WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH)– All week long, News 8 has been promoting Operation Save a Life fire prevention. We’re Cruisin’ Connecticut to Windsor Locks where Ryan Kristafer suited up to see how the next generation of firefighters are being trained at the Connecticut Fire Academy.
“Today we have the advanced skills and concepts, which covers 17 and 18 year old kids, that are cadets or volunteer, explorers in their home towns. They are able to come here for a week and learn about the concepts that are involved in firefighting,” said Captain Tenney.
The young trainees are given hands-on experience with vehicle extrication, ladder work, hose and rescue simulation. The instructors are made up of New York City and Connecticut-based fire officials. Captain Tenney is the program commander, and works with the City of Hartford.
“We have different types of props from gas-fired to airplanes, barbed wires, wood-burning structure, where we can actually simulate a house fire,” said Tenney.
The state-of-the-art facility provides an advanced learning center for the future firefighters.
“Most people who are doing this job are doing it because they have a passion,” said Tenney.
One of the important things to keep in mind is that these guys are volunteers and you can always have more.
“We’re always looking. 75% of departments in Connecticut are volunteer or combination of volunteer and career staff,” said Tenney. “There are very few full time fire departments so we’re constantly trying to recruit new people, and this is one of the first steps of getting people involved, getting the kids locked in to volunteering and bringing service back into the community.”
You can learn more about the Connecticut Fire Academy by checking out their Facebook page.