EDMOND — The Third annual Citizen Fire Academy was held this year in Edmond, sponsored by the Edmond Fire Department.
A few dozen city residents spent 12 Tuesdays with firefighters learning the ropes — sometimes literally.
Trainees in one class learned how to use a system of ropes and pulleys to lower people out of a multistory building. Another lesson focused on CPR. Participants also learned first aid, how to use hoses and how to use the Jaws of Life.
"The exposure and knowing more about ... the fire department and meeting the people, that has been really great,” said Dianne Rose, 67, an Edmond resident who previously took a similar course with police.
Fire Maj. Gary Dill said the academy gives people a better appreciation for the work done by firefighters, which includes far more than fighting fires.
"That is only a small part of what we do,” said Dill, the program leader. "About three-fourths of what we do at least is medical in nature: car wrecks, falls with injury, heart attacks, those types of things.”
Rose said her favorite part of training was using the hose.
"You have more than one person doing it,” Rose said. "You have a fireman on each side helping you and a team member, because they’re heavy.”
The academy took place on the sprawling campus of the fire department’s training grounds, and participants get to use the same equipment as the firefighters.
"You can have fun and get a taste of it at any age level,” Dill said.