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Cadet GroupThe Fire Cadet Program is a joint venture between Clark County Fire District’s 3, and 6, Clark County Fire & Rescue, the City of Vancouver Fire Department, the Battleground School District and the Clark County Vocational Skills Center. The Cadet Advisory Committee and the Program Director oversee the program. Currently, the Program Director is Division Chief Mike Ciraulo from Clark County Fire & Rescue. Cadets are eligible for 26 college credits through an articulation process with Lower Columbia College in Longview, WA.Cadets attending at Clark County Fire & Rescue attend schools in the Battle Ground, LaCenter, and Ridgefield School Districts. The class follows the Battle Ground School District schedule for attendance. The Program Director is responsible for the administration of the program. Each site has a Lead Cadet Instructor, along with several primary instructors.The program accepts juniors and seniors who maintain a 2.0 or better in all their classes. An equal emphasis is placed on scholastic and practical learning. Physical fitness is also a large part of the training with a weekly three-mile run followed by an hour-long workout in fifty pCadets at Central Schoolounds of gear.

The emphasis in the First Year portion of the program is basic firefighting essentials. Where students are trained to the FF1 level and receive Basic Incident Command, Hazardous Materials Awareness, First Aid and CPR Training. Students who maintain a B average and pass a final skills test can receive 13 credits through Lower Columbia College. Second Year Cadets will focus on advanced Firefighting Techniques, Incident Command and Incident Management skills, Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations, and Basic Strategy and Tactics. Second Year students will also assist the instructors with certain drill ground activities. Students who maintain a B average and pass a final skills test can receive 13 credits through Lower Columbia College.

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CadetsThe Clark County Fire Cadet program was established in 1991. The Department worked with the Clark County Vocational Skills Center and Battle Ground School District to establish a program that would provide an opportunity for high school students to study fire science and emergency medicine from professional firefighters and paramedics. Key personnel involved in the formation of the program were: Fire Chief Dennis Mason, Fire Commissioner Dr. William Hansen, Cheryl Mayo-the Director of Vocational Education for the Battle Ground School District, and Lt. Todd Kays – the program’s first instructor.The first year started with 14 juniors and seniors that walked across the street from Battle Ground High School to the downtown Battle Ground fire station to try this new and innovative training program. Out of the first 14 students, four obtained career firefighting positions and two other students found careers in the EMS field. Each subsequent year the program grew in popularity and expanded to other high schools. By 1997, the program was so successful that students were being turned away. That same year, Fire Districts No. 1 (Washougal) and No. 6 (Hazel Dell) joined with Clark County Fire District 11, now Clark County Fire & Rescue, and began hosting cadets at their main stations. In 2003 the Vancouver Fire Department joined and was followed in 2004 by Fire District No. 3 (Hockinson). The program has grown from 14 students to nearly 150 students from every high school in Clark County.The program has been so successful that many other departments across the nation have established similar programs based on this successful model. The program has received numerous awards and honors throughout its history. However, the instructors are most proud of the positive impact that the program has had on the hundreds of young men and women who have completed the program.
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Admission Process
Students interested in becoming a High School Cadet must meet the minimum prerequisites:Cadet MERTS photo

  • Career interest in the fields of FireFighting, Emergency Medicine, 911 Dispatching, Fire Prevention, or Arson Investigation.
  • Ability to pass written exam and medical exam. Applicants may be required to take a written and physical agility test along with an oral interview.
  • Maintain or progress towards a 2.0 GPA.
  • Complete an Application, Work History, and Essay.
  • Ability to pass drug screening test (drug screening is at student’s expense).
  • Must be a High School junior or senior at the start of class.
  • Ability to provide own transportation to the fire station/training facilities.

Admission process information for the 2014-2015 class will be released soon. If you have any questions please contact Dan Ferber at 360-887-4609 or by Email.

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Rules & Regulations
Click on a link in the list to download a Rule & Regulation. The documents are in Word format.Cadets training

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Advisory Committee
The Clark County Fire Cadet Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from the Battle Ground School District, parents, cadets, fire department officials, local business leaders, and instructors from each site. The committee provides input on the general direction of the program, reviews curriculum standards, recommends program-wide policies, and makes recommendations on areas for improvement. Anyone interested in participating as a member of the committee is welcome. For information on the Advisory Committee, email Program Director Mike Ciraulo.
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Field Trips
The Cadets take multiple field trips to local sites such as the 911-dispatch center, fire stations and other training sites throughout both years of the program. Since 1999, the second-year Cadets have taken a field trip to the East Coast. The Cadets start out in Washington DC then travel to Emmitsburg, Maryland; home of the National Fire Academy, and finish in New York City where a former cadet works on Squad 1 in Brooklyn. In each city, we visit both historic and fire service related sites.This trip is the high point of the class for many of the cadets; completing their training and giving them a well rounded look into the fire service.
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Is this an easy class? No. The Cadet program is a college level fire course that challenges the students physically, academically and mentally.

How can I get college credit?

Students who maintain a B average in the class and pass all parts of a final skills test will be awarded college credits though Lower Columbia College. (13 Credits in the first year and 14 in the second year)

How physical is the class?

The class is comparable to being in sports. Physical training is done each week starting with a three-mile run then a workout in fifty pounds of gear. Approximately 50% of the time a student can expect to be wearing the gear and doing some type of physical activity.

How strict is the class?

The Cadets, like the Fire Department, is a Para-military organization with stringent rules, guidelines and code of conduct. Violations of the rules and regulations may result in anything from push-ups to expulsion from the program.

How are grades calculated?

Grades are calculated 60% from test scores, 30% from participation and 10% misc. assignments for the semester. Grades on progress reports are 100% from test scores. Note: There is no extra credit.

Do the Cadets get to fight fire?

Yes. The Cadets, under supervision, will experience wildland, automotive, and structure fires.

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