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  1. #1
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    Default Arlington Heights Fire Academy

    Hey gang. I'll be starting the Arlington Heights Fire Academy October 17th. Can anyone please explain to me what a day would consist of ? Most of the guys I talk to have been sent to the Oak Lawn Academy, which I heard is more physical work than Arlington Heights.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    I went through Elgin's academy, so I couldn't tell you exactly what Arlington Heights' is like. The first week or so for us was a lot of classroom, and then we ended up outside doing practical stuff more and more.

    Elgin didn't do any sort of P.T. training as part of the structured academy, Rockford requires their recruits to work out in the morning, and I believe other academies do as well. I have a buddy just finishing/finished at Arlington Heights academy, if I see him I'll ask how his days went.

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    I can't speak for the Arlington Heights academy either. I can speak for another academy in the Chicagoland area. The academy I attended did require physical training before classroom and hands on activities.

    Physical training consisted of roughly 30-70 pushups, 30-70 situps, 1 mile runs, sprinting, jogging around the block with a group of guys with a telephone pole on our shoulders.

    Frankly, I was glad they incorporated physical training into our program. I think any academy is doing their firefighters a disservice to their students.

    I'm a pretty in shape guy, I bench 225lbs for reps, run a 6 minute mile, and I'm 200lbs. When I went through EMT class, I was upset because of all the classroom time took away from any time I had to workout. I worked full time in a non-fire service job, while I took both of these classes. I'm sure Arlington Heights has an outstanding academy, but personally if there wasn't any physical training, I wouldn't attend their academy. I'm pretty sure they have a top notch Haz Mat team, so I'm sure their hazmat classes are superior to most places. I don't have any first hand experience with that department though.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    I don't fault Elgin for not having PT - you were expected to be of a certain ability physically to get hired by your respective departments, and if they demanded PT training, then they could mandate that their recruits go to their department's facilities to work out. I'm not arguing with your preference, but I see merits to both.

    One thing I think you also see a lot of difference in is the culture at the academies - some are very militaristic, others not so much. Elgin was probably more "casual" - they still demanded respect, proper appearance, no tardiness, etc. - but the "drill" style verbal abuse, etc. was not present. Personally, that fit my style the best, but I would have gone to whatever academy I was told to go to.

    The discussion of what style or which academy is better is pretty much pointless here, as the guy is going to Arlington Heights, as that's where his new employer is sending him. Just keep your mouth shut, don't be cocky, be the first to try something instead of standing there like you don't want to be there, and be on time, every time. And be the first to help pick stuff up at the end of a drill. That's the quickest way to earn your instructors' respect. If you're well liked by them, you'll enjoy things a lot more.

    And most of all - good luck and congrats..

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