Published October 5, 2021

My time at Shasta College was less traditional than most. I attended after I had already obtained my bachelor’s degree. As a young college graduate, I had decided to pursue a career in the fire service. Graduating from the Shasta College Fire Academy is what launched my career as a professional firefighter. At the time, I was serving as a volunteer and working as an EMT on the ambulance. That experience and the Firefighter I certification obtained at Shasta College were what I needed to get started. I eventually joined the Longmont Fire Department in the Denver Metro area in Colorado. I spent 25 years serving that community and raising three sons before returning to lead the Redding Fire Department as Fire Chief.

I have fond memories of attending Shasta College. 

My time there connected me to many professionals and lifelong friends and provided the experience needed for a successful career. The instructors were all local firefighters and were the best of the best. Their passion for the job was evident, and they all had high expectations of us as students. 

My advice to young people interested in the fire service is to go to school, get an education, and attend the fire academy and EMT school to prepare for their career. A successful firefighter is “all in.” Every day we have to perform at the highest level. Our community counts on it, and performing less than perfect doesn’t cut it. There is no better place to get started than Shasta College!

Redding Fire Department Chief Jerrod Vanlandingham  
Shasta College Knight