New WFD volunteers trained
Four Woodburn Fire District recruits worked through COVID-19 obstacles to graduate from the volunteer firefighter training academy this year.
The district announced that the recruits, Marcos Mendoza, Jessi Cornforth, Daniel Vargas and Noah Wiestra, officially graduated form the training academy July 13. The regional academy also trained recruits from Hubbard, Aurora, Molalla, Colton and Canby fire districts.
Also among the recent class of graduates were Stacy Newman, Daniel Marting and Alex Cheney of the Aurora Fire District.
All of the graduates began training prior to the pandemic breakout and subsequent closures. District officials noted that, consequently, traditional training procedures were halted, and the recruits had to meet one on one and in small groups to complete their work under the tutelage of Woodburn Division Chief Scott Heesacker and recruitment and retention coordinator Jason Thompson.
The training consists of about 195 hours of classroom lecture and drill ground training.
"These new recruits are eager to continue their learning and begin their service to the communities in the area," Heesacker said. "Two members will be assigned to report out of Station 24 near Waconda Road in Gervais; one will be assigned to Station 22 on James Street in Woodburn; and one member, who is already certified as an emergency medical technician and a member of Woodburn Ambulance, will respond to the district's main station on Newberg Highway."
Woodburn Fire now has 32 active volunteer firefighters.
District officials said the recruits will be certified at Firefighter I level by the state, qualifying them to battle burning structure fires. They also will receive further training in driving and operation of firefighting vehicles and equipment.
Heesacker said the additional training begins with brush fire units and then extends to traditional fire engines.
"Motivated volunteers can be certified to drive and operate a fire engine in emergencies with about one year of additional training beyond the recruit training academy," he said.
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