The Honolulu Community College Fire Recruit class of 2012 (photo courtesy of Honolulu Community College)

Honolulu Community College is celebrating the success of 21 new, fully-trained and certified level 1 firefighters who graduate on May 4 from the college’s Fire and Environmental Emergency Response Program.

A special ceremony will be held for the 21 trainees who completed their capstone Firefighter-1 course in their final semester, a 16-credit course with two components that consist of an online virtual classroom experience to develop cognitive knowledge and competency-based skills training and testing to National Fire Protection Association standards.

The Honolulu campus is the first community college in the University of Hawaiʻi System to offer an associate in applied science degree in fire science.

The FIRE Program provides students with entry level skills or in-service professional development preparing students for jobs in the fire service field, such as fire inspector, fire investigator, insurance adjuster and safety and building inspector. They learn to function as integral members of a firefighting team, and earn certificates in CPR, emergency medical service-first responder or EMT-basic, hazardous materials awareness and operations and rirefighter-1.

“As a former federal fire trainer, it was apparent that FIRE recruits from Honolulu Community College had the foundational skills and theory for the job that others didn’t have making them more competitive and better qualified to be successful firefighters on the job,” shared Chief Richard (Scotty) Rhode, lead Honolulu CC FIRE instructor.

Many of the recruits have applied to fire service organizations, both locally and nationally.

Successful graduates from the Honolulu Community College FIRE Program include Rhode, who is a fire chief at Sasebo Navy Base in Japan, Honolulu Fire Department Chief Kenneth Silva, Federal Fire Department Hawaiʻi Chief Glenn deLaura and retired Honolulu Fire Department Chief Attilio Leonardi.

Update on May 7, 2012&#8212Photos from the event are on Honolulu’s facebook page.