Fire Academy Student Wants to Help Save Lives

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Plusone Email

fireacademystudent

by Eric Jensen

Lucy Avila came to evening class dressed to learn. She wore a heavy coat and padded pants equipped with reflector strips, gloves, an air mask with air tanks strapped to her back, and a helmet.

Avila is studying to become a firefighter at Victoria College, and she is the only female in her class of 16 students.

Her dream of becoming a firefighter was ignited during a fire department demonstration at her school when she was in the first grade.

“They brought a fire truck to school, and students were allowed to touch some of the equipment,” she recalls. “I’ve also had friends pass away in fires, so I want to help save lives.”

Her dream of becoming a firefighter was ignited during a fire department demonstration at her school when she was in the first grade.

The 19-year-old graduate of Victoria West High School enjoys the coursework in VC’s Fire Academy, complimenting her instructors who are “great at explaining stuff. They are good people who want to see us succeed.”

During training exercises, Avila and the other students have learned the importance of teamwork. “You can’t be a freelancer in an emergency,” she says. She likens her instructors and fellow students to her second family, knowing that if she needs support, “they have my back, and I have theirs.”

Avila’s parents were worried about Avila’s plan to enter firefighting training at first, but they have come to support her decision.

“My mom was a little iffy about it,” Avila said. “My parents thought it was dangerous, but at the end of the day, they were 100 percent supportive of me.”

After she completes the course and takes the state certification test, Avila plans to enroll in VC’s Police Academy.

“I’m not the partying type, but putting out fires, to me, is like being at a party,” she says with a smile.” CF

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Plusone Email