Longtime Fire Academy Coordinator Andy Densmore will be retiring after more than 30 years with the Hancock Fire Academy.
Mr. Densmore will leave behind a legacy of training hundreds of firefighters who have gone on to work for local agencies on the Central Coast and beyond.
“Andy is a legend in the firefighting community,” said Mitch McCann, associate dean for Hancock’s Public Safety Training Complex in Lompoc. “His leadership has impacted our entire college and will be missed by not only the men and women of public safety training, but the entire firefighting community.”
Mr. Densmore is a product of Hancock’s fire program, graduating from the college’s fire academy in 1978. He spent 30 years as a firefighter for the Lompoc City Fire Department before retiring as a battalion chief. Densmore began working on staff at the college’s fire academy in 1987, and has served as the AHC Fire Academy’s coordinator for the last 11 years. During that time, Densmore helped the academy and the PSTC grow into a premier firefighting program in the state, turning out class after class of highly trained firefighters prepared to serve and protect communities.
“The impact that Andy has had on the fire service in our community cannot be overstated,” said Hancock Superintendent/President Dr. Kevin G. Walthers. “We know that our families, neighbors and friends are in good hands because of the excellent training he has provided for generations of firefighters.”
Mr. Densmore’s final year at Hancock was marked by unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with a dedicated group of college administrators, staff and instructors, he helped implement stringent safety procedures, allowing the program to continue training firefighters during the pandemic. During Battalion #146’s graduation ceremony, Mr. Densmore credited the class of cadets for observing those safety protocols during their training.
“I asked you at the beginning of the program to buy in and take the COVID-19 situation seriously, and you did that,” Mr. Densmore told the recruits. “This class could have ended if we had a single exposure, but that didn’t happen because of your efforts and your conscientious attitude.”
While his students and coworkers used terms like “iconic” and “legend” to describe his contributions to the academy, Mr. Densmore used his remarks during the graduation to thank the academy instructors and staff for their hard work supporting the firefighting program.
“We have the best instructors and staff in the state here,” he said. “They get all the credit. They take their time to share their knowledge with our recruits, so they can learn things they can’t learn anywhere else.”
To learn more about the AHC Fire Academy, visit www.hancockcollege.edu/pstc/fire.
— Mitchell White