Cape Girardeau Fire Department holds Citizen Fire Academy event - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau Fire Department holds Citizen Fire Academy event

Citizens geared up and went out to the training facility where they learned how the fire trucks work, extrication work on vehicles, and even were able to put out a fire of their own. (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) Citizens geared up and went out to the training facility where they learned how the fire trucks work, extrication work on vehicles, and even were able to put out a fire of their own. (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department held a Citizen Fire Academy on Saturday.

The event was free and 15 people came out to see what fire fighters go through during a fire.

Citizens were able to dress up in fire fighter gear and battle a controlled fire. The fire was contained inside a large metal container.

Cape Girardeau Fire Marshal Brian Shaffer said it is important that citizens understand what firefighters do. 

"Citizens expect a lot from us," Shaffer said. "Their taxes help support the fire department so it's important for them to know exactly what we do, how we do it, and this kind of gives them a better understanding of what we do."

The event started off with a morning lecture. Participants watched videos and learned how quickly a fire can spread, the best ways to attack a fire and how fire crews respond.

In the afternoon, citizens geared up and went to the training facility where they learned all about how the fire trucks work and were even able to put out a fire of their own.

Participants entered the "tin can" container in groups where fire crews poured fuel on hay and wood pallets. They then ignited them and the citizen fire fighters begin extinguishing them.

The container filled with fire and smoke as citizens breathed through provided apparatus'. The temperature climbed to around 800 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas. People got a first hand experience of how hot it gets during a fire and what fire crews go through when battling one.

Some citizens left feeling a little out of sorts, but most felt like they had learned some very important knowledge.

"It's kind of indescribable," Kelly Ennis of Cape Girardeau said. "You can't see anything and it filled up so quickly that it was just very nerve racking and very disorienting."

Some people inside the "tin can" learned how to crawl out to safety through all of the smoke.

"It was kind of like, ok there's a wall, there's a wall," Ennis said. "It was interesting, don't get me wrong, but it was very scary."

Shaffer said this training also helps build a better relationship with the community. He feels the community and the fire and other service departments already have a good relationship, but said it always helps to keep reaching out to maintain that relationship. 

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