GREER, S.C. (WSPA) – The City of Greer Fire Department giving its community an inside look at what it takes to be a firefighter.
In September the fire department will open its doors to residents for a nine-week course that gives them an inside look at what kind of training it takes to be a fire fighter.
Deputy Fire Chief, Joshua Holzheimer said there is a lot that goes into being a fire fighter.
“It takes a lot of training, it takes a lot of commitment,” he said.
Explaining exactly what firefighters do can be complicated so the Greer Fire Department came across a better idea, an opportunity for residents to experience it firsthand at the Greer Citizens Fire Academy.
“Other agencies in the country have done it and we learned it is a good way of educating the public about what we do and why we do things,” Holzheimer said.
It puts citizens to the test without the pressure.
“We have a Saturday where they get put gear on and go into the burn building and see what it’s like because some people would never understand it or experience it,” Holzheimer said. “They learn the dispatch center, they learn what our gears are made of, they learn about the air packs that we wear, pretty much all aspects.”
And the fun here could hopefully inspire someone to take up the axe and helmet as a career.
“This is a different aspect to get people to learn but you never know we might be able to recruit someone from it that wants to be a full-time firefighter and I think that’s another avenue to help us with that,” Holzheimer said.
Over the six years of the course, its helped bond community and first responders.
“Our biggest thing is a lot of times people don’t see us unless they call 911 and they need us so this is an avenue for them to come in and see us in a different side where we can educate them, we can talk with them they can interact with us and that’s a big part of it,” Holzheimer said.
Classes sizes average about 10 to 12 people per year. Applications are due September first and class sessions are set to begin on September 21st.