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A Golden Moment: Collin College Fire Academy's 50th Class Walks Across The Stage
Collin College Fire Academy s 50th Class Walks Across The Stage
Class 50 and FacultyCollin College�s Fire Academy graduated its 50th class (pictured) May 19. More than 1,000 first responders have gotten their start in the program over the years.

CLASS 50 AND FACULTY - Collin College’s Fire Academy graduated its 50th class (pictured) May 19. More than 1,000 first responders have gotten their start in the program over the years.

May 20, 2011 – Collin College Fire Academy has reached a milestone.

On May 19, the academy graduated its 50th class at the John Anthony Theatre at the Spring Creek Campus in Plano.

The first Fire Academy class at Collin College graduated on May 9, 1992. Of those 20 graduates, 14 worked in area fire departments. To date, nine are still in area departments. Three of those graduates from class No. 1 are current instructors in the academy.

Overall, 1,080 men and women have graduated from the Fire Academy. At least one representative from each of the 49 previous classes attended the ceremony.

“Class No. 50 is a huge milestone for us at the Fire Academy,” said Pat McAuliff, director of the Fire Academy. “It symbolizes the pride and passion of our instructors -- pride in the fire service and a passion for teaching. Knowing that we had a direct impact on more 1,000 firefighters during the past 19 years is very rewarding."

The academy boasts 25 straight graduating classes passing the state written exam for accreditation.

During the commencement for the Fire Academy's 50th class, representatives from each of the first 49 classes convened as a showcase to the program's longevity

FIRE ALUMNI - During the commencement for the Fire Academy's 50th class, representatives from each of the first 49 classes convened as a showcase to the program's longevity.

The Fire Science Program includes the academy in addition to associate of applied science degrees and certificates in Fire Officer and Basic Firefighter. Other available certifications include Investigator, Inspector, Driver/Operator, Fire Officer I and II, Fire Instructor I and II, and Hazardous Materials Technician.

“Our goal in the Fire Academy is to prepare students for entry level jobs in area fire departments. What has impressed me the most is the large number of our program graduates who have promoted through the ranks,” McAuliff said. “We have made a huge impact on the fire service in the area. Fifty classes of graduates is quite an accomplishment. Walk in most any fire station in Collin County, and you'll find a graduate of Colin College Fire Academy.”

Go to www.collin.edu/webgalleries/firegrad50-2011/ to view photos from the 50th class commencement.

Visit www.collin.edu/firescience/ for more information.

Collin College serves more than 51,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.