Established in 2005, the Redwood City Junior Fire Academy has acted as a staple for hundreds of local youth to learn the basics of what it means to be a Firefighter. While partnering with the Woodside Fire Protection District and the San Carlos and Redwood City’s Parks and Recreation Department, we annually educate 30 students ranging between the ages of 11-14 every year on Basic First-Aid, CPR/AED training, PG&E Home Gas and Electrical Safety, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), and a variety of fire ground evolutions. Enrolled youth experience first-hand tasks required of firefighters as they mitigate emergencies on a daily basis. The skills taught during the academy range from a very basic hose pulls from a fire engine, to a mental and physical 100ft climb up our aerial ladder. With the help of Redwood City Firefighters, enrolled students get the unique opportunity to extinguish live fire with a hose line, use a standard home fire extinguisher, tie rescue knots, hoist tools, and help remove victims from harmful situations in multiple day-to-day scenarios.
Through both diligence and attentiveness, the Redwood City Fire Department has allowed the Junior Fire Academy to both develop and stay on path of its true purpose. The program itself was designed to reach young youth in our community who may lack a certain degree of exposure to this unique and imperative career path. Through the Junior Fire Academy, these specific children gain that edge of exposure to obtain a career in the fire service. We cover numerous topics ranging from County based Firefighter Explorer Programs, EMT schools, Jr. College Fire Academy, Fire Degrees, and Volunteer Cadet Programs throughout San Mateo County. In addition, as role models for these youths, both firefighters and volunteers emphasize the importance of schooling, good study habits, and a persistent dedication in order to stress the importance of developing skills to succeed in any career pursuit. The program itself is designed for students to work together as a team. In doing so, each individual learns valuable attributes of respect, discipline, communication, and chain of command. The returning students also get valuable leadership training opportunities while working with peers and younger students.
Here is a quick video preview of the Junior Fire Academy
The JFA Staff is always searching for new and unique ways to capture the youth of the communities in which we serve. In recent years, we have expanded into three local high schools: Sequoia, Serra, and Woodside High School. As a result, we have established a relationship with all Career Development Departments in order to help make students aware of the program. Students are now able to earn community service hours towards their graduation by participating as counselors and assisting firefighters with the daily program activities.
The Junior Fire Academy has allowed the Redwood City Fire Department to sustain a vital relationship with both Redwood City and San Carlos local businesses. Without the daily support, contributions, and donations of these local businesses and community members, the program would fail to sustain itself. The Redwood City Fire Department understands the importance of community interaction outside of emergency situations, and encourages such on a daily basis.
The Redwood City Fire Department has taken great pride in creating a fun and safe environment for our youths of both Redwood City and San Carlos to really be a firefighter for a week.
The Junior Fire Academy is Monday - Thursday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., the last week of July. On Friday, family and friends are encouraged to attend the potluck lunch just before the Skills Presentation and Graduation Ceremony. Sign ups for the Junior Fire Academy are done through the Redwood City Recreation Department.
Please enjoy this years Junior Fire Academy video
For more information, please see the Redwood City Activity Guide, a Letter for Parents, or email us at JFA@redwoodcity.org. The Redwood City Fire Department event line will have more information on a recorded message during summertime at (650) 780-7570.