Capital City Fire/Rescue's Cadet Program is in session once again, meeting at Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center the on the first three Saturdays of each month for high schoolers to learn more about the job. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

CCFR rekindles Cadet Program for high schoolers

Nineteen high schoolers are taking part in the freshly restarted program.

Dormant in recent times, a program that seeks to spark an interest in firefighting and emergency medical technician work is burning bright again. 

Capital City Fire/Rescues’s Cadet Program returned after a pause, allowing Juneau high school students to practice the basics of the job over several days each month.

The program, which has run before on a more limited basis in the past, will go through the school year, said Shale Palmer, a firefighter/EMT who’s coordinating the program.

“We started the program Oct. 2. I’ve been getting it organized over the summer,” Palmer said in a phone interview. “They’ve done it in the past. I think they’ve done it twice. (Assistant Chief Sam Russell) used to run the program, I believe he created it.”

[Inching closer to final results]

The program currently has 19 high school students enrolled, Palmer said, many more than the program’s previous capacity of eight.

“They’re all kind of interested and figuring out what they want to do after high school,” Palmer said. “As long as they’re taking high school classes, they’re eligible. They need to be passing.”

According to a CCFR social media post, interested students can get an application from the Downtown Fire Station or from their high school counselors. The program is as much about the EMT side of the house as the firefighting, Palmer said.

Cadets exercise as part of Capital City Fire/Rescue’s Cadet Program at Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center on Oct. 16, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Cadets exercise as part of Capital City Fire/Rescue’s Cadet Program at Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center on Oct. 16, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

“It’s not just physical stuff. Just because you’re not extremely strong right now doesn’t mean you can’t be useful. We’re doing a lot of EMS stuff. We’re doing other things,” Palmer said. “We’re not necessarily trying to get firefighters out of it. We’re trying to get a good relationship with the community and help students figure out what they want to do.”

The program runs the first three Saturdays of every month, from 9 a.m.-noon, Palmer said. The program will run through the school year but likely not the summer.

“If they love it, we would be happy to do it more than three times a month,” Palmer said. “But we’re just putting our feelers out and trying not to bore the kids.”

Some students are joining to get in better shape, Palmer said. The program covers a variety of topics, from putting on fire gear in under a minute, to exercise, to emergency medical service basics.

Sarah Taube, 17 of Yaakoosgé Daakahídi High School, rests between exercises in the yard at the Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Sarah Taube, 17 of Yaakoosgé Daakahídi High School, rests between exercises in the yard at the Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

“They’re doing well. We did CPR last Saturday and that was so exciting to see. At the end of it you just saw them going to work. You’d be proud to have them on a scene,” Palmer said. “They’re just as interested in EMS as Fire. CPR is just so important to get them going through right off the bat. The more people that know CPR the better.”

A number of CCFR personnel have gone from the Cadet Program to becoming volunteer firefighters to permanent positions, Palmer said.

“It’s definitely a good route. If you’re a cadet, that can transition easily into a volunteer. And if you’re a volunteer, that can transition easily into career staff,” Palmer said. “We’re not necessarily trying to get firefighters out of it. We’re trying to get a good relationship with the community and help students figure out what they want to do.”

For more information, the social media post said, email Shale.Palmer@juneau.org or call CCFR at 907-586-5322.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Aug. 7

Here’s what to expect this week.

This photo shows a notice to quit form, which is a first step in the long process of evictions that the Alaska Court System hopes to make easier with a grant-supported Eviction Diversion Initiative. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Grant-supported program could mean fewer eviction cases in Alaska’s courts

Eviction diversion program seeks to provide resources before a case is filed.

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski wait for an opportunity to talk to her at her newly Juneau campaign headquarters Thursday evening at Kootznoowoo Plaza. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Murkowski opens up at Juneau HQ debut

Senator chats with supporters about U.S. vs. Belgium voting, moose chili and Project Veritas

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

U.S. Senate candidate Shoshana Gungurstein stars in a campaign sign within view of the Alaska governor’s mansion. Gungurstein, an independent, got exposure this week for being a Hollywood actress under a different last name after questions about her past went unanswered throughout the campaign. She is one of 19 candidates seeking to be among the four selected in next Tuesday’s primary to compete in the November general election. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Senate candidate sheds more light on background

Shoshana Gungurstein responds at length to recent report on past film career.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Drug arrest made in Skagway

Police say a suspicious package was intercepted.

This late-April photo shows a damaged sticker on a door at Thunder Mountain High School reminding people to social distance and wear masks inside the building. Masks will not be required in school buildings this year. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday Aug. 12, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

From left, Kelsey Dean, watershed scientist with the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, and Kaagwaan Eesh Manuel Rose-Bell of Keex’ Kwáan watch as crew members set up tools to drag a log into place. Healthy salmon habitat requires woody debris, typically provided by falling branches and trees, which helps create deep salmon pools and varied stream structure. (Courtesy Photos / Mary Catharine Martin)
 
The SalmonState: Bringing the sockeye home

Klawock Indigenous Stewards and partners are working to a once prolific sockeye salmon run.

Most Read