The Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Citizens Fire Academy is gearing up for another year of educating and training residents about the fire and emergency services. A registered Fire Corps program since 2005, the Academy allows Las Vegas residents to learn more about the fire department and how it operates. Since its inception in 2000, over 300 citizens have completed the program. Participants receive hands-on training, witness demonstrations, and accompany crews on calls to observe emergency response activities.

Graduates of the Academy are brought in on an as-needed basis to assist the fire department in a number of non-emergency functions including: answering telephones, passing out flyers in neighborhoods during or after a disaster, assisting in shelters, staffing canteen or emergency food centers, and acting as victims during disaster and emergency training exercises. The members also learn how to make their home and community safer through training on the use of fire extinguishers, first aid, and CPR.

The Academy has provided a steady stream of volunteers for Las Vegas Fire & Rescue over the years. Next year, the department is aiming to establish a core group of 20 volunteers selected from over 450 Academy graduates to serve as a standing Fire Corps program. In addition to completing the requirements of the Academy, volunteers for this group will have to complete CERT training.

The Academy has a strong track record of success. A dozen graduates have gone on to become active firefighters and at least four are wildland firefighters. Many more have volunteered for other response organizations including the Trauma Intervention Program and the American Red Cross.

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue are now accepting applications for this year’s Academy. Classes are free and meet weekly for three hours beginning in February. For more information or to apply contact the Citizens Fire Academy Hotline at 702-229-0146 or visit www.lasvegasfire.org.

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