Wednesday night was the first night of the 2018 FCFD Fire Cadet Academy where we welcomed 4 new recruits into the program. Our academy started out with history of the fire service and the history of the FCFD, one of the very few times that the cadets and recruits will see time to sit in a classroom.
Once the classroom session completed, cadets and recruits assembled into companies on the apparatus floor as more expectations and information was given to them. Current fire cadets spent time going through their gear and trucks with recruits. Recruits were outfitted with their turnout gear and assigned to their lockers.
Class #2 is coming up on Tuesday and covers PPE and SCBA. This is the first session where cadets/recruits will go over understanding the PPE ensemble, proper donning/doffing, and drilling until they can’t get it wrong. The first classroom of SCBA will be covered on this night. Our department utilizes the MSA Firehawk II SCBA, which they will become very familiar with operation of and changing bottles. New to the program this year will be training to be proficient in the Scott Safety Pak as well. Since several mutual-aid companies utilize these we want our crews to be familiar with them as well.
Our cadet program represents individuals from Fredericktown, Mount Vernon, Centerburg, and those who are homeschooled as well. We are not your typical program, not a social club that meets, not something after school, and you won’t find these youth just sitting around. Our cadet program is a motivated group of young adults that are active in the firehouse, on the fire ground, in training, and in the community. Our cadets are family to us and with the exception of their limitations in what they are permitted to do, they are treated equally. Our cadets strive to be the best at what they do, ask for more, train hard, and give selflessly.
While we offer an amazing program that will absolutely prepare them for the fire service, we offer something even more. Our program builds character, skill, confidence, teamwork, promotes volunteerism and helps build strong young men and women.
How do we know our cadet program works? We’re already seeing the benefits of previous cadets joining the ranks of the fire department!