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Graduates Testimonials

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Ryan Basque

Firefighter/Paramedic, Sac Metro Fire

I attended the Sierra College Fire Academy in 2002. At the time all I knew was that I wanted to be a firefighter. Sierra College provided me with the knowledge and training I needed to achieve my goals.

Before the Academy I had a strong respect for the Fire Service. I heard words like honor, courage, integrity, and teamwork associated with the Fire Service. The Sierra College Fire academy showed me the meaning of those words, and taught me how they are the foundation of the Fire Service.

Firefighters are a family, and I am still close friends with many of the people I attended the Sierra College Academy with over 10 years ago. I have even had the pleasure of working side by side with a few of them.

The Sierra College Fire Academy opened my eyes to the world of firefighting, where doing the right thing matters, and being a part of something bigger is a privilege shared by all of us who are a part of this profession. The Academy gave me a strong foundation to build from.

I have been a firefighter since I graduated the Academy. I worked for Cal Fire, Foresthill Fire, Georgetown Fire, and am now with Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. I enjoyed this profession from day one. Every step along the way has been a blessing. I made great friends, and know how fortunate I am to have the best job in the world. It all started for me with the Sierra College Fire Academy, and this is something I am proud of.

Ryan Basque

Matt Lauchner

Captain, Roseville Fire Dept.

I am a proud graduate of Sierra College Fire Academy “Class 02-1.” The education and experiences the program taught me were instrumental to my successes in Fire service. The Para-militaristic approach to education was essential to preparing me for future experiences as a fire recruit and probationary firefighter.

The fundamental firefighting skills I learned at Sierra College are mirror images of those I experienced in numerous professional fire academies. These skills ensured a smooth transition into a career as a firefighter. The vast array of instructors that make-up the cadre, derive from many local fire departments. These were familiar faces and great contacts when the time came to apply and interview for different agencies. The camaraderie and friendships made during Sierra College Fire Academy have turned into many life-long friends and co-workers.

One of my Sierra College Academy class-mates is now the engineer on my crew. Many other graduates of “Class02-1” are career firefighters for departments including Sacramento City, Sacramento Metro, West Sacramento, Rocklin, Cal Fire, and Roseville. In 2011 I promoted to the Rank of Captain at Roseville Fire Department. I can attribute many of my successes to the knowledge, skills, and abilities I learned while attending the Sierra College Fire Academy.

Captain Matt Lauchner

Greg Fonts

Firefighter, West Sacramento Fire Dept.

Ask yourself this question "What experience and or qualifications do I have that sets me apart from all other fire candidates?" In your answer, were you able to list a Firefighter 1 academy? Today’s job market has become beyond competitive; it is not unusual to be testing against thousands of others applicants for only a handful of positions. It is also becoming standard and a requirement to have a Firefighter 1 certificate in the list of qualifications to even be able to apply for a position.

I was lucky enough at the age of 21 to be offered a full time fire position pending I pass a grueling 18 week city fire academy. The tools and experience that I gained at the Sierra College Academy not only made getting through that 18 weeks easier, but also helped me get hired faster. Basic fire skills such a hose pulls, ladder throwing, knot tying, and SCBA donning are some of the essentials of the job, laying a strong foundation can be the difference of landing that job or not. Also the friendships and networks that you establish in the Sierra Academy can not only help you get hired, but will stick with you throughout your career.

If you choose to attend you will have access to one of the best training towers in the region, and have a realistic view on the day to day activities of the firehouse. Drill instructors will push your physical and mental limits, and you will be earning college credits while having a fun! So what are you waiting for?

Greg Fonts

Chris Allen

Sac Metro Fire, Firefighter/Paramedic

I attended the Sierra College Fire Academy and am proud to say that I graduated from Class 02-1. I believe that Sierra College Fire Academy did an excellent job preparing me for a job in the fire service. I also believe that I would not have been as successful in obtaining employment as a firefighter without the help of Sierra College. They provided me with a strong foundation to build my firefighting career upon. I continue to use the skills that I learned as a member of 02-1 in my current role as a Firefighter/Paramedic.

American River College EMT (1999)
Sierra College Fire Academy (02-1)
South Placer Fire District (2002 - December 2005)
Sac Metro Fire (January 2006 - Present)

Chris Allen

Damian Webber

Firefighter, Reno City Fire

Attending the Sierra College Fire Academy in 2003 was by far the best move I could of made to start my career in the Fire Service. The instruction and knowledge that I received from the academy was key in me landing my job with the Reno Fire Dept. two years after I graduated. The instructors that were there at the time really wanted you to pass and succeed in the fire service, so this inspired me to come back as a volunteer instructor after I graduated and have been there ever since. I love it so much I have actually been doing it for free, still a volunteer, for the past 10 years. It feels good when graduates of Sierra contact me and let me know how the instruction they got from me or other instructors helped them get passed a fear or a hurdle they thought they never could. Sierra's program has been instrumental in my success and I am happy to say I am a graduate from this prestigious academy! 03-1 BABY!!! 

Damian Webber

James Vincent

Firefighter/Paramedic, Roseville Fire Dept.

I am a proud graduate of the Sierra College Regional Fire Academy 06-2, "United Together, Brothers Forever." I spent nine years both as an EMT and Paramedic at AMR, worked as a seasonal firefighter with CalFire for two years, and am currently a Firefighter/Paramedic with the City of Roseville Fire Department. I attribute my professional success to the training I received at Sierra College.

At Sierra College, I learned the fundamental skills necessary for a career in the Fire Service. I learned how to search for victims, pull hose, extricate victims from a vehicle accident, rappel down the side of a building, throw a ladder and utilize a wide array of tools and equipment. But I also acquired skills that are harder to teach, and harder to learn. I learned to face my fears, of confined spaces, heights, the dark, and failure. I learned that attention to detail is actually the foundation of any successful operation. I learned to love and trust the Brother standing next to me even more than myself. Most of all, I learned that my own internal attitude was the single most important factor for success.

These skills I learned and the attitude I developed were both critical elements in landing my dream job. I attribute my success in the Academy to the fantastic instructors, excellent curriculum and real-world equipment used. These days many fire departments require applicants to have successfully completed a Firefighter I academy just to submit a job application. If you bring the Will, the Sierra College Regional Fire Academy will help you find the Way.

James Vincent

Chris Silvas

Firefighter, Grass Valley City Fire Dept

After serving six years in the Army with two of those years served in Baghdad, Iraq, I started my path to fulfilling my second dream in life to becoming a firefighter through Sierra College in March 2010. I was inspired as a child by my father who worked with LAFD and now is a Paramedic in Placer County with AMR.

I attended EMT School and completed all of my Fire Tech Classes through Sierra College before attending Sierra Colleges Regional Fire Academy in 2012. I am a proud graduate of Class 12-1. Sierra Colleges Fire Tech Program and Fire Academy in my opinion are the best around. They offer the highest quality of instructors by ensuring they not only have a degree in Fire Tech, but also several years of full time firefighter experience. The combination of being 'on paper' and in the 'streets' qualified, offered what I believe to be the best instructors around. They not only taught you the skills you need to be successful but also ensured you understood what it meant to be a firefighter in today’s fire service.

The professionalism and dedication to absolute excellence is evident in the Core Values of the Fire Academy: Honor, Courage, and Devotion to Duty. The excellent training helped prepare me to interview and earn a position as an Intern with the Grass Valley City Fire Dept. in July 2012. I spent 6 months working full time as an Intern where I was able to earn real world full time firefighter experience on an Engine and a Truck Company. Immediately following the end of my Internship in Dec 2012 I not only graduated with my Degree in Fire Tech but also earned my State Firefighter I certificate. Following this I was able to earn a spot with the Diamond Springs/El Dorado Fire District as a Volunteer Resident Firefighter. I worked with them from Jan 2013 to July 2013 while I also attended Paramedic School. In August 2013 I was hired by the Grass Valley City Fire Dept full time as a Firefighter. This is just over one year after I graduated the Fire Academy and I could not have accomplished this without the amazing training I received at the Sierra College Regional Fire Academy. 

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