Almost 40 teens are gaining life skills while learning about future careers in law enforcement and fire services June 4-8 at the Scottsdale Public Safety Teen Academy. This is the 12th year that Scottsdale Police and Fire departments offer a total public safety experience, which includes exposure to both police and fire training.
To participate in the Academy, the teens had to submit an application and go through a basic background check. Once they complete the required paperwork, the recruits are assigned a squad and a Recruit Training Officer who works with their group through the entire week. Teens who have previously graduated from the Academy often come back to serve as Junior Recruit Training Officers to assist their peers through the learning.
Scheduled activities include firefighting skill stations, Hands-only CPR awareness, basic first aid and triage, police riot control techniques, decision shooting scenarios, criminal investigations. The students also get to view tactical demonstrations by the Police K-9 Unit, Horse Patrol, SWAT and Bike teams. Teens will also get to see live fire and crash rescue scenarios up close and personal.
"In this one week we such character growth in the students who participate," says Teen Academy coordinator and Scottsdale Fire PIO Lori Schmidt. "We exhaust them each day, but every year they beg us to make the academy longer. They want to come back. That says a lot."