Highlights of Citizens Firefighter Academy – Weeks 1 and 2

The Colony Fire Department - Station 3

Week 1 

I was out of town and missed the first class of the Citizens Firefighter Academy. Great way to start things off. The class had a formal welcome from Fire Chief Scott Thompson with an introduction to fire service history and basic fire science. The primary objective is to educate the local public about the fire department and the services/benefits it provides to the community.

Firefighter Academy

Week 2

The second class I introduced myself and received a binder with course agenda, ID Badge, and t-shirt.  Assistant Chief Carl McMurphy gave a presentation about the fire department organization chart and his role in the fire department. He also indicated that we’d be able to participate in ride-outs with the firefighters. The ride-out would allow us to accompany the fire fighters during emergency calls.  This should be fun.  He advised some days you get multiple calls and some days the trucks never leave the station. It just depends but you need to be ready.  Hoping to schedule a day with some action.  There are three fire stations in the Colony and you could choose to your liking.  In the future, I’ll have a special post for the ride-out.

We had discussions about local fire issues in The Colony and residential sprinklers.  Currently legislation requiring fire sprinklers in new single and multi family residencies is a hot topic throughout the country. There are many benefits to support mandatory requirements for automatic sprinklers in new and multi-family homes however legislation in Texas has struck down the proposal.  The homebuilder and realtor industry have deeper pockets with lobbyists opposing legislation.

Chief McMurphy gave a long list of his responsibilities, they include code enforcement, fire inspections, plan review, maintaining apparatus/equipment, background checks, fire hydrant testing, raising funds, emergency management, and more.  This may not be representative of all fully paid fire departments but gives you an idea that fire department management keeps very busy.

Stay tuned for next week as we get suited up with full  bunker gear and self-contained-breathing-apparatus (SCBA).

If your really interested to become a firefighter, you can visit our friends at www.becomeafirefighterhq.net, they can provide you more details of pursuing a career in the fire service.

Citizens Firefighter Academy – The Colony,Texas

 Automatic sprinkler in HDR

The warehouse fire in Grand Prairie,Texas has kept me wondering. How could a fully sprinklered warehouse with modern fire protection systems and adequate fire department response completely burn down?

Without conducting a complete onsite investigation, there could be many factors. I decided to increase my knowledge of how fully paid local fire departments operate. Lo and behold one of the local fire departments had a Citizens Fire Academy program.  The Colony,Texas Fire Department was accepting applications from their citizens. My timing was perfect as the academy program is only offered once a year. After filling out the application and background checks, I was accepted.  Sweet!!  The program is 8-weeks with classes every Monday from 7:00 to 9:30 PM.

The agenda includes the following topics.

Week 1 – Welcome and introduction to the fire academy
Week 2 – Fire cause and determination and code enforcement
Week 3 – Protective clothing and self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
Week 4 – Careflite (medical helicopter) and emergency medical services (EMS)
Week 5 – Hose operation and driving
Week 6 – Search and rescue and vehicle extrication
Week 7 – Live online casino burn/family night
Week 8 – Graduation

I”m not sure if I”ll get any answers about the warehouse fire, but at least gain some valuable knowledge and insight. This will be a weekly series.  I may miss a class however I”ll still try have academy posts up once a week.  Also a quick disclaimer, these are my thoughts and opinions and do not represent any thoughts, opinions, expressions or positions on behalf of The Colony or the The Colony Fire Department unless authorized to do so.  Ok, now thats out of the way.  If you have any questions or comments about fire departments, please ask, I”ll do my best to get them answered.