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Hancock College Fire Academy Graduates 29 Recruits

Battalion No. 137 showcases what they have learned from the Allan Hancock College Fire Academy during their graduation event. The 29 recruits logged more than 600 hours over the duration of the 5-month program.
Battalion No. 137 showcases what they have learned from the Allan Hancock College Fire Academy during their graduation event. The 29 recruits logged more than 600 hours over the duration of the 5-month program. (Allan Hancock College photo)

Twenty-nine recruits from Allan Hancock College’s Fire Academy celebrated the end of five months of training, perseverance and dedication Friday, May 20.

Battalion No. 137 received their certificates at the Fire Academy graduation at the college’s state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Complex in Lompoc.

“The academy is what community colleges is all about,” said Superintendent and President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. “The college is giving students the skills they need to earn a living wage and be the future leaders in our community.”

Prior to the ceremony, recruits amazed their friends and family with live demonstrations inside and outside of the center’s six-story burn tower.

Putting the skills they acquired at the academy to use, recruits ran fire hoses, doused car and apartment fires, extricated victims from a vehicle lying on its side, climbed ladders to gain roof access and more.

“The academy offers a fantastic learning environment with hands-on training, state-of-the-art facility and equipment and amazing instructors,” said Class President Linnea Jenkins, who was hired by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. “We came in with little to no experience, and now we possess a great grasp of what it takes to enjoy successful careers in the fire service.”

Jenkins went through the academy with her sister, Somersby.

Luke Yessner was named the battalion’s Most Outstanding and Most Inspirational student. He has been hired by the Templeton Fire Department.

Several other recruits already have jobs lined up with Cal Fire San Luis Obispo and the fire departments in San Miguel and Marin County.

The class also included former college athletes and United States military veterans. 

For more information about the fire academy, visit or call 805.735.3366 x3282.

Gina Herlihy is a public affairs and publications technician for Allan Hancock College.

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