Posts tagged “Citizens Fire Academy

3 ways Citizens Fire Academy will make you better

By Carter Hall, CSFD Firefighter

Most of us have New Year’s resolutions that include things such as living a healthier lifestyle, saving more and spending less, and simply enjoying life to the fullest. College Station’s 12-week Citizens Fire Academy, which begins Feb. 5, can help you fulfill at least one of those promises.

1. Live a healthier lifestyle.

This one’s easy.

At Citizens Fire Academy, we’ll issue you firefighting gear that weighs about 45 pounds. Just carrying the gear bag to class is a terrific start to a new fitness regimen, and you’ll wear that gear while performing some of our hands-on activities. Toward the end of the class, you can try to complete the same agility physical test as our potential firefighters.

2. Save more, spend less.

For the crazy-low price of free, you’ll have the unforgettable experience of taking part in Citizens Fire Academy while making new friends and understanding of what it takes to be an emergency responder in a fast-growing college town.

3. Enjoy life to the fullest.

If you want to enjoy life more, committing one night a week from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for 12 weeks is a great place to start. You’ll meet firefighters and paramedics and go behind the scenes at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s world-famous Brayton Fire Training Field. When you complete the program, you can join the College Station Fire Department as a volunteer.

Did I mention that you’ll tear apart a vehicle with the Jaws of Life, climb a 100-foot fire truck ladder, and put out a real fire while wearing that heavy full bunker gear? After graduation, you can ride along with our crews to get an even fuller sense of what being a firefighter is all about.

Bonus: You can help others.

Our Citizens Fire Academy also opens doors for those who have a passion for helping those in crisis. Once you complete CFA, you can receive additional training to join our Community Action Response Team that assists victims of residential fires and other disasters. Another option is our Rehab Team, which assists firefighters at emergency scenes.

Whether you are looking to learn new skills, want to get involved with your community, or simply have something fun to look forward to each week, I encourage you to apply for the 2019 Citizens Fire Academy.

Learn more and apply at

About the Blogger

Carter Hall has been a College Station firefighter since 2011. He earned a degree in leadership development from Texas A&M in 2005.


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Checking your smoke alarm’s age could save your life


By Christina Seidel, CSFD Public Education Officer

Did you know that having a working smoke alarm in your home can increase your chance of surviving a fire by 50 percent? That makes smoke alarms your first line of defense in a fire.

But did you also know you should replace your smoke alarms every 10 years?

That’s the focus of Fire Prevention Week, which begins nationwide on Sunday, Oct. 9 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 15. The theme of “Don’t Wait: Check the Date!” is a reminder to check the age of your smoke alarms and replace them if necessary.

Types of smoke alarms

Photoelectrical alarms have a light source inside that shines onto a sensor. When smoke travels between the light and the sensor, the alarm goes off. These types of smoke alarms are better at detecting slow-moving, smoldering fires because the particulates it detects are bigger than those detected by other alarms. Over time, the sensor inside the detector builds up too much dust — even if it’s cleaned regularly – and it becomes harder for it to detect the smoke.

Ionization alarms can sense smaller particulates that the human eye can’t see. The americium inside the detector gives off an electrical charge, which changes when smoke enters and triggers the alarm. As its electronic components age, ionization alarms become less reliable.

That’s why the National Fire Protection Association recommends you replace smoke alarms not only when they fail tests, but also when they are more than a decade old.

This video shows you how to check the age of your alarms:

Fire Prevention Week Events

  • As part of Fire Prevention Week, your neighborhood can register to participate in the Smoke Alarm Blitz on Oct. 10-11 (Monday-Tuesday). CSFD staff will check smoke alarms in up to 12 homes per neighborhood and even replace batteries if needed. Click here to register your neighborhood by the Thursday, Oct. 6 deadline.
  • On Tuesday, Oct. 11, call either College Station Dominos location between 6-8 p.m. and you can have your pizza delivered by a CSFD crew. If the firefighters find all your smoke alarms in working order, your pizza is free! If any alarms aren’t working, you’ll have to pay for your pizza, but the firefighters will replace batteries or install new alarms free of charge. You can’t lose!
  • On Saturday, Oct. 15, the CSFD Home Safety Trailer will be at the College Station Lowe’s for Safety Day. Kids can meet firefighters and brush up on fire safety in a home-like environment. They can practice calling 9-1-1, hear what smoke alarms sound like, and learn how to escape a home fire safely.

Citizens Fire Academy

Fire Prevention Week also kicks off registration for CSFD’s Citizens Fire Academy program. The free, 12-week program begins Jan. 31 and is designed to provide citizens a fun, interactive and in-depth behind-the-scenes look at their fire department. For more details or to apply, go to The registration deadline is Jan. 10.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week or Citziens Fire Academy, contact me at or 979-764-3712.

Stay safe and remember – Don’t Wait, Check the Date!


SeidelAbout the Author

Christina Seidel has been the College Station Fire Department’s Public Education Officer since 2013. She previously served as executive director of the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley and was a teacher for several years in her hometown of Lockhart. Seidel earned a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology from the University of Texas in 2001.


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8 Reasons to Experience Citizens Fire Academy

So you think your office had a bad day?  Let me tell you what kind of day the College Station Fire Department had the other day. First, we had a car crash that sent three people to the emergency room. Then, there was a house fire where five people lost everything, followed by a baby getting locked in a car. And all this happened before lunch.

I decided to pursue a career with the College Station Fire Department after two personal experiences with emergency services in the late 1990s. In 1998, my sister survived a choking incident, and I lost my mother to a heart attack the following year. Very early in my fire department career, I attended the Texas A&M Fire School and was amazed, scared and forever determined that area residents needed to better understand exactly what is required of our firefighters.