About 50 veterans are participating in a four-day firefighting training workshop in the Santa Monica Mountains, so that they’ll be prepared to be on the front lines during the upcoming wildfire season.
Water flows through a creek at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills where Bureau of Land Management firefighting instructors are showing veterans how to use a portable pump. They pump water from the creek into a fire hose.
John Carter, a Navy veteran, is a seasonal firefighter who is hoping this course will hone his skills.
“More like a mission. It’s a personal mission to help others,” he said.
This is the advanced class while the rookie class teaches firefighting basics to veterans including Jonathon Ward of Simi Valley.
“I see the fires all the time and have never been able to help out with that. And now it seems I might be able to,” he said.
The veterans are members of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that unites the skills of veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.