He says he was inspired to pursue a career in firefighting by a late uncle who was part of a volunteer department in St. Louis.
On Monday, John Sennett of Clawson, moved one step closer to his goal of becoming a firefighter as he and 22 other cadets graduated from the Oakland Community College Fire Training Academy.
The 7-month long program puts the cadets through a series of programs with the ultimate goal of achieving a state certification.
Sennett says the cadets are put through basic fire instruction that includes a scenario that duplicates the intense heat and flames in a flashover simulation. "The room is 800 degrees and we got to knock back a fire. Essentially what happens is you get black smoke that fills up and starts igniting and you're watching fingers of flames coming at you from six inches away...at that point you know it's make or break. Everybody walks out high-fiving, that was awesome."
Fire Academy Training coordinator Lt. Tom Kmiec says several of the new graduates are already sponsored by local departments such as Troy, Waterford and Groveland Twp.
Sennett, who hopes to be hired by Clawson, and several others are what's called preservice and pay for the training themselves in hopes of being affiliated with a department. "It's a dream come true. I've been working towards this for 2-3 years," Sennett said.