Once a year, the Richardson Fire Department hosts a group of residents at the Emergency Operations Center for the Citizens Fire Academy, a 10-week program where they learn what it’s like to be a firefighter.

The program starts inside a classroom with a lesson that varies from week to week – from fire gear and equipment to learning about the duties of the Emergency Medical Services team.  Then, it’s all hands on experience.

Simulations used in class allow students to better understand emergency response and show them how working together can help save lives.

“If those guys are doing it, I can at least do my part to better understand and appreciate the challenge that they are going through each day, as well as do my part to be a better citizen of the city and of this community going forward,” said student Jack Washington.

To be eligible to participate in the Citizens Fire Academy, students have to be 21 years old or older, and live or work in Richardson.

Visit www.cor.net/fire for more information on the Academy and the Richardson Fire Department.