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Del Mar College fire cadets finish up live-fire training before graduation

Included in the class of 27 cadets are seven dual-credit high school students.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 27 fire cadets from Del Mar College are gearing up for graduation. Tuesday was their last day of live fire training where their skills are put to the test.

The cadets had to wear full protective gear and fight fires during real-life scenarios that they are guaranteed to see out in the field. They extinguished fires on a liquified petroleum gas tank, a propane cylinder, a dumpster, and a car.

Instructors from Del Mar College's public safety program were on the lookout for any mistakes or violations.

Included in the class of 27 cadets are seven dual-credit high school students. They will become certified firefighters before they even graduate high school.

On Tuesday the cadets' friends and family got to see them in action.

"We're doing industrial live burns," Cadet Richard Gutierrez Jr. said. "Our goal was to suppress the fire and cut off all, I guess the gas lines to the fire."

The cadets will have skills practice for three days, then they will take their skills test and two finals. Finally, on May 9, they will take their state written test in the morning and that evening they will have their graduation ceremony.

The week after graduation will be an anxious one for the cadets because that's when they find out if they passed their certification test.

Fire Academy officials said on May 1 they will have an open house for anyone interested in joining their fire science program. That includes high school dual-credit and college students. They will be giving tours from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

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