Upshur County Firefighters Host First Citizens Fire Academy Class
Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on April 05, 2013 @ 6:17PM
Created on April 05, 2013 @ 3:33PM
 
There are fire departments all across the area that help people when their homes burn down, they're in a car accident or stuck in a bad situation.
 
But, how exactly does someone become a firefighter?
 
Well, it takes a lot of hard work and determination, but to those in the fire service, it's worth it.
 
Now some local firefighters are hoping to pass that pride on through the Upshur County Citizens Fire Academy.
 
"The fire service is very engrained in tradition, and as volunteerism continues to dwindle, we need to be out there in the public teaching people what's going on in the fire service and how they can help," said Mark Doty, program director of WVU Fire Extension Services.
 
During the first week, participants learned what exactly it takes to become a firefighter and how much it costs to run a department for a year.
 
Many of the people in attendance were shocked to realize just how hard it is to operate a volunteer fire department.
 
"It's an eye opener just to hear how much this stuff costs, how they can afford it. It kind of makes you wonder how they've been getting along as well as they have," said Robert Lindgren of Rock Cave.
 
That's not all they'll experience. Through the course, participants will get first hand experience cutting people out of cars, doing rescue drills, and even fighting some fire. Instructors hope this gives people a better understanding of what goes into being a firefighter.
 
"People throughout the community often don't realize a lot of the physical things that go on in the fire service as well as the financial obligations that the fire service has, and how important it is for people to recognize that the fire departments need assistance in every community," said Doty.
 
For some, even after one week, their appreciation for the fire service has grown.
 
"I'd like to go and watch these guys work because there's apparently a lot more to it than I ever thought," said Lindgren.
 
It's not too late to join the class. You can do so by calling the WVU Fire Extension Services office at (304)-269-0875. The class is free to the public.

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