WHAT: Fifty firefighters from across California are hewing their way through structures with axes and chainsaws and carving up cars during an advanced training course this week at Rio Hondo College’s annual Regional Truck Academy.

WHEN: Through Friday, Jan. 18

WHERE: Rio Hondo Fire Training Center, 11400 Greenstone Ave., Santa Fe Springs

DETAILS: The Regional Truck Academy, launched in 2006, offers professionals a mix of instructional lectures and hands-on exercises, including forcible entry into burning structures, structure ventilation, high-rise operations, elevator rescues, rope rescues, thermal imaging, auto extraction and rapid intervention tactics.

The academy runs for 88 hours over 11 days.

MEDIA: Best days for photos are Jan. 16-17. For a daily calendar of exercises, visit http://www.riohondotruckacademy.com/truckacademy.htm.