It is debatable whether playing with fire trucks as a little boy or watching them whiz by on emergency calls was the beginnings of James Ramlochan’s desire to be a fire fighter. The recent Verdugo Fire Academy graduate took many years of soul searching before he was ready to make the commitment to immerse himself in the process.
And what a process it is. He joined the fire academy in January of 2017 and immediately the Thursday and all day Friday and Saturday time commitment had him wondering if he had chosen wisely.
Beyond the physical demands of training which included learning how to hook up hoses, safety techniques surrounding emergencies and being able to maneuver 50 pounds of gear, Ramlochan had to be competent in the classroom where he needed to score 80 percent or above to stay in the program.
Now a few months out of the academy, the 22-year old credits his years of wrestling at Crespi High for his ability to maintain his physical and mental stamina to get through the challenges of the academy and for family supporters that urged him to follow his dreams and to not give up.
He is currently working at an oil refinery in Long Beach while he awaits word on getting hired for fire units in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Ventura and Oakland.