Blaze Your Own Trail at TMCC Through Firsthand Learning

Wildland firefighters in training session with tree ablaze.
Kate Kirkpatrick

Not all learning happens in a classroom, and some of the best lessons come from doing things yourself. If this sounds good to you, then you’ll be excited to learn about these upcoming opportunities for Spring semester. You can never get enough training, and the Wildland Fire and Education programs are here to improve your experience through this essential means of learning. Take advantage of these classes, and burn brightly with what inspires you!

Fired Up for Fire Season

Speaking of being fired up, TMCC Wildland Fire Program Coordinator Sandy Munns is exactly that. Here in northern Nevada, but also in many western states, fire season can be a scary time; wildland firefighters play a very important role in keeping our communities safe. If you’re adventurous and need summer employment, or if you’re looking for a career in the fire service, this spring is the perfect time to get trained for a future job as a seasonal firefighter.

“Our Wildland Fire Academy is expanding, we’re growing the program,” said Munns. “In the industry, we need to get new (people) interested. All the agencies are looking for people interested in summer employment, and nowadays, some of the agencies are even paying hiring bonuses.”

Wildland firefighters training through firsthand experience in the field.

Wildland firefighters training through firsthand experience in the field.

The Basic Wildland Fire Academy is only one course, where participants complete a 30-hour, independent study and online course, finishing with an in-person field day to get hands-on training. “We work for a full day, and we do hand crew exercises, mobile attack, progressive hose lay evolutions, firing operations with drip torches and fuses, and mop-up,” Munns continued. “They walk out of there with the full skill set, and knowledge to get an entry-level job in wildland firefighting. You’ll have an amazing summer job.” Students become certified as a Wildland Firefighter, Type 2.

Munns said that training in this field can lead to a lifelong interest in fighting fire. “Our local agencies are all hiring fuel crews and wildland firefighters,” he shared. “Or it can just be a great story to tell your grandchildren someday, about the summer you worked as a firefighter.”

TMCC offers a few basic wildland fire academies throughout the year, with the January session open for enrollment immediately; the field day will be scheduled later in the month. Other sessions are offered in March and October each year. Sign-ups for the January session are currently available.

With more training and education, students could seek longer-term employment with local agencies such as Truckee Meadows Fire, the Forest Service, or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to name a few. TMCC also offers an associate of applied science degree in fire technology for those who wish to pursue a career in firefighting.

For more information, contact the Fire Technology Program or call 775-336-4270.

Hands-On Education Course at Picollo School Returns

For those in TMCC’s Education Teacher Preparation program, classroom observation and field experience is an absolute must, and working with young students who have diverse special education needs can be exciting with the right training. Fortunately, TMCC can help: This spring, EDU 208 (Students with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds) is returning.

“EDU 208 offers a unique learning opportunity where students will gain hands-on experience in a transferable course,” Education Professor Micaela Rubalcava said. “Students will work at Marvin Picollo Elementary School, which serves a high number of culturally diverse students with severe disabilities, whose inclusion needs are addressed with embedded services.”

Not only will you interact with students and Marvin Picollo staff, teachers and administrators, but you’ll learn to engage with a much broader group of support professionals whose work brings educational opportunities to students each day.

“This course offers a great way for TMCC students to build your resume and network with professionals in the education field,” said Rubalcava. “At Marvin Picollo the diverse team of special education professionals will include therapists in occupational, physical and speech areas, social workers, psychologists, physical education and nutrition specialists, and registered nurses. You may also get to observe specialized student experiences with horse, aqua, and music therapists.”

Locally and nationally, teachers are in high demand, with many job opportunities available. Specialized training with diverse student populations can offer you even more opportunities to choose a teaching position that suits your interests! EDU 208 begins soon with the Spring Semester, so register now.

For more information, contact the Social Science Department at 775-673-7185.