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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Academy The Preamble

Over the upcoming weeks I am going to write about my experiences in the fire academy. I hope to give a glimpse of what I and my family went through to get where we are.

Once I was hired by my current department I was informed that I would be attending a fire academy in the area. Once I discovered this I did some research. I was unable to find out too much other than that this academy has a reputation for being rather tough.

A week before the academy started my wife and I (kids in tow) attended a family night for the academy. It was geared to let our loved ones know more or less what we were going to be going through for the next 4 months. The instructors tried to scare and intimidate the recruits (starting the mind games early). At one point the recruits were separated from their family members. The families got to watch a video from the previous academy and had a question and answer session. The recruits were marched into another room where we met our mentors. The mentors were firefighters that had graduated from the last academy and had volunteered to help us through this academy. If at any point in the academy, we needed help or had questions, they were there for us. Some of the recruits would use this resource a lot and others wouldn't.

By the end of the night my wife and I had decided that the family night was more geared towards the parents of rather young recruits still living at home. It was more or less, "make sure they get fed and have clean socks." I think my paramedic program did a better job at their family day. It was more like this...."say goodbye to the nice person that you call your loved one. For the next few months they will be tired, stressed and grumpy. Don't worry, they will return to normal after the program is over." That about sums up the academy.
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