VILLA PARK – The Villa Park Fire Department will host its first Citizen’s Fire Academy beginning this April.
The academy will be conducted from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday evenings between April 16 and June 11 at Fire Station 81, 1440 S. Ardmore Ave. A graduation ceremony will be held on June 11.
Participants in the academy will cover a wide range of topics including history of the department, fire science, engine operation, EMS history and CPR certification, as well as training with hoses, ladders, fire extinguishers and victim rescue.
“This academy will teach residents what we do as firefighters,” Villa Park Fire Chief Ronald Rakosnik said.
The initial academy will limit registration to between 12 and 15 students and is only open to Villa Park residents, Rakosnik said. In the future, the academy will likely open to business owners and other members of the community, he said.
Interested residents must complete an application and submit to a background check. All participants must sign a waiver prior to the start of the academy.
The academy aims to give participants a better understanding of what the department does on a daily basis, Rakosnik said.
“Sometimes people think we sit around and wait,” he said. “These guys are very active with daily training – anything could happen and we have to be prepared for pretty much anything.”