Residents Train At Naperville’s Citizen Fire Academy

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Naperville residents had the opportunity to train much like firefighters would, by crawling and climbing through a four-week program hosted by the Naperville Fire Department. It was all part of the Citizen Fire Academy, a program to help the public better understand the job done by local firefighters and paramedics.

What Participants Are Tasked With

“Four sessions now, three hours a piece and they get a good orientation, get exposed to what it’s like to wear and use an SCBA breathing apparatus,” said Deputy Chief Phil Giannattasio. “They get issued gear and they go through a variety of scenarios and some of that includes cardiac protocols, includes ladders, engine and truck operations.”

Participants are tasked with completing five different activities during the final class session. Each task is used in the fire department’s training program, which requires utilization of multiple skills and techniques

“We did like real firefighter stuff today, or what I would consider it,” said Naperville resident Allison Logenbaugh. “We hooked up a hose to a fire hydrant and it was really hard to crank it, it takes quite a lot of strength.”

Other training activities include carrying and spraying the water hose, putting up and climbing a ladder, conducting a search and rescue and rolling up the water hoses. 

New Perspective On Firefighters

The intensive training program brought a new light to one participant’s view of being a firefighter.

“So I can say that three sixty degrees I have changed my mind,” said Naperville resident Ashfaq Syed. “Because I used to see it in movies and on TV but practically when we do this thing, it is very tough job, it is not an easy job, but they get trained very well and they save a lot of people’s lives.”

The Citizens Fire Academy is hosted every fall and there’s the possibility for a spring course in 2023. 

Fire Departments Connection with Naperville Residents

The program has been in place for more than two decades, uniting the community with the first responders that protect them.

For more information on the program, visit the Naperville Fire Department website.

Naperville News 17’s Joe Kennedy reports.

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