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Posted on: October 10, 2019

A Look at Junior Fire Academy 2019

With two sessions each summer, the program is influential and the participants absolutely adore it. Some even state that they now want to pursue a career in Fire & Rescue when they become of age to do so. In this weeklong program, children get to experience what it takes to be a firefighter, including the knowledge, training, and protocols in saving lives.

Beginning Monday, the children get a proper greeting from the entire Richton Park Fire Department, headed by Fire Chief Rodney Wilson. Then they are separated into distinctive age groups, so each can get a specific age-appropriate tour of the facilities, living quarters, and different fleet vehicles. Lastly, all the Junior firefighters took special ID pictures.

On the second day, the children were separated into three groups. Group one learned how to perform both CPR and resuscitation on adults as well as infants. Such lifesaving skills are great to be knowledgeable of in case a classmate or sibling stops breathing or chokes on an object.

Group two learned how to properly place, stabilize, strap, and secure patients on to stretchers. When an individual is severely physically injured, stabilization is vital in preventing further damage from movement.

Group three learned how to read Cardiac monitors and how to properly place the cardiac monitor leads. Once all of the children finished their instruction and had a turn with the hands-on lessons, each group rotated.

Day three, participants began by taking pictures in full firefighter gear and even got the chance to hold certain tools that firefighters use when battling fires, such as the axe, hammer,  oxygen tanks, and hoses.


Day four was a bit more in-depth and involved, as the children simulated escaping a burning house from our safety training  trailer, and dressed in full firefighter gear, extinguished an actual raging fire from a small pit. After that, from each age group, the children were split into two teams. As a team, they then raced, carrying a fire hose onward to “put out a fire,” which in this case was actually knocking over a large construction cone with the water.


The fifth day of the program included an intense skills challenge, or obstacle course for our Junior Firefighters. Each child raced against time to complete an exciting, rigorous, but fun field of tasks. The skills course consisted of carrying an infant doll, putting together a fire hydrant component, treading a ladder, and carrying a firehose 20 feet, and finally carrying a fire extinguisher across the finish line. The participant with the fastest time from each age group won a special prize. These festivities were followed by a fun filled Bubble-Day, where the kids were able to let loose and play in a backyard filled with water, suds, sprinklers, and LOTS of bubbles.


Saturday was the final day of each session of the Academy. Here, the kids and their families, along with the Village Board and staff were invited for a cookout at the Fire Department. After a lunch of delicious grilled hotdogs and cake, the participants were rewarded with a special certificate of completion from the Academy, presented by President Reinbold.


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