WFFD to bring back Citizens Fire Academy after nearly a decade

WFFD to bring back Citizens Fire Academy after nearly a decade

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - After nearly a decade the Wichita Falls Fire Department is bringing back their Citizens Fire Academy.

This is a program that focuses on the day-to-day operations of the Wichita Falls Fire Department.

“It’s a program that Chief Reese and I have talked about for a while,” said WFFD Interim Chief Donald Hughes. “The last one we had was in 2008.”

WFFD Captain Rusty Sheppard said a committee made up of community members and firefighters was put together two months ago to help with the planning.

"A lot of us were not involved with the Citizens Fire Academy in the past, so this is basically a learning process for us," said Captain Sheppard. "{We are} setting up the schedule, seeing what the civilians would like to see and be able to learn from what we do."

On Tuesday, the Wichita Falls Professional Fire Fighters posted on Facebook asking what people would be interested in doing if they were in the academy.

Catie Robinson was one of several who responded.

"I think day to day experiences. What they go through just in a regular shift," said Robinson. "What the dispatch process is like, I think that would be really interesting. Putting on the gear, riding in the fire truck, all of that stuff and especially the recruitment process."

The 7-week long program will kick off in the fall for those 18 and older.

Captain Sheppard said they are still working on the program but more information on how to sign up will be released this summer.

"There won't be a lot of classroom {work}, mostly hands-on and things like that so it should be pretty interesting for them," said Chief Hughes.

The Citizens Fire Academy is not an official firefighting training program, so for those interested in becoming a firefighter should contact the fire department.

Both the Wichita Falls Police Department and Wichita County Sheriff’s Office host their own academy.

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