On Friday, July 19th, the Oakland Junior Police Academy visited the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department to get some on hands training in firefighting skills. This visit was the kickoff of this year’s junior police academy which runs the week of July 19 – July 26, 2019 from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
This is the 4th year that the Oakland Police Department has run the junior police academy and this year’s class of 40 participants in the largest one thus far. The junior police academy is open to is open to Oakland residents who are entering 7th, 8th and 9th grades, and the class is free of charge to the participants due to a very generous donations from local sponsors.
The children learn by doing as this is a hands-on training program. Each day includes military style drills, physical training and defensive tactics as well as instruction on drug and alcohol avoidance modeled after the Too Good for Drugs curriculum. Participants in the academy will have several law enforcement presentations by the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and FBI. The Oakland First Aid Squad and the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department will also present activities to the recruits.
Day 1 at the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department included a lunch followed by instructions in five different areas designed to help the participant understand and master the team building skills that are essential to becoming a fire fighter. The five team building areas were:
1st Station: Technical machinery skills using the Jaws of Life to stack soda cans. With this drill the participants learns how to help each other master the hydraulic skills needed to operate the Jaws of Life including understanding how to adjust the pressure of the tool by not popping the cans of soda.
2nd Station: Fire Extinguishing using the Bullex Training system. With the OVFD’s Bullex training system we were able to simulate the conditions of a small fire in a truck, including smoke conditions, that the junior academy members were then able to try and extinguish using our digital training fire hose and nozzle. The Bullex fire training system has a digital screen that displays fire and when the digital hose and nozzle are correctly applied to the digital fire it gets extinguished, if not applied correctly then the fire flares up and starts all over again.
3rd Station: Hose and Water Flow – here the participants learned how to unroll fire hose, how to make connections with an extra line and how to correctly attach the nozzle. And finally, they learned how to flow water from the fire truck and how to safely operate and control a fully charged line by knocking down safety cones.
4th Station: Putting on Turn0ut gear – at this station the academy teams learned how to properly put on full turnout gear and how to take it off leaving it in a ready position to be used for the next fire call. Full turnout gear, including an oxygen mask and tank weights up to 75 pounds.
5th Station: Raise a Level – Level: this station is designed to teach the participants how to work together to raise a level attached to a flat board to waist height keeping the bubble level at all times. This exercise if all about working and communicating as a team.