Harrisonville Emergency Services is looking to recruit interested men and women for its inaugural citizens fire academy.
As part of the program, participants will be issued firefighter turnout gear, ride along on service calls and race against the clock while using the Jaws of Life in a vehicle extrication.
Emergency Services Chief Larry Francis said the academy will give participants a behind-the-scenes view of the city’s emergency services department, along with a deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians
“The purpose of this is to educate people on what we do,” Francis said. “We do a whole host of different things, and we want to make sure people understand what we do.”
By combining classroom sessions with interactive demonstrations, Francis said, the department will give participants a glimpse into the day-to-day operations in fire and EMS service.
Francis said he’s been wanting to host a citizens fire academy for several years, but the money to do so hasn’t been available until now. He said he isn’t aware of any other citizen fire academy programs in Cass County.
“There are other departments across the U.S. who have done it and had a lot of good success in it,” Francis said.
The course will meet for about two or three hours on Wednesday evenings, beginning Sept. 10, and will run for seven weeks, ending Oct. 22.
Session topics include:
• Department history
• Communication and apparatus
• CPR certification
• EMS overview
• Protective equipment
• Vehicle extrication
• Fire drills.
Participants also can observe dispatchers in the new dispatch center, take a pager home, receive American Heart Association CPR certification, and experience the task of using a self-contained breathing apparatus.
Francis will cap off the academy with live fire drills for participants at the South Metro Fire District’s fire buildings in Raymore on Oct. 25.
“We’ll actually be able to get in, see some smoke and get to feel the heat,” Francis said. “It’s a sample of what we go running into that people run out of.”
Certificates of completion will be awarded during the Nov. 4 Board of Aldermen meeting.
Preference will be given to Harrisonville residents and business owners, but anyone is encouraged to apply. Participants must be at least 18 years old.
Interested individuals should call 816-380-8925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.