(Andy Keogh photo)
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Fire & Rescue Department (MFRD) will be staging its second annual Citizens Fire Academy starting the week of May 28 and running through June 25. Classes will be Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m. There is no cost to enroll, and applications can be picked up at the department or on the department’s website, ci.marshfield.wi.us/fd. Classes will be taught at the fire station and also the department’s training grounds on Vine Avenue, which are shared with Mid-State Technical college.
Everett Mueller, public education coordinator for MFRD, said the purpose of the academy is to give citizens a deeper understanding of how the department operates.
“Not only are we just talking about our day-to-day operations, but we’re talking about budgetary processes and long-term plans as far as equipment purchases, why we need that equipment,” Mueller said. “We thought this would be a great opportunity to teach people.”
The department has developed a detailed lesson plan for each of the five classes, and topics will include understanding fire behavior, the search and rescue process, firefighter equipment, use of fire extinguishers, history of the department, emergency medical services, and much more. There will also be an opportunity for participants to witness a contained live fire.
Mueller added that another component to the citizen academy is to reinforce the idea that the fire station is a public building and that people are encouraged to take tours of the facility.
“Our goal is to make this an active program that will be an annual program (and) teach people what we can do,” Mueller said. Active Marshfield firefighters will teach the classes.
Mueller said he was also excited to partner with Mid-State Technical College, which lends MFRD their fire extinguisher simulator for the academy.
“It allows us to go ahead and teach (citizens) how to use a fire extinguisher and actually utilize it,” Mueller said.
Breanna Speth from Marshfield Community Television participated in last year’s inaugural academy and said she would recommend the experience to others.
“We have a top-notch department here in Marshfield, and I would definitely encourage all citizens, any age or comfort level, to consider participating to learn more about it. Until you experience it for yourself in some capacity, it’s hard to fully understand the work they do.”
For additional information contact Everett Mueller at the Marshfield Fire & Rescue Department by calling 715-486-2094.
Safety City provides children hands-on safety education
Safety City is a set of classes that will run each morning during the week of Monday, June 22–Friday June, 26. Classes will be from 9:30-11 a.m. each day, and there is a $15 sign-up fee. The classes are for children ages 4-5 and are meant to hit on a number of basic but vital educational points for keeping children safe. The courses are taught at Madison Elementary School in Marshfield.
“The idea is to catch them there (at that age group), and the idea is to give them a whole bunch of different safety ideas so that we’re trying to get a whole bunch of prevention measures across,” Mueller said.
There are a number of different departments involved in orchestrating Safety City, including Marshfield Police Department, Marshfield Parks & Recreation Department, Marshfield Fire & Rescue Department, Marshfield Bus Service, Wood County Sherriff’s Department, Safe Kids Wood County, and Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.
Safety City covers a vast array of topics like pedestrian/traffic safety, seat belt safety, fire safety, an explanation of 911, poison safety, personal safety, bicycle and helmet safety, animal safety, and water safety.
There will even be a simulation where children are asked to distinguish pills from candy to help them learn what is safe and what is not. Children will look at photos of pills and candy and have to identify which is which.
“The whole idea is that they see this and they’re able to say, ‘Oh, that is bad. It’s really hard for me to tell between the two, so I should never take poisons,’” Mueller said.
At the end of the week of classes, children take their parents to the various safety stations and demonstrate what they have learned.
Those interested in Safety City can register through the Marshfield Parks & Recreation Department either by going into their offices located at Marshfield City Hall, 630 S. Central Ave., Ste. 201R, or by visiting the city’s website, ci.marshfield.wi.us. Click “Departments,” and navigate to “Parks and Recreation.” For questions call the Parks & Recreation Department at 715-384-4642.