Junior high school students learned what it takes to be a police officer and a firefighter during the week-long Oswego Junior Public Safety Academy, presented by the Oswego Police Department and the Oswego Fire Protection District.
The academy marked the first time the fire district teamed up with the police department to offer the program. Officer Kristyn Chmielewski said that the decision to bring the two departments together was prompted by the Oswego Police Department's move to its new station on Woolley Road last October. The station is located next door to OFPD Station No. 1.
On the police side of the academy, students learned about daily officer duties, including patroling, traffic stops and car accident investigations. They also observed a K-9 demonstration. At the fire department, students learned forcible entry techniques, hose line and nozzle management skills and conducted search and rescue drills while wearing fire gear. Students also watched a vehicle extrication then conducted their own on a real vehicle.
"This is all free for junior high kids of the Oswego School District; they pay nothing, they come out and it gives us an opportunity to give them a little idea of what the two professions are all about," Fire District Lt. Kris Kearns said. "I think it gives the kids a variety, and I think they're at an age where they're legitimately thinking about careers...I think this is a great way for our departments to give back to the community and have some fun with the kids."
A second session will run from July 15 to July 19. Information can be found at www.oswegofire.com.