Fire Cadet Program

CDAFD has started a new training program aimed at preparing the next generation of Firefighters.   The Fire Cadet program is aimed at high school seniors who may be interested in a career in public safety. The Cadet program allows the interested senior the ability to job shadow an assigned crew for an entire semester; training, cleaning, running calls, etc. with his/her assigned crew. The process to become a Cadet is designed to mimic that of an entry level firefighter; an extensive application, a physical agility test, a formal interview, and a mini-academy for those that are successful. In addition to great life experience and a “back-stage” look at this esteemed profession, Cadets will receive elective credits through their school. Cadets are assigned daily didactic and manipulative assignments that are designed to give them a well-rounded look at what it takes to be a firefighter.

 

This program is a cooperative effort between the fire department and the Coeur D’Alene school district.  Many meetings were held with high school counselors and with school district officials in order to make this program happen, and to assure that the students would get high school (elective) credit for their participation. Cadets are assigned to a station and a crew.  They are required to complete a minimum of 80 hours per semester in order to receive their elective credits. Cadets are required to log their hours on a timesheet.   “We realize that Cadets have other obligations such as sports, homework, jobs, etc.  We can work with the Cadet to accommodate those obligations.” said Fire fighter Greg Thaxton, program coordinator. “But they are required to be here when they say they will, absences and/or tardiness are not acceptable.”

At the end of the semester, each cadet will receive a completion certificate.  Each crew is encouraged to provide a letter of recommendation (if the cadet earns it) and to do something special (family dinner, etc.) for their cadet. Interested High School Seniors should contact their school counselor before the start of the next semester to submit an application. CDAFD will consider up to 9 positions per semester and that will be coordinated with the High School Counselors.