The Lassen College Fire Technology program was recently awarded $17,500 by Pacific Gas and Electric Company to use for scholarships and training equipment. The grant will focus on providing funding for tuition and other expenses to students seeking an Associate of Science in Fire Technology and will ideally benefit students who are from PG&E’s service area.
“PG&E is pleased to support students pursuing careers in fire service through the Lassen College Foundation,” said Joe Wilson, PG&E Regional Vice President for the North Valley and Sierra. “As California and other western states, continue to experience an increase in wildfire risk and a longer wildfire season, it is critical to have skilled and knowledgeable fire service professionals trained in wildland fire suppression and urban firefighting. We appreciate the opportunity to help increase and enhance the skills of our region’s future fire service workforce.”
To meet the need for entry level and advanced firefighters by public and private sector fire agencies and brigades, Lassen College provides multiple career opportunities to its students. A primary goal of the Lassen College Fire Technology program is to provide highly trained and educated candidates to fill those ranks. This goal is met through extensive training to achieve associate degrees and certificates of achievement that prepares students for careers in the fire service. The program also focuses on providing continuing education opportunities for career advancement and preparation.
Within the past two years, the Fire Technology Program has graduated 50 students into the firefighting workforce. The majority of these students are graduates of the college’s new Cal Fire Basic Academy and hired primarily by Cal Fire and other local fire agencies.
In 2021, most of those students were assigned to hand crews and worked last summer’s Dixie Fire for the majority of the summer. Other graduates of the program worked on the numerous fires that burned around the state from northern California to the southern border of the state.
“Last summer’s Dixie Fire put a tremendous amount of strain on our area and proved exponentially the need for highly-trained and available firefighters,” said LCC Superintendent/President, Dr. Trevor Albertson. “We are proud to continue with the success of the Cal Fire Academy and have added an additional academy based out of Alturas, Calif. The development and expansion of the LCC—Cal Fire Basic Academies in our local area have increased career opportunities in the fire service for local community members that will provide safety and protection to our community and resources.”
Albertson added, “Additionally, our partnerships with USDA, US Forest Service, Lassen National Forest and USDI, and Bureau of Land Management – Northern California District have bolstered the training and personnel needs of entry-and-mid-level firefighters for these federal agencies.”
For more than 20 years, Lassen College Fire Technology has nurtured and expanded partnerships with federal fire agencies, Cal Fire and all local fire districts to provide highly-trained firefighters at all levels. Lassen College continues to seek out opportunities for training and employment for its students. On the job training is provided for volunteer fire departments that participate in the California Mutual Aid System by sending engines and crews when requested to any large fire in the state.
Additionally, the LCC Fire Technology Program continues to engage in a robust partnership with the California Correctional Center/High Desert State Prison Fire Department (aka the CCC Firehouse) to provide needed fire training for incarcerated CCC firehouse employees, which has enhanced emergency response in our local community. The LCC Fire Technology Program has also expanded access to continuing Fire education for both incarcerated and non-incarcerated staff at the CCC Firehouse through enhancing pathways to our Fire Technology Certificate and Degree. This access has not only enriched current fire training but has also has been successful in providing the firefighting skills needed to be hirable in the fire service upon incarcerated employee release. Thus, increasing the number of well-trained firefighters entering the fire service.