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 Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a firefighter? Have you ever wondered how the fire department works and why? How would you react if there was a fire or other emergency in your home or work place? If you have ever thought about these questions, or any other question about your fire department or fire safety, here is your opportunity to learn the answers, and much more, first hand.

The West Des Moines Fire Department would like to invite you to take part in the Citizens Fire Academy (CFA). This 9 week program is designed to answer question about the fire department or fire safety, by offering you in-depth teaching and training exercises. Participants of the CFA will be taught fire safety and prevention, firefighting tactics and strategies, fire investigation, fire behavior, and many other related topics. The knowledge you will gain from the classroom will be extensive. However, this program will not be just a classroom lecture for nine weeks, but an interactive, hands on, fire academy that will allow participants of our community to experience what firefighters experience.

Experiences such as wearing firefighter bunker gear and self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Also, CFA participants will be able to take part in several hands on training evolutions that are designed to mimic real life emergency scenes that firefighters across the country face every day. Participants of the CFA will be given the opportunity to experience evolutions such as vehicle extrication, high-angle rope rescue, vehicle fires, searching a room for a trapped victim, live structure fires, and much more.

Along with these topics and training exercises, participants of the CFA will learn invaluable information that they can bring back to their home or work place, such as fire extinguisher training and home and work fire safety tips to provide a more safety conscience environment for everyone in our community. This in an opportunity for the members of our community to “walk in the boots” of a West Des Moines Firefighter and gain a better understanding of both how your fire department works and why.

The CFA will meet once a week for nine weeks, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. There will also be two Saturday training exercises. Each participant of the Citizens Fire Academy will receive a CFA T-shirt, personalized bunker gear photo, and an opportunity to take part in ride along with a working shift.

If you would like to learn more about the fire department or what it takes to be a firefighter, then this is your opportunity. You can fill out the   application and email it to Jim Kirkman or mail it to:

  c/o CFA                                                                                                                          P.O. Box 65320                                                                                                          West Des Moines, IA 50265

Any questions may be directed to Jim Kirkman or the Fire Prevention Bureau at (515) 222-3420 

The CFA will begin in March of each year.  Please contact us for exact dates of the upcoming academy.

All citizens 18 and older are eligible, regardless of city residency or city of occupation.


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