Town plans summer fire academies

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BDN file photo Middle and high schoolers will have the opportunity to learn more about fire services from the Town of Beloit Fire Department during summer academies planned for next month. The Middle School Academy is a one-day event from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. on July 9, and the High School Academy is from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. July 10-13.

TOWN OF BELOIT - Sparking an interest in fire service is what the Town of Beloit hopes to achieve with its summer fire academies.

The Town of Beloit Fire Department is planning its second annual Middle School and High School academies for next month. The Middle School Academy is a one-day event from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. on July 9, and the High School Academy is from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. July 10-13.

Fire Chief Gene Wright said the academies will include orientation, a station tour and information on firefighting, emergency medical services and tactical medic.

He said the Middle School Academy is appropriate for the incoming sixth-eighth graders the department is inviting to participate. Middle schoolers will spend the day going through all of the various aspects of the fire department.

The High School program, open to high school aged students, is more interactive, with the students starting off their days doing morning chores and truck checks.

"They'll live in the day of a life of a firefighter," Wright said. "It really gives them an overall picture of what fire service is."

Wright hopes the summer academy will further spark interest in the explorer program, which gives young citizens the chance to further explore public service, and help to build up the department's part-time and eventually full-time staff.

"We want to get people interested early," Wright said.

He said fire services, like may fields across the nation, are struggling to find volunteers. He's hoping to use the academy as a building block.

The program is open to any student interested in learning more about local fire services.

The cost will be $15 per student for the Middle School Academy and $50 per student for the High School Academy. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day.

For more information or to register, visit the fire department at 2445 S. Afton Road or call 608-364-2997.

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