June 30, 2017 10:21:54 AM
Starkville Fire Department is preparing for the its first citizen's academy, which will provide those attending with a unique, hands-on learning experience on everyday fire operations.
Starting on July 13 and continuing through August 17, the fire academy will be held each Thursday evening from 6:30-9 p.m. and will be open to anyone, 18 years or older, who resides in Starkville or Oktibbeha County.
The main reasoning behind starting this program, Fire Chief Charles Yarbrough said, is to inform citizens with an overview of services SFD provides, increase fire and life safety, and to promote the overall image of the department.
"I think there is a misconception sometimes on what we really do," Yarbrough said. "Most of the time, people just think we fight fire, but we actually provide much more than that for the community."
Throughout the six-week academy, those attending will also learn more about 911 communications, which will allow a greater understanding of the dispatch process. They will also observe fire behavior demonstrations and participate in hands-on activities.
On a volunteer basis, participants will also have the opportunity to wear the department's gear and put out a simulated fire scene in the SFD training facilities. On the fifth Thursday, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will be on-scene to provide a CPR and first-aid certification class.
"Our motto here is 'service before self,' so I think this is just a good way to give back to our local community," Yarbrough said. "We're looking forward to everyone coming out and volunteer firefighters for a period of time."
There is a $10 fee to participate due on the first week. For program applications or more information, contact Yarbrough or Lashonda Malone at the Starkville Fire Department on Lampkin Street, by calling 662-323-1212 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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