Cisco College Fire Academy students practice real-life situation

ABILENE, Texas - After months of training, Cisco College Fire Academy was put to work on Saturday on Dyess Air Force Base during a live fire training.

Academy students spent 11 months preparing for the plane-on-fire scenario.

Bryce Shannell, a Cisco Fire student, said he's wanted to be a firefighter because helping his community is important to him.

"Firefighting is public service so I think every one of us guys is real big into public service," Shannell said. "Just being able to go to work every day and helping out the community that we live in is something that would be real rewarding to all of us."

Shannell was one of the students who helped to put out the fire in Saturday's training, but the academy's coordinator said he's proud of everyone who participated.

"They've been in training for almost a year, and now they're at the time where they get to do some live fires. They're putting everything together with their training," said Larry Swongur, the fire academy's coordinator.

The men were not only asked to act fast to put out the fire, but correctly.

"One thing we tried to encourage today was their hose handling technique because water is not supposed to put this fire out because the fuel was on top of the water, so you have to have good hose handling technique," Swongur said.

Technicality was only one part of the exercise.

"The crews have to work together and the three crews going in together have to watch each other so teamwork is another big aspect," Swongur said.

The students still have two more live fires to put out before the class wraps up in August. Then they'll take a final before becoming eligible to get a job as a firefighter.

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