It’s better to be selfless than selfish, right? If one doesn’t go after what they want it’ll likely never happen, correct? A lot of people live by those idioms.
On Thursday, October 12, a group of Salem area residents, employees and business owners of that belief graduated from the Salem EMS & Fire Department Academy.
To begin academy training, a person must be at least 18 years of age, have a clean criminal record and their own reliable transportation. “Academy Co-coordinator, Captain Weikle, and myself organize and plan the activities for the academy, line up and schedule instructors and fill-in wherever needed throughout the 10 weeks,” said Captain Mike Perdue.
Karen Huddleston said an opportunity to learn more about the Fire and EMS services motivated her to start her training. “Be ready to learn lots of new things and participate in activities that firefighters and EMS personnel do on a day to day basis is the best advice I can give others who are interested in beginning their training,” she said. “My experience was great and I’m so thankful that I went through with it.”
A total of 41 people have graduated from the academy over the last two years. “This academy is for the citizens to come into our world and get first-hand experience and an inside look at the Salem Fire & EMS Department,” Captain Perdue said. “They get an overview of all aspects and activities of the department as well as see just how much training and education is involved. This academy is not for employee selection.”
“Hard work and a lot of fun” is how Kristin Rickman described her ten-week graduation. “This is not something you would get to do every day. The guys that help with the academy never push you to do something you don’t want to do,” she said. “They encourage you to try everything but if you aren’t comfortable then you can opt out.”