BY GLORIA RIVERA
Anthony Leclerc, a fire technology major at College of the Desert knew right after high school he wanted a career where he could serve the people. Leclerc was born and raised in Hemet, Calif. and as a young child never really had a dream career but always wanted to join the military. He always wanted to serve and protect the people, “I have always wanted to serve the community whether it was the military, police or the fire service,” said Leclerc.
After graduating from La Quinta High School in 2016, Leclerc joined the COD Fire Academy. His classes provided young adults with the knowledge and skills to safely perform, essential and advanced fire ground tasks. Leclerc said, “I’ve always been interested in firefighting.” The academy also teaches Emergency Medical Services, more commonly known as EMS, a system that provides emergency medical care. ” Firefighting is not only about putting out fires, with EMS I can help provide immediate medical care to the people who most need it,” adds Leclerc.
The academy consists of different instructors for different classes. The instructor teaches about certain skills for about four hours before students go out and complete hands-on drills. Leclerc mentions, “My best memory during the academy was when we did firefighter survival and rescue drills.” This gives students insight into possible realistic scenarios. “The drills showed us different ways of rescuing a downed firefighter and we used each other as practice it definitely, brought us closer together as a team, ” said Leclerc. When you learn to work as part of a team with other people, you learn important life skills. You learn “how to communicate with other people effectively and how to be part of a community.”
Leclerc is looking forward to graduating, “I feel great about graduating, it has been a long nine months, it feels very rewarding to be done and to move forward to the next chapter of my life,” said Leclerc. He is excited to see what life is going to be after the academy whether it is out of California. Although he does not mind staying. Leclerc is eager to serve the community and put his new skills to the test.
Leclerc offers advice for students who are considering joining the academy, “enjoy it and make every moment count because it will be a quick nine months.” He also wants students to know that it will not be easy. It’s important to stay motivated because at the end it will be more than just a job.
Anthony Leclerc will be graduating with fourteen other academy members on May 22, 2018 at the McCallum theater. The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m.. For more information, visit CollegeoftheDesert.edu or call (760) 773-2516