Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Graduating from the El Camino Fire Academy. Recruit Shiggy Ichinomiya. Class 125. NREMT. UCLA Phlebotomy. ALS BLS Photos and Video

In my autobiography I shall share the "longer" version,
however, I would like to share with you the condensed version of
my experience as a recruit at the California State Fire Marshall approved Firefighter Training Academy,
El Camino Fire Academy. 

Wow, time flies.
Graduated on December 19th, 2009!!

(Above: Donning my face-mask.)

(Above: Jaws of life. Auto-extrication exercise.
Can you see the concentration on my face?
Focsued. Laser-beam FOCUSED!!)

(Above: Class 125!!!)

Below: Video of our Class 125
Above: Video of our Class 125

Graduates of the El Camino Fire Academy receive the following:
1.  California State Fire Marshal Certificate of Completion of a Firefighter 1 Academy.
2.  California State Fire Marshal Certificates in:
  • Fire Control I: Fire Behavior / Chemistry
  • Fire Control II: Fire Ground Operations
  • Fire Control III: Live Fire Training
  • Fire Control IV: Gas Fire Training (At Chevron)
  • Fire Control VI: Wild Land
  • Fire Control VII: Wild Land Manipulative
  • Auto Extrication
  • Confined Space Awareness
  • Haz-Mat First Responder Operational
  • ICS Basic 200
3.  El Camino Certificate of Completion in:
  • Wildland Firefighting in the I-Zone
    • (40 hours)
  • Blood Born Pathogens
    • (Communicable Disease Control for Firefighters)
  • Flashover Training
    • (Swede Survival System)
  • Trench Rescue Awareness

There are many steps into becoming a Firefighter.
In 2009 the County of Los Angeles had a hiring freeze making it
even more competitive to get recruited. It wasn't until I believe
February of this year, (2014) that the LAFD had their first graduating class in 
almost 4 years!!
What do you do when your desired job becomes competitive?
I took as many classes and workshops that I could afford and fit into my schedule.

1) Passed National Registry Emergency Technician Examination.
2) Passed the CPAT. California Physical Aptitude Test.
3) Passed the AHA-American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) test.
4) Passed the AHA BLS Instructor test.
5) Passed the Advanced Cardio Life Support test
6) Applied to UCLA's Phlebotomy (surgical incision of the vein) Program
and was in the top 5% of my class.
7) Became a Certified EKG Technician by taking classes at Cal State Los Angeles.

(Above: Passed the NREMT--National Registry EMT.)

(Above: A screen grab of me as we are being taught how to effectively extinguish a fire.) 

 (Above: Daily inspection = Always having clean and ironed uniforms.)
 (Above: We were addressed by our last names by our instructors.
Every time an instructor entered the room or came onto the fire
academy grounds we would have to say, nay,
yell loudly, "Instructor on Deck.")

 (Above: Our uniforms in alphabetical order.)

 (Above: Doing a ride-along with an ambulance company.)

(Above: Y'up, as part of our EMT cycle, 
we had to learn how to deliver babies. True story.)

 (Above: Getting our grub on.)
 (Above: Tools of the trade: Hose Clamps.)

 (Above: The stairs, the gruelling stairs.)

 (Above: American flag with the Drill Tower in the background.)
 (Above: Learning how to perform "vertical ventilation" 
with a STIHL chainsaw.)
 (Above: Safety is paramount. 
We always had each other's back. PERIOD.)

(Above: It gets HOT in those turnouts.
The instructor allowed us to cool off.)

 (Above: FUN!! The heavy smoke coming from the
flash-over chamber. AKA "the can.")
 (Above: Even "at ease" we were evenly and uniformly spaced out.)

 (Above: Recruits Ichinomiya, Castillo and Honda.)

(Above: Ladder drills.)

 (Above: Washing out our sweat-soaked helmets.)

 (Above: In order to "add" an extension to a "live" hose, you had to clamp it off to prevent the flow of water.)

 (Above: I'm performing what is known as the
"one person hold down."
Have you ever seen a person flail and get kicked back
and forth while holding a high pressure hose? 
Those hoses become solid like a lead pipe
when water is gushing through them.It's no joke!!)
 (Above: One of my favorite instructors, Chief Warren.
So full of life. Vitality. Enthusiasm. Joy. And kindness.
And funny too. Good people.)
 (Above: Auto-extrication drills. Thank you 
Recruit Chow for taking my photo.)

 (Above: Repelling from the top of the drill tower.)
 (Above: Getting strapped into the repelling gear.)
 (Above: Totally concentrating on my instructors commands.
I didn't want to fall down 4 stories like a brick.)
 (Above: Instructor locking in my knees.)

 (Above: Hmmmm, what's the name of this knot?)

 (Above: Gotta be ready for inspection.)
 (Above: Our boots were polished. Patent.)
 (Above: Enter at your own risk: The flash-over chamber.
Backdraft style! Like the movies!!)
(Above: Flash-over pre-safety check.)
(Above: Getting cooked in the flash-over chamber. 
Rare? No, well done, sir!!)

(Above: Last photo of the flash-over chamber before the camera
would start to melt.)

(Above: Cough. Cough. Cough.)

(Above: Getting smoked-out!! Literally!!)
(Above: Fire in the hole!!!)

 (Above: Instructor telling us how awesome we are!!)

(Above: Malibu Camp 8. Wildland/Wildfire Training.)

(Above: Recruit Ichinomiya ready to help!!)

 (Above: Camp 8 Malibu Wildland/Wildfire training.
Holy smokes, that was intense. Those instructors were
brutal. Like going from high school football
to pro football. We got drilled. HARD!!
These instructors were cross-fit strong mofos.
No joke!!)

 (Above: Roof ventilation drills.)

 (Above: Knock knock!!
Can we as Firefighters rush in,
when everyone else is rushing out? Y'up!!

 (Above: Y'up!! Three man to a hose!!!)

 (Above: When life gives you extreme pressure from hoses,
make rainbows!!)

Chevron Oil Refinery Training, El Segundo

 (Above: An oil refinery explosion takes a very coordinated
 effort to extinguish.  
Our instructors had eagle eyes and hawk eyes watching us. 
One little slip and we would have become living candlesticks.)

 (Above: Y'up. Doing selfies 5 years ago back in 2009!!
In 2012 Time Magazine considered the word "selfie" as one of the "top 10 buzzwords" of that year.  in November 2013, the word "selfie" was announced as being the "word of the year" by the Oxford English Dictionary. from Wikipedia)

 (Above: Class 125's motto:
One Blood.
One Voice
One Twenty Five.)

 (Above: During the Fire Academy, I took over 2,000 photos, some
of which were used for this DVD that we hired a production crew to film and edit.)
 (Above: We were finally allowed to write our class number, Class 125 on
the wall of the fire Drill Tower.)
 (Above: Chief Mays addressing our graduating class.)

 (Above: Class 125's gift to El Camino Fire Academy was a 700 pound hose rack.)

(Above: With my sister, her kiddo, mum and dad.)