MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department is giving you an opportunity to learn what it's really like to be a fire-medic.
Have you ever wondered what happens on the other end of the line when you call 9-1-1? Officials are offering a free 10-week training course. FOX10 News Reporter Michael Brannon attended the first session.
"Most people don't know anything about the fire service unless they need our services. This gives them a unique opportunity for people to get a look behind the scenes and see things you might not get to see otherwise," said Mobile Fire-Rescue PIO Steve Huffman.
Huffman heads up the course which gives a greater appreciation for what first responders really do.
"We want people to be involved. We want you to actually get in there and put the fire gear on or repel off the building and things like that," said Huffman.
It all goes back to making that emergency call to 9-1-1. When the fire department is dispatched, they have a world of information at their fingertips.
It's not all about going to the corner call box and calling the fire department. With new technology like automatic vehicle locators and digital radios, emergency responders are never out of touch.
Huffman said 80 percent of calls are medical or trauma related and more than 60 percent of those calls are made from cell phones. He said people might be excited and have unorganized thoughts when calling. He said remember to stay calm and give the most accurate information possible.
FOX10 wanted to know what people should expect in the training course.
"They can expect to learn a lot of things about how the fire department operates. Things they don't normally get to see: going out on the fire boat, tearing up a car, repelling off the four-story tower, and then when we do a burn, being out there for the burn. People like to see things burn oddly enough," said Huffman.
Next week, participants will experience what it's like to suit up in fire gear. Huffman said by the end of the course, all the participants will be CPR certified.
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