BULLHEAD CITY — With all the emergency vehicles parked outside Building 600 on Mohave Community College’s Bullhead City campus Saturday, it might have looked as if something was going on inside.
That’s true only if one considers the unveiling of the area’s newest batch of lifesavers “major.”
The vehicles — and fire personnel of various ranks from several departments — were on hand for the fire academy graduation ceremony.
Bullhead City Fire Department Capt. Marvin McCabe, who serves as academy director, said that the 21 graduates spent 22 weeks in physical classroom and skills training.
“The first step in a long and gratifying career in the fire service,” he called the academia.
The cadets trained on weekends, typically waking up at 3 a.m. on Saturdays and being put through exercises.
McCabe said that at some point, each cadet surely asked himself why he was there. One cadet, he said “showed up on the first day and then decided that he would join the army, because it was easier.”
The others made it through. Academy coordinator Joshua Livermore, also a BHCFD captain, said that some will not enter the fire service.
“But they have learned life skills they can use in whatever path they take in life,” he said.
The BHCFD provided most of the instructors and equipment and hosted the training sessions.
BHCFD Battalion Chief Don Evans said the cadets “had to learn how to balance their lives and juggle their families while doing the things they’re required to do to get through this academy.”
“Everyone in this room is proud of each and every one of you,” Evans told the cadets.
Jeremiah Devine was chosen by instructors as the class’ top cadet.
On behalf of his peers, Devine thanked the instructors for sharing their time and their craft.
“They tried to guide us down the correct path,” he said, “and were there to pick us up when we fell on our faces.”
Cadet Christopher Underwood, said it has long been his goal to serve his community, and being a firefighter is the quintessential way to do that. He said he is applying in Las Vegas and would like to build up his experience by serving as a reserve firefighter in one of the local departments.