By Stuart J. Pearlman, TSB Staff
Ever since there were little boys, there were little boys with dreams of becoming a policeman or a fireman. (In this day and age I suppose the politically correct notion would suggest boys and girls have those ambitions.) The events of 9/11 brought these heroic occupations even closer to the forefront.
Truth be told, I never really shared those aspirations as a child but over time I must admit the intrigue and mystery for me has grown. I mean how cool was Kurt Russell in Backdraft? Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry? Dennis Leary in Rescue Me?
At 54 years old, it is unlikely, nay inconceivable, for me to join the ranks professionally with the “Finest” or the “Bravest.” That said, the city of McKinney has made it possible for ordinary people like me to learn about and participate in both Police and Fire Department training. (If I get a badge, I’m sure it will be from the Dollar Store!)
While working on the TownSquareBuzz Firehouse Recipe series with Kyra Effren last summer**, McKinney Fire Department (MFD) Public Information Officer Stacie Durham told me about the McKinney Citizens Fire Academy. I waited with anticipation for the application to become available and on February 14 I received an email notification I had been accepted into the class of 2013.
The 10-week course starts this week and I am very excited. I will be learning all about MFD services, fire safety, the 9-1-1 system, fire prevention, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and CPR.
Then there is the fun stuff….
- Operate the Jaws of Life
- Repel from buildings (I last did this when I was 16!)
- Drive a Fire Engine
- Wear bunker gear and a breathing apparatus
- Ride-out on real emergency calls
- Climb a 100-foot aerial ladder (This is the only element I am a little concerned about. It seems in my advanced years I have developed a small fear of heights!)
So now I shall begin a journey kids all over the country dream about. Stay tuned because along the way I intend to keep TSB readers in the loop.
I guess growing up can have its rewards!
To learn more about the McKinney Citizen’s Fire Academy, click here.
To learn more about the McKinney Citizen’s Police Academy, click here.
** In case you missed Kyra’s series, complete with video, just click on the stories below.
About the Author
Stuart J. Pearlman is a Marketing and Communications Consultant living in McKinney. His video column, Stuart J’s Lens can be seen weekly on TownSquareBuzz.com. Follow Stuart of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.