Summer vacation is a time for rest and relaxation but for a select few high school students the commitment and desire to help serve the community leads them to spend their vacation at the Summer Fire Academy. This program offered at the Sussex County Community College Public Safety Training Academy is responsible for training emergency responders throughout the region. At this Summer Program, participants receive five days of hands-on training on all the essentials related to firefighting.
From the very first day, attendees are immersed in a dynamic curriculum designed to prepare them to what they’ll encounter as a firefighter. Not long after they get their tour of the facility, the academy’s operations officer, Larry Bono, outfits them in full “turnout gear,” the firefighter’s outfit of protective clothing including helmets, coats, bunker pants, boots, and gloves, which will be worn during all firefighting activities.
“We put them through a full day of firefighting activities related to being a first responder,” said Bono.
If students were anticipating a passive classroom experience, such expectations are cast aside within the very first day of activities.
Though some time is spent in lectures, attendees are expected to demonstrate their knowledge right away, utilizing a full range of newly acquired knot-tying skills to secure tools and ladders, and using fire extinguishers to put out a series of small fires according to the proper techniques demonstrated during class. Time is also spent with the ‘Jaws of Life’ and Hazardous materials procedures.
By the end of the week, students will also have attended demonstrations at a 9-1-1 dispatch center, the New Jersey Forest Fire Headquarters and Aerial Operations Center, an Emergency Operations Center, a Mobile Command post and the Hazardous Materials Team. The final day is capped off with a barbeque lunch and graduation ceremony where students receive certificates.
This year’s Summer Fire Academy will be held July 11th to 15th; the cost of registration is $50 and is taking place now.
Call 973-948-7897 to register for this incredible experience.