Training underway for new firefighters with Fresno Fire Department

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Training starts early at the Fresno Fire Department's drill school academy.

They have much to learn in a short time.

Training Captain John Creasy likened the process to "taking drinks out of a fire hose."

"You have a ton of information coming at you," he said. "How do I comprehend it and how do I put context to these words I've never heard and seen before?"

The trainees must first learn how to put on their gear and breathing apparatus.

But they also must be in good physical condition, so this has been a very active introduction into their new career.

"Most of the time is spent here on the drill yard, learning how to throw a ladder, learning how to pull hose," says Jonathan Lopez. "They train over and over again so in the event of an actual emergency, they can do it right without even thinking about it."

Fresno Fire will soon have 95 firefighters available on a daily basis - up from 88.

Capt. Creasy says adding a 4th member to a rig makes a big difference.

"That's going to help out the citizens by having extra firefighters on scene, more apparatus being able to respond," he said. "Reduce our workplace injuries that we're not having to have more people take overtime."

Creasy says the enthusiasm of the new recruits gives the department an energy boost.

The new firefighters should be ready to hit the streets of Fresno in mid-May.
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