COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a fire fighter, Columbus Fire & Rescue is offering you a chance to walk a day in their shoes. Columbus Fire and Rescue kicked off it’s first Citizens Fire Academy this weekend. The general public can get a first hand look at what the fire department does and how they serve the community.
“A lot of people don’t know that if you live with in the city limits of Columbus and you own your own home, we provide free smoke detectors and smoke detector batteries. We have a lot of parents that are having difficulty or need certified persons in order to install car seats. We provide that here at the Columbus Fire & Rescue free of charge,” says Duane Hughes, Chief of Training with Columbus Fire and Rescue.
Citizens were given information on dive and over land rescue, code enforcement as well as equipment drills.
“They’re a lot more than a fire department. They do rescues, dive teams, It’s a whole more than just sitting in the fire station, waiting on a call,” says Stephen Jones, a Re/Max Realtor in Columbus.
The department created a mock drill for participants to find certain objects in a dark, smokey room. Tabitha Barham is an administrative assistant for Columbus Fire and Rescue and wanted to know what fire fighters really experience.
“It’s actually kind of nerve wrecking because you don’t realize you can’t see anything. You just hear the smoke alarm beeping. It does kind of disorient you a little bit,” says Tabitha Barham, an Administrative Assistant with Columbus Fire and Rescue.
Attendees also participated in a pace count which helps firefighters determine how far they walk during a line search. The Columbus Citizens Fire Academy will also be held on Saturday, February 15th and the 22nd.