Fire Science students master lifesaving tools at CCC


CCC Fire Science student Krista Kramer tries her hand at using extrication tools during a training session at the Flagstaff Fire Department training facility in Flagstaff.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Coconino Community College student Krista Kramer first thought about being a firefighter when she was 13 years old.


“I liked how you’re doing something different every day,” Kramer said. “And I like helping people.”


Kramer was one of a full roster of students who spent the day earlier this summer getting needed training on the use of “extrication tools,” or tools used to help remove victims from damaged vehicles at accident scenes.


“I’m trying to get all my cert(ification)s, so I can get hired on at a station,” Kramer said, adding that in addition to Firefighter 1 and 2, she is also seeking at CCC certifications in Hazardous Materials, Emergency Medical Technician and Wildland Firefighter.


The lifesaving equipment and support to the Nursing, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedicine and Fire Science programs was made possible through generous grants from the Arizona Community Foundation, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and state Science, Technology, Engineering and Math funds. 


Marc Goldberg, coordinator of the CCC Fire Science program, said that the classes teach students to become a structural firefighter. Students learn how to ventilate a building, search and rescue, firefighting, ground ladders, fire prevention, public education, forcible entry and vehicle extrication.


Getting into the field and using the extrication tools is crucial, Goldberg said.


“Although we can teach the concepts in class, hands-on training and repetition reinforces the ‘why’ and ‘how,’” Goldberg said. “As important, it creates the muscle memory firefighters use to perform in stressful situations. If we train them the correct way to perform in a non-emergent setting, this is what they will draw from when in a real-life, stressful situation.”


The students spent the day at the Flagstaff Fire Department training center in East Flagstaff taking turns on becoming familiar with the tools, as well as demonstrating a variety of other skills – such as timed drills in tying knots and donning protective gear.


Goldberg said, “Preparing for a career in the fire service requires you to be physically fit, team-oriented, problem solving, self-motivated and have a desire to learn and serve.”


Kramer, during a break in the training, said that when she was younger, she endured a number of challenges that made her want to be there for others facing similar challenges.


“I wanted to be that helper for someone, in case they didn’t have anyone,” Kramer said.

The COVID-19 shutdown of the state put the training session on hold until after the stay-at-home order was lifted in mid-May. The wait was tough, Kramer said, but once they got back at it, she found she enjoyed the hard work.


As for getting her hands on the extrication tools, Kramer said, “It’s very fun and a whole lot easier than hand tools. It’s the best and fastest way possible to getting to victims and help get them out.”


She added, “This training is invaluable to me.”


For more information about the CCC Fire Science program, visit For a photo essay of the training session, visit



Wednesday, 15th July 2020

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  • Wednesday, 15th July 2020