Fire Academy Needs Money | VideoRetha Colclasure | 1/2/2013
When a large, fast-moving fire threatened the town of Bucyrus, firefighters were there to keep it from spreading even farther. And when oil wells catch fire, those same firefighters are called upon.
"Our goal is safety and tactics," said Chief Darrell Graf with the North Dakota Fire Academy.
Those fires create dangerous situations that can get worse if an under-trained, ill-equipped firefighter approaches them in the wrong way.
"People that go through our classes are light years ahead of where they started. Departments are light years ahead of where they were before we got there," Graf said.
The North Dakota Fire Academy has been providing training to departments since 2004.
"Every small town is growing. You`re always going to have the need for more firefighters," said Career Academy Director Dale Hoerauf.
The Academy also provides training for 17 and 18 year olds who are interested in pursing a career in firefighting.
"They came away with an understanding of this is what I`d like to do, or it isn`t," Hoerauf said.
All that training costs money. Until now, the Fire Academy has relied on donations and fundraising to operate. But it`s not enough anymore.
"We`re not talking millions of dollars of funding, 100 to 150 thousand dollars a year to really get this up and going," Graf said.
Graf hopes the legislature will recognize the value of the fire academy, and help enhance the service the academy provides. He also says he`d also like to partner with a college or technical institute to provide more training and help share the costs of the program.