California Fire Mechanics Academy

Behind the Scenes

Running the Academy is no small task for the dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to make this training opportunity available. Many dedicated individuals have contributed to making this program the highly respected premier training event for fire apparatus equipment technicians from throughout the country.

Throughout the year, the CFMA Board of Directors meets every quarter to handle the business of the academy and plan and prepare the next academy event. This meeting usually takes place at the host hotel for the next academy. It requires weekend time and travel for Board members to participate.

Beginning at least two years in advance of an academy, meetings are taking place with event participants such as hotels, colleges, locations, partners, and local fire department staff who all will be involved in providing a successful training event.

Each June, the Board devotes an entire weekend to reviewing the previous academy. This meeting includes going through each and every evaluation and discussing valid student and instructor concerns and ways to improve our program.

As Academy approaches, the training equipment must be ordered, repaired, and updated. A tremendous amount of materials, including T-shirts, textbooks, classroom handouts and office equipment, must be physically moved to the training site. A few weeks before academy, the situation could easily be considered "controlled chaos." The CFMA office phone is always "busy" and there are always last-minute changes to handle, along with the actual moving of the equipment and supplies.

Academy week begins for the dedicated CFMA volunteers working on site days before the actual academy begins. All equipment must be placed in the appropriate classrooms, set up and organized for classes to begin on Monday morning. As CFMA registration check-in begins, you can easily find the CFMA staff running around behind the scenes making it all happen.