Clatsop Community College’s Fire Response Research Center hosted 120 students in the Fire Cadet program and their instructors for fire training Thursday and Friday.

Participants included cadets from Pacific County (Wash.) Fire District No. 1, Vancouver Fire Department, Cowlitz Fire & Rescue District No. 2 and several other Clark County agencies.

“This event is a great opportunity for cadets to network with their peers and fire service professionals while they hone their skills and gain knowledge that they will then take back to their local communities,” said Kurt Donaldson, a fire science instructor at the college.

Training included live fire scenarios utilizing the research center, truck operations, wildland fire scenarios and hose evolutions.

The Fire Cadet program lets junior and senior high school students learn firsthand what a career in the fire service is really like. It provide essential support to rural volunteer fire districts through training of future volunteers. Cadets also learn about future educational opportunities through the college’s Fire Science program and related degrees.

The college’s Fire Response and Research Center – a sort of academic recreation of the movie set from “Backdraft” – was designed and built to function as an all-weather, year-round facility. The 8,000-square-foot building contains multiple levels and passageways to provide a diverse range of firefighting training scenarios in enclosed spaces. Computer-controlled live burn props fueled by natural gas provide trainees with hands-on experience in fighting the types of fires commonly encountered on vessels, while providing virtually instantaneous shutdown capability for safety.

Direct further inquiries to Kurt Donaldson at 503-338-7650 or



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