First Ever Brooklyn Park Fire Cadet Academy Underway
Brooklyn Park firefighter cadets certainly felt the first week of training. Cadets had to rotate through rigorous exercises at a Brooklyn Park fire station. Completing intense circuit training is part of the training.
“It’s a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. The physicality of it was way more than what I expected,” said Jonathan Roberts, one of the cadets.
A few steps away in physical training, Alec Wayne is pushing himself beyond his limit.
“Our day from 7:30 to 4 p.m. is packed completely with the exception of 30-minute lunch break,” explained Wayne.
Eight cadets were selected from a pool of more than 380 applicants to join the Brooklyn Park Fire Department’s first ever Cadet Academy. The academy is part of the city’s move to a full-time fire department.
“We realized that we want to hire them for their character and who they are as individuals. We can train them to be emergency responders and firefighters,” said Brooklyn Park Fire Chief John Cunningham.
Cadets are full-time employees. By the end of the nearly four-month academy, participants must obtain the required fire and medical certificates/licenses to be a Brooklyn Park firefighter.
“Outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul departments, there are really no full-time fire academies that are structured like what we have here,” Cunningham explained.
“We got a lot to learn,” Wayne added. “We’re starting with EMS, going to learn about it for five weeks. Our noses are going to be in the books.”
In the process of serving a diverse community, Roberts said he hopes to inspire other community members.
“I want to be the reason why people who look like me will try and pursue a career in law enforcement or fire or any type of first responder,” said Roberts.