Public Safety Academy Offers Hands-on Training with Firefighters

Students of Apopka’s annual Citizen Public Safety Academy will get that chance for a couple of hours on Thursday, joining a team of city firefighters to cut apart a vehicle for a mock emergency rescue. Then they’ll learn to use fire extinguishers to put out a fire.

It’s all part of the Academy’s final class that concludes nine weeks of fire and police training at the Leroy F. Gilliam Training Center on Cleveland Street. A group of 17 local residents has met once a week since late February to learn everything from fire operations, CPR and first aid to criminal investigations and law enforcement dispatching.

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Graduation is set for 7 p.m. April 30 at the Apopka Community Center, 519 S. Central Ave. After that, Academy members will have the opportunity to join others with the Apopka Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association to assist with future city events and activities.

Thursday’s class with the firefighters will utilize a scrapped Ford Explorer vehicle provided by BJ’s Towing Service in Apopka. Participants will help firefighters with hydraulic cutters and spreaders to rip open metal doors and break glass windows.

The fire training will use a propane gas-fueled, live-fire training simulator with a refillable extinguisher. Students will learn how to properly hold and spray the extinguisher to put out the flames within an effective time. All training is closely supervised by firefighters.

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