My name is Andy Van Hoogmoed, I will be one of your instructors/facilitators for this class. My interest in the fire service began at a young age before I even really knew what I wanted to do with my life. As a youngster, I was always interested in subjects such as first aid, CPR, and Life Guard training so the Fire Service just seemed to be a natural progression for me. My career started as a Volunteer Firefighter on my 18th birthday for Madera County Fire Department where I served until I was hired by the City of Merced Fire Department in 1983. I spent the next 34 years with Merced City Fire Department and retired at the rank of Captain. After my time with Merced City Fire Department, I was fortunate enough to be hired by Columbia College in 2016 as a full time faculty instructor for the Fire Academy. I received my AS degree in Fire Technology from Merced College and a BS degree in Occupational Safety and Health from Columbia Southern University.
As firefighters, we have a direct link to the community by participating in fire prevention activities such as local business inspections, target hazard inspections, fire investigations, and public education programs, just to name a few. I am excited to share training and experiences that I have gained over the years in order to assist students in pursuing their educational goals that will pave the path to their careers in the fire service.