The Greenville City Fire Department (GCFD) holds its annual Citizens Fire Academy in the fall. This free seven-week program is open to anyone age 18 and older. The Citizens Fire Academy offers a unique opportunity for citizens who live and work in Greenville to learn firsthand what it’s like to be a firefighter. In addition to touring the City’s fire stations and dispatch center, and meeting firefighters and 911 personnel, participants will also have a variety of hands-on learning opportunities, including wearing personal protective equipment, experiencing a fire simulation, extinguishing a fire and learning CPR and basic first aid.
According to David Kerns, GCFD’s chief of training, GCFD has designed the academy to be an educational and empowering experience for citizens. “Because we’re asking people to give up their evenings to spend time with us, we want to make sure they leave the academy with meaningful knowledge, skills and experience,” said Kerns. “So while we certainly hope that participating in our academy will help them gain an appreciation for what it’s like to be a firefighter, one of our main goals is to help them discover what a critical role citizens can play in helping us save lives and prevent fires in the first place.”