Citizens Fire Academies: The Public's Peek into the Fire Service

One unsuspecting CFA participant fell asleep at the station only to awaken and find his fingernails painted with bright white correction liquid.

Despite the occasional Liquid Paper incident, the benefits to our citizens and to the Plano Fire Department from the Citizens Fire Academy have been endless. Each graduate becomes an ambassador of the fire department to every friend, family member, and coworker. When the fire department is in the news our CFA graduates can help these people understand taxes, bond elections and capital improvement plans. These graduates are the fire department's deputy fire safety educators as they help explain to friends and family the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home and why it is vital that they know where the closest fire extinguisher is to their work area.

The graduates of the PFD's CFA are encouraged to join the alumni organization, Plano Fire Rescue Associates, Inc. This group is a 501-c3 organization that supports the PFD through volunteering and fundraising. They are a great asset.

If you are looking for a program to highlight the greatness of your department, a Citizens Fire Academy may be just the right thing. Just hide all the Liquid Paper!

Peggy Harrell is the Fire Safety Education Coordinator for the Plano Fire Department in Plano, Texas. She is the recipient of the 2006 Safety Education Hero Award sponsored by the Home Safety Council and the Congressional Fire Service Institute. She can be reached at