Snow on Oct. 10 provided and interesting landscape for the 20 firefighters currently training in the West Metro Fire Academy. “It's just like a real fire,” said T.J. Avischious, of training in …
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Snow on Oct. 10 provided and interesting landscape for the 20 firefighters currently training in the West Metro Fire Academy.
“It's just like a real fire,” said T.J. Avischious, of training in the early season snow. “We have to be prepared every time.”
Avischious, 33, is one of three recruits from Arvada Fire Protection District training in the academy. He is returning to a career in fire after being a volunteer firefighter at the age of 18. For the past nine years, he has worked as a paramedic, most recently for Denver Health.
A fellow recruit, Elise Guidry, 27, is also joining Arvada Fire after a career in the medical field. While working as an EMT for the past three years, Guidry took note of several hazardous situations that they didn't have the training or the equipment to manage.
“I wanted to advance my skills and my scope in order to contribute more and better serve my community,” Guidry said.
Sean Quinn rounds out the trio of Arvada Fire recruits at the academy.
With a total of 20 firefighters in the current academy, these three are joined by 14 recruits from West Metro Fire Protection District, two from Castle Rock Fire Rescue, and one from Upper Pine Fire Protection District.
“We have a long history of cooperating with other fire departments for Academies,” said Steve Hildebrandt, West Metro Fire Rescue Capt. “We believe inter-agency cooperation is the best opportunity to build relationships and foster cooperation.”
This academy kicked off Aug. 6 and will run through Nov. 29.
“I have learned an incredible amount,” said Guidry, in between a live burn drill on Oct. 10. “On top of the skills the techniques they've taught us, they are also teaching us to be mentally strong and showing us that if anything being mentally strong is just as important as being physically strong.”
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