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DCES hosts fire academy
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Middle and some high school students learned last week what a career in emergency services would be like.

They took part in the fifth Junior Fire Academy sponsored by the Dawson County Emergency Services Department.

The purpose of the academy is to teach cadets about the different equipment firefighters and paramedics use in emergencies, Deputy Chief Lanier Swafford said. They also participate in team building and leadership exercises.

Activities included fire suppression, wildland firefighting techniques, automobile extrication, emergency medical care, search and rescue, helicopter search and rescue and fire injury prevention.

Swafford said the academy allows students who might be interested in an emergency services career to see what the job is really about. So many kids want to grow up and be firefighters, he said, yet so many of them only understand the job from television or the movies. Being able to demonstrate what we do on a daily basis provides opportunities for them to participate as a team and take on leadership roleswe hope the cadets will understand who we are and what we do.

Even those who arent interested in a career with emergency services also get a benefit. As part of our community risk reduction strategy, it also is a great opportunity to reinforce fire and injury prevention messages to them during the week, Swafford said.

Thirty students participated in the academy last week. Nine Explorers also took part.

Although the academy is for youngsters, the leaders of the academy have fun, too.

The special thing I personally take away from Junior Fire Academy is we get to spend some time with amazing children, Assistant Chief Danny Speaks said. We are always told in the fire service to train our replacement. Hopefully, we have not only taught these young people some aspects of the fire service, but to live life as a good person with good ideas and morals.