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Truck Company Operations Academy

The Rio Hondo Regional Truck Academy is an intensive, 11 day (88 hour) training course designed for the Professional Firefighter.

No matter what size department you come from, this course is for you!  Truck work is performed everyday, no matter the size of you department.  This is a great training opportunity that always fills up fast!

This course is designed to be primarily hands-on and is physically demanding.

Location:  Rio Hondo Regional Fire Training Center (11400 Greenstone Avenue, Santa Fe Springs, CA)

Class Size: 48 Students

Price: $1300 (Students outside of California-$1686)

Prerequisites:  Firefighter-1 or equivalent

Certifications Received:

Rio Hondo Fire Technology, Truck Company Operations 88 hour course completion certification

California State Fire Marshal, State Fire Training, Firefighter Survival Certification (FSTEP)

Students also receive 2 college units from Rio Hondo College

Required Equipment:

Standard Work Uniform for classroom lecture

Full Structural Firefighting PPE

Hearing Protection


Eye Protection


SCBA, with a minimum of 2 spare cylinders and a Personal Alarm Device


This is a physically demanding course.  Students should be in good health and without medical issues that may preclude them from participating.

Students are allowed to miss 10% (8 hours) of the course and still receive credit.  For students that must miss more than 10%, they will be allowed to attend the next Truck Academy class (for the sections missed) free of charge to receive their certification

Truck Academy Manual


Truck Academy Outline

Day 1 (Monday)

Building Construction and Utilities Lecture:  This 4 hour lecture is designed with the Firefighter in mind and uncovers many of the hidden dangers in building construction today.  The lecture covers conventional and lightweight construction as it relates to both residential and commercial occupancies.  Students will also participate in a building walks, which will solidify the concepts that were discussed in class.

Aerial Apparatus Rescue: Students will learn how set up basic rope rescue systems and how to utilize an Aerial Apparatus as a "high pick point".  We will discuss the advantages and dangers in this system as well as introduce some advanced rope rescue techniques.

Chainsaw Service and Maintenance:        In this portion, each student is given a chainsaw to dissect.  Students will develop a better working knowledge of how the saw operates, and will learn quick fixes if the saw goes down on the fire ground.   




Day 2 (Tuesday)


Vertical Ventilation Lecture:  3.5 hours

Horizontal Ventilation Lecture: 1 hour

Forcible Entry Lecture: 3.5 hours






Day 3 (Wednesday)

Forcible Entry:  This is 4 hours of hands on Forcible Entry!  Students will participate in all facets of emergency entry and exit; from "through the lock" techniques, conventional irons techniques, to "high density" forcible entry.  Our props provide numerous challenges for the students to participate in.

Ventilation:  Another 4 hours of hands on training.  Students will work on rolling rafters and diagnostic holes as well as axe techniques.  Students will improve their saw and axe handling skills and become safer and more efficient "sawyers".



Day 4 (Thursday)

Ventilation:  This day is split into 4 different workstations- Steep Pitch Ventilation, Shallow Pitch Ventilation, Commercial Ventilation ("with construction"), and Commercial Ventilation ("against construction").  Students will learn the basic "5 Cut, center-rafter-louver" for both Lightweight and Conventional construction, as well as "Dicing" techniques on Conventinal    (1" x 6") construction. 






Day 5 (Friday)

Ventilation:  Day 5 is also split into 4 different workstations- Horizontal Ventilation, Specialized Operations, Two-saw Commercial Ventilation ("with construction"), and Two-saw Commercial Ventilation ("against construction").  We will discuss the benefits of using Horizontal Ventilation through Positive Pressure, Negative Pressure, and Natural Ventilation.  For Specialized Operations, students will perform "Pull-backs" and "Drop-cuts".  Our two saw operations stress efficient roof operations for commercial ventilation for both 3 and 4 person roof operations.




Day 6 (Saturday)

Elevator Rescue:  Students will learn the anatomy and differences in operation between electric and hydraulic elevators; this will include entering the hoistway and getting on top of the elevator cars.  We will tour the control rooms and have the opportunity to drift the elevators.  Students will learn different elevator door "picking" techniques, both top and side, as well as poling techniques.  Phase 1 and Phase 2 Elevator controls will also be covered in this portion. 

High Rise Operations:  This course covers multiple subjects as it relates to High Rise Firefighting Operations.  Students will learn and participate in different firefighting tactics, command structure, lobby control, rescue techniques, and ventilation operations.




Sunday Off



Day 7 (Monday)

Rapid Intervention Crew / Firefighter Survival Lecture:  Our second week of training starts with a 4 hour lecture on Rapid Intervention Crew Tactics and Firefighter Survival.  We will discuss the need for RIC teams and how they operate.  We will also look at a few case studies as well as some first hand accounts from recent experiences. 

Rapid Intervention Crew / Firefighter Survival Skills:  The afternoon covers a couple of the basic RIC skills as well as Firefighter Survival Techniques.  Students will learn basic firefighter drags, how to carry a firefighter up/down stairs, and SCBA awareness and profiling techniques.




Day 8 (Tuesday)

Rapid Intervention Crew / Firefighter Survival Skills:  On the second day of RIC/Survival training, students will participate in an SCBA confidence course, large area search techniques, as well as perform up to date skills (Denver prop, Nance prop, Low Profile Ladder Escape, Window Hang, Hose Slide, etc.).








Day 9 (Wednesday)


Auto Extrication:  This is an 8 hour hands on course designed for Advanced Auto Extrication techniques.  We have 3 scenarios set up for students to participate in.  These scenarios include vehicles on their roof, vehicles on their side, and vehicles on a "K-rail".





Day 10 (Thursday)

Truck Company Operations Lecture:  This is a 4 hour lecture, which looks at the different tactics and strategies of a Truck Company.  Students will also discuss the techniques of reading smoke.

Thermal Imaging Operations:  The students will utilize thermal imaging cameras in two different scenarios.  First, students will observe fire behavior as seen through the TIC in our Phase 1 Flashover container.  Next, students will enter our search house, where they will understand the benifits and limitations to Thermal Imaging.

Ventilation Over Fire:  This is as real as it gets!  Students will practice "top side" ventilation techniques performed earlier in the class with actual fire below.




Day 11 (Friday)

Fire Ground Drills:  On the last day, students will be given the opportunity to put in to play the skills that they have learned and practiced throughout the Truck Academy.  Scenarios will include Rapid Intervention Crew Tactics, Ventilation, Vehicle Extrication, and Forcible Entry/IDLH Training.