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26 Teens Graduate from Fire Academy Program


Cadets Graduate from Connecticut Fire Academy

“Introduction To The Fire Service” Program

For the past six days, 26 14- and 15-year-old volunteer firefighters from throughout Connecticut have lived at the Connecticut Fire Academy in Windsor Locks as cadet campers in the 40th class of the “Introduction To The Fire Service” (ITTFS) Program. This morning, the team-based learning environment culminated in a real-time tactical scenario involving a simulated high rise fire with civilians trapped. Working together as a team and performing every leadership- and task-level assignment with the exception of driving the emergency vehicles, ITTFS students utilized every skill they have learned over the course of the week to mitigate the incident.

Seven of the 26 cadets are members of fire departments currently involved with the Everyday Hero CT volunteer firefighter recruitment campaign. Connecticut has more than 300 fire departments staffed by over 26,000 firefighters, 83 percent of whom are volunteers and are professionally trained. The majority of fire departments throughout the state are experiencing a volunteer shortage. Local fire departments need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities, people willing and able to respond to emergencies whenever called upon, as well as support personnel such as fire police, administrative assistants, and more.

The Connecticut Fire Academy’s ITTFS Program is celebrating its 20th year of service, providing high school students with an interest in the Fire Service with an immersive educational and training experience. Students from across the state participate in the six-day, residential program that gives them invaluable insights into the core values, character, mission, and skill sets that define the position of Firefighter.

A partnership of the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association (CFCA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the Everyday Hero CT campaign is a two-year Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) initiative designed to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters in Connecticut. It is currently helping achieve a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighter workforce for 15 Connecticut fire departments. Everyday Hero CT is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded to the CFCA by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a model to enhance the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. For more information, visit

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