October 2009
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Fire Explorer Academy Graduate

Eric survived the Inland Empire Fire Explorer Academy’s 18th Annual Academy. The graduation was close to two hours as many people were recognized for their dedication and service that makes this event a great one. There were close to 300 cadets that participated in the 5 day training. The Inland Empire Fire Explorer Academy President, Art Bishop talked about how the cadets were getting to bed at close to midnight and then getting awakened at 5:30 AM every morning. At 6:00 AM the were in the classroom learning for two hours and then they went to breakfast. One of the first things the cadets did in the morning was make their beds. Art just wanted to let the parents know that their son and/or daughter could make their own bed. If they did not, I get the feeling a drill instructor may have given them a little encouragement. When asked if they had fun, the cadets replied, “Sir, yes sir.”

The official group photo. Eric is out there on about the back row in the middle. See if you can find him.

The official group photo. Eric is out there on about the back row in the middle. See if you can find him.

The cadets filed in for graduation is single file as the bagpipes played. They came in and sat at attention.

Eric is on the left side marching towards the cadet seating area

Eric is on the left side marching towards the cadet seating area

The all had their turn at crossing the stage and receiving their Certificate of Achievement and for the 76 percent that passed the two tests that were administered at about 10 o’clock the night before graduation, a Certificate of Wildland Firefighter Training. We are proud of Eric as he passed the tests adn was one of the 76 percent.

Eric crossing the stage

Eric crossing the stage

Eric smiled and was happy the training was over. Once we were home and Eric had showed and put on his pajamas did he really smile. He was clean and comfortable. He did mention that it may take a month to get the dust out of his lungs. As the cadets were marching away from the stage after graduation, some cadets were inadvertently kicking up a little dist with their feet. On a couple of occasions, the Drill Instructor (DI) would say, “you are not cows, pick up your feet.”


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