GREAT FALLS — Not everyone knows about the daily job of a firefighter, but Great Falls Fire Rescue is teaching the public with their second annual citizen’s academy.
It's the second time GFFR has conducted the multi-week event. It gives the public a chance to see what firefighters do and it also gives the department a chance to engage with the public.
Deputy Fire Chief Nolan Eggen helps teach the course with several other members of the department. They see the academy as an opportunity for them and the public.
“We had a great crowd, great interaction, and that’s what we’re looking for. It’s important for us to be visible in the community. Not everybody uses our service all the time so a lot of people don’t know what we do. So it’s a good opportunity to spread some awareness on what the capabilities of the fire department are,” Eggen said.
The ten people in the academy are taking it for different reasons but they are all there to learn about the job and to see what firefighting is all about.
Brianna St. Lawrence wanted another academy under her belt having completed the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office academy. She said some of the info she got wasn’t what she expected.
“The number of calls that came into our department was surprising to me. I wouldn’t have thought that they got over 7,000 calls in a year and that was a low year. I just think it’s a really great opportunity for people to come together and for our community to bond and support one another and raise awareness and be there for each other,” St. Lawrence said.
For reference, the fire department got 7,599 calls for service in 2021. That is an average of about 21 calls per day. 4,894 of those were for EMS, and they also responded to 156 fires throughout the year.
Stats: station 1 had 3337 calls; 2 had 1,391; 3 had 2140; 4 had 673. There were 57 mutual aid calls, 915 public service, 901 good intent calls, 255 hazmat calls, 478 false alarms.
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