West Pierce Fire & Rescue
In February, the 2017 Red Knights Recruit Academy class began with individuals eager to serve their communities as firefighters. This regional recruit academy class was comprised of three departments: Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One, Graham Fire & Rescue and West Pierce Fire & Rescue. These recruits came with varying degrees of experience in both fire and emergency medical services.
Due to the economic recession, many fire departments were not hiring and West Pierce had not hosted a regional recruit academy in nearly a decade, but in 2016, held the first Red Knights Recruit Academy at West Pierce Fire & Rescue. This 13-week academy included more than 500 hours of training and would not have been possible without a core group of instructors and peer fitness trainers. Each recruit spent many hours learning on the drill ground, as well as studying firefighting techniques and hazardous materials response in the classroom. At the end of the academy, four written and three practical exams were administered. While training on the drill ground, they learned hose and ladder handling, search and rescue, ventilation, auto extrication and many more skills used by firefighters on a daily basis. In the classroom, they studied basic fire behavior and hydrodynamics, all while practicing safety, company integrity and strong teamwork. Something all firefighters have in common is the desire to serve their communities with the highest standards.
Recruits bring a new energy to both the department and community they serve. They are eager to learn as senior firefighters pass on their trade to prepare them for the career ahead. We look forward to seeing all of these recruits succeed in their careers and make the fire service that much stronger.