UPDATED WITH CORRECT GRADUATION DATE . . .
Fox Reality Channel's series The Academy: Orange County Fire does not debut with 10 original episodes until Oct. 24, but details about the season finale are spreading like a grass fire.
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Cameras capture a team of instructors known as "The Cadre" from the Irvine-headquartered Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) guiding recruits through their transformation into firefighters. The capper will be the
July 2 July 1 graduation ceremony, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is tentatively scheduled to speak. The man does love his cameras, so here's hoping he can clear his calendar and still has a state to represent come July.
With or without Da Gov, the ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Following graduating firefighters getting pinned, recruits participate in a demonstration that includes: rappelling down a tower; climbing to the top of ladders; extinguishing a car set aflame; and extricating someone from a car with the help of the Jaws of Life. The show stopper will be a "two hose fire truck salute" with water spraying in the air. Sounds like a scene from Zoolander.
The first two seasons of The Academy followed Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department recruits. Scott Sternberg Productions decided to switch to a fire academy for season three after the horrific Southern California wildfires of 2007. The show has been documenting 29 OCFA recruits undering 18 weeks of grueling physical and emotional training. This represented the first time the agency opened its doors to outside camera crews.
The OCFA serves 22 cities in Orange County and all unincorporated areas, protecting more than 1,380,000 residents with its 62 fire stations located throughout the county.