Citizens Fire Academy is an enlightening opportunity
The Greer Fire Department will host its second Citizens Fire Academy over eight weeks beginning Sept. 25 to introduce residents to the functions and daily operations of fire service.

The free program includes classroom and hands-on training, giving participants a safe and fun behind-the-scenes look at the work done by City of Greer firefighters.

Alison Rauch, a graduate of the inaugural Academy in 2016, said the immersive program is enlightening for participants.

“As a former TV reporter, I took an extreme interest in the fire industry.  I was given the opportunity to cover many stories on firefighters but none that would allow me to get fit tested and go into a live burn,” Rauch said. The Academy offered me a chance to do things not many Greer residents can say they've done.  I was actually very surprised we were able to do some of the things we did and it was very evident the men are very passionate about their job.”

Space is limited in the program. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and complete applications and sign releases that are available at the link below or at the fire department’s headquarters located at 103 W. Poinsett Street. The forms must be returned to the attention of Julie Hunter by Aug. 1, by email to or by mail or in person to the City of Greer Fire Department, 103 W. Poinsett St., Greer, S.C., 29650.

Participants will tour the city’s fire stations and dispatch center, meet firefighters and 911 personnel, try on personal protective equipment, extinguish a fire, participate in a ride-along, learn CPR and basic first aid from professional firefighters, and more. A syllabus for the Academy is included on the program's webpage (link below).

Sessions will be held on Mondays from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. at fire department headquarters, with the exception of a 9 a.m. Saturday-Sunday session held at Station 2, the department’s training facility located on Hood Rd.

“I would urge participants to go in with an open mind to everything,” Rauch said.  “Even if you are afraid of heights or scared of rappelling, give it a try.  I always knew that I was in the best care while taking the class and now have a better appreciation and admiration for the work these brave men and women do each day.”

Citizens Fire Academy webpage