Students Get Hands-On Experience at Minnesota Wildfire Academy

Students from nine states throughout the region are going through extensive training to learn about safely combating wildfires

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Hundreds of people are in Grand Rapids this week for the Minnesota Wildfire Academy.

Students from nine states throughout the region are going through extensive training to learn about safely combating wildfires.

On Thursday, some of the new recruits got to watch a simulated air operation and get hands–on experience of some firefighting basics.

Instructors say the goal of the academy is to bring as many professionals together to teach students the best practices of fighting wildfires.

“One thing the fire service culture does is it cuts across the generations,” said Peter Leschak,  a fire technician. “That’s one thing I really like, whether you’re an old guy like me or a new recruit, we are sharing the same traditions, the same skill sets.”

More than 700 students are going through training this week. One trainee we talked with just accepted a position with the Conservation Corps in Grand Rapids and is at the academy to get certified in wildfire response.

“Being out here, seeing what’s going on, you always hear on the news about all the wildfires and the response, but you never really know what happens,” said Dan Kibat. “Seeing what we are supposed to be doing and what we’re going to be doing in the future is a really cool thing to see.”

This is the 17th year of the Minnesota Fire Academy, which takes place at Itasca Community College.

 

Categories: Community, Environment, News, Public Safety