Big Bear City Fire Department Launches Apprentice Firefighter Program; Three Former PCFs Are Sworn In at Last Night’s CSD Meeting

Bear City Fire's new PCFs Tom Morgan and Justin Ploense with Chief Willis (as CSD Director Barbara Beck looks on).

Bear City Fire's new PCFs Tom Morgan and Justin Ploense with Chief Willis (as CSD Director Barbara Beck looks on).

The Big Bear City Fire Department welcomed their two new paid-call firefighters, Tom Morgan and Justin Ploense, during the Board of Directors meeting of the Community Services District on April 20. Fire Chief Jeff Willis also introduced the first three members of the department’s inaugural Apprentice Firefighter Program, which will allow trainees the opportunity to do shift work at the station, while also continuing their education; though full-time employment is not assured after completion of the program, it offers a win-win for both trainees and the department, which will have qualified candidates to draw from when needed. Apprentice firefighters include Roger LaVoire (who has been a PCF with the department since 2005 and is just three months from completing his paramedic schooling), Justin Fluke (who has been with the department for a year) and Robert Whitmore (who joined the team in 2006 and is nearly done with his training as a paramedic). Chief Willis told the CSD Board that he is most proud of the Big Bear City Fire Department’s paid-call firefighter program, which often fields high school graduates who have been a part of Firefighter Bob Barnett’s Firefighter Explorer program—in doing this, notes Willis, the Big Bear City Fire Department is keeping with the Lighthouse Project’s vision for a child-honoring community.

The department's first candidates in the Apprentice Firefighter Program--Roger LaVoire, Justin Fluke and Robert Whitmore--are sworn in at the April 20 CSD meeting.

The department's first candidates in the Apprentice Firefighter Program--Roger LaVoire, Justin Fluke and Robert Whitmore--are sworn in at the April 20 CSD meeting.

[caption id="attachment_4066" align="alignleft" width="275" caption="Bear City Fire's new PCFs Tom Morgan and Justin Ploense with Chief Willis (as CSD Director Barbara Beck looks on)."]Bear City Fire's new PCFs Tom Morgan and Justin Ploense with Chief Willis (as CSD Director Barbara Beck looks on).[/caption]

The Big Bear City Fire Department welcomed their two new paid-call firefighters, Tom Morgan and Justin Ploense, during the Board of Directors meeting of the Community Services District on April 20. Fire Chief Jeff Willis also introduced the first three members of the department’s inaugural Apprentice Firefighter Program, which will allow trainees the opportunity to do shift work at the station, while also continuing their education; though full-time employment is not assured after completion of the program, it offers a win-win for both trainees and the department, which will have qualified candidates to draw from when needed. Apprentice firefighters include Roger LaVoire (who has been a PCF with the department since 2005 and is just three months from completing his paramedic schooling), Justin Fluke (who has been with the department for a year) and Robert Whitmore (who joined the team in 2006 and is nearly done with his training as a paramedic). Chief Willis told the CSD Board that he is most proud of the Big Bear City Fire Department’s paid-call firefighter program, which often fields high school graduates who have been a part of Firefighter Bob Barnett’s Firefighter Explorer program—in doing this, notes Willis, the Big Bear City Fire Department is keeping with the Lighthouse Project’s vision for a child-honoring community.

[caption id="attachment_4067" align="alignleft" width="575" caption="The department's first candidates in the Apprentice Firefighter Program--Roger LaVoire, Justin Fluke and Robert Whitmore--are sworn in at the April 20 CSD meeting."]The department's first candidates in the Apprentice Firefighter Program--Roger LaVoire, Justin Fluke and Robert Whitmore--are sworn in at the April 20 CSD meeting.[/caption]

Related posts:

  1. Big Bear City Fire Department Adds Apprentice Firefighter Program; Chief Willis Calls It a “Win-Win”
  2. CSD Meeting To Discuss Apprentice Fire Fighter Program
  3. County Supervisors Approve 30 New PCFs for County Fire Department, Fawnskin Appointees to Commission, and Lease Extension for Local Animal Shelter in Yesterday’s Meeting