‘Day in the life’ event gives fire department recruits real-world experience

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg Fire Department hosts ‘Day in the Life’ course to show students what it’s like to be a firefighter.

Members of the Pittsburg Fire Department serve as the instructors for the academy, working with each recruit during the ‘Day in the Life’ training.

During the first 24 hours, students learn how to react to the following simulated emergencies:

  • medical emergencies
  • an automatic fire alarm,
  • a motor vehicle accident
  • a structure fire simulation in the burn tower at Pittsburg Fire Station Number 2.

This recruit school, which originally started as a two-week orientation, has evolved to become a full six-week academy under the direction of Pittsburg Fire Chief Dennis Reilly.

The six-week program covers the following:

  • fire suppression
  • building construction
  • fire behavior
  • personal protective equipment
  • fire service history
  • hazardous material response
  • motor vehicle accidents
  • policy and procedures

“Recruits will be presented with problems that the class will have to solve, experience teamwork in a dynamic emergency atmosphere, and prepare for their first shift with their platoon,” says Deputy Fire Chief Tom Vacca. “The academy works to prepare them for a structure fire 10 minutes into their first shift. They will learn how to be a productive member of the team and to make split-second decisions during an emergency with life safety in the balance.”


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