual to become a firefighter,” continued Interim Chief Weisgerber. “We look forward to this ceremony and welcoming our newest recruits into both the Stockton and Lodi Fire Departments.”