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Peoria residents graduate from first Peoria Fire-Medical Citizens Fire Academy


PEORIA – Peoria Fire-Medical invited 20 residents to get a behind-the-scenes look at how their fire department runs in the first Peoria Fire Citizens Academy of its type. Participants got a hands-on experience that few outside the fire department will ever have.

The Citizens Academy was held for five weeks with a different meeting location every week. After getting an overview of the department in week one, participants quickly got their hands dirty on week two as they learned about ladder operations and hose management. Each person that was brave enough got a ride up in the 90-foot ladder bucket. Participants also learned how to manage and spray a hose, a skill they would use in week four. Firefighters also used a simulated “doll house” to explain fire behavior.

Week three consisted of a trip to Peoria’s support services department to learn about the mechanics of a fire truck. Participants then headed to the Phoenix Alarm Room to learn about the 911 dispatch system.

The culmination of everything participants learned was in week four with live fire exercises. After being fitted for a full set of turnout gear, participants went through the burn house for an introduction to heat. Inside the smoky structure, crews explained how smoke and fire spread inside a building and how the fire is fought from the interior. Finally, residents got to battle a simulated car fire using the same equipment that firefighters use for training.

This is the first time Peoria Fire-Medical has held this type of Citizens Academy and based on the positive response from the participants, it will likely become an annual event.

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