Young recruits line up at Denison's fire fighting school - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Young recruits line up at Denison's fire fighting school


In an emergency, many small towns and Siouxland communities rely on volunteers.

However, officials say it's getting harder and harder to recruit.  That's why the Denison Fire Department is turning to local students.

Thirty high school juniors and seniors have enrolled in a new firefighter program.

Firefighter one and two are each semester long courses that train kids to become firefighters.

Participants get duel credit at Denison high school and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

They're not fighting fires yet, but when they're 18 they'll be able to apply to be part of the team.

"What helps us out is they've already trained, they'll be certified firefighter one and two.  That's something they don't have to do once they get out and join," explained Blake Deiber, the Denison Fire Department's Recruitment Coordinator.

Right now, they're learning everything from how to gear up quickly, and how to keep safe when fighting a fire.

or many, the course work fits right into their career goals.

"After I graduate I plan to come back and sign up to be that, to save lives," explained Amber Ruiz, a senior at Denison's high school.

Fellow senior Joshua Harlston, also plans to become a firefighter.

"It's a lot of hands on and it's really fun," said Harlston.

"It's just different than school.  It doesn't seem like it, but you're in school still," said junior Jordon Nelson, who is also taking an EMS class, and wants to become a police officer.

"It sounds really interesting and fun.   I like the adrenalin," added Brenda Ayala, a junior.

The Denison Fire Department will be able to run the two courses for the next four years, thanks to a $253,000 FEMA SAFER grant.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program is designed to increase the number of trained front-line firefighters in communities.



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