Citizens Experience Firefighters' Reality
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Being a firefighter or a police officer is a job many want but only the tough can earn.
"It's good for them to see and understand just a little bit more of what we do," said Justin Dillon, firefighter with the Grand Junction Fire Department.
Around 20 Grand Junction residents are enrolled in a public safety citizen academy, where learning how to work a fire extinguisher and using the jaws of life are just some of the things they get to do.
"Things that we've been teaching them as far as getting experience first hand," said Dillon.
"Like cutting open the car, I thought a lot of times they were doing it unnecessarily but after doing it, I understand why," said Yvonne Woolsdy, who's participating in the academy.
Firefighters make it look easy, but some say it's anything but that.
"Yeah, they were carrying it and everything, I couldn't do it because it was too heavy. It weighs 75 pounds," said Woolsdy.
Students age 16 and up can attend the 15-week-long academy without spending a dime.
"A lot of different reasons why people get into the academy. Some people get into it because they do want to be a police officer, firefighter or dispatcher," said Ken Watkins, chief of the GJFD.
Whether it's learning about hazardous materials or using a self contained breathing apparatus, officials say the knowledge obtained during the academy is good for everyone to have.
"I respect them more, I respect law enforcement more," said Woolsdy.
To find out more about how to get involved in the next academy, call either the police department or the fire department and ask for the public information officer.