Fire Academy seeks recruits |

Fire Academy seeks recruits

Training program combines classroom and on-scene instruction

Melinda Dudley

— Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue is seeking participants for its 2008 Fire Academy, the department’s recruiting and training program for future firefighters.

The Fire Academy mixes classroom instruction with on-the-job training and provides an avenue to certification – all of the department’s firefighters went through previous incarnations of the program before becoming staff, firefighter and recruit adviser Travis Wilkinson said.

The Fire Academy is time-consuming and demanding, designed for those who want a career with the fire service, Wilkinson said. Fire Academy participants will have training every Wednesday night and work on-shift with the department three times a month, Wilkinson said.

“They actually get a chance to come ride with us,” Wilkinson said. “They get to observe and watch and see what we do.”

“Even though we’re a small town, we do a lot,” Wilkinson said, noting Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue responded to more than 2,000 calls for service in 2007.

Despite its demanding nature, the recruit program has helped past participants cement their desire to choose firefighting as a career path, firefighter and recruit adviser Chuck Cerasoli said.

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“We hear all the time how people get sucked into loving it,” Cerasoli said.

Applicants must be at least 21 years old, legally eligible to work in the United States and possess and keep a Colorado driver’s license. For acceptance, applicants also must pass a physical ability test, psychological evaluation and background check, Wilkinson said.

Participants who successfully complete the Fire Academy and earn their Firefighter I certification from the state are eligible to become a reserve firefighter with Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue, Cerasoli said.

Reserve firefighters are the department’s paid part-time staff, and they make up the pool from which full-time firefighters are chosen, Cersaoli said.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue has 10 reserve firefighters on staff. All of them work at least two shifts per month, Wilkinson said.

2008 Fire Academy

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue’s Fire Academy is a year-long program that trains, prepares and certifies candidates for the fire service.

Applicants must:

– be at least 21 years old

– be legally eligible to work in the United States

– possess and keep a valid Colorado driver’s license

Interested parties can pick up an application at the Mountain Fire Station, located at 2600 Pine Grove Road. Or, call the Mountain Fire Station at 879-0700 to speak with a recruit adviser.

Applications are due March 14.

More information is available at http://www.steamboatfire…