SACRAMENTO -- The next generation of Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters graduated Friday evening. A total of 17 new recruits are set to join the force next week.
Before they got to graduation, this hard-nose group of recruits went through 18 grueling weeks of training that included hundreds of hours of drills and, “strenuous physical challenges, academic challenges, EMS, fire-ground, technical rescue,” Christ Vestal with Sac Metro listed.
Twice a year, Sac Metro fire graduates new recruits with anywhere from 15 to 30 people.
“All of them go right out into the field, they work with a senior mentor for a period of time until they're fully qualified,” Vestal explained.
Graduate Tony Ramos said he tries, “to live out my dream that I had since I was a child and I knew I wanted to do two things. I wanted to be a soldier and I wanted to be a firefighter.”
Ramos, 24, spent four years recently with the Army Rangers as a medic. He twice had active tours of duty overseas. He returned home in hopes of putting his skills to good use.
“The job types were very similar. Both were high-action type of stuff. A lot of camaraderie was needed. High-stress environments. But having a military background made the transition pretty smooth,” Ramos said.
Ramos, who graduated at the top of his class, is both a firefighter and paramedic with Sac Metro now; a valuable position within the department.
“If I'm in a structure fire and there is a victim, I become a paramedic. I take them out of the danger zone where they can transition from victim to patient and I treat them,” he said.