Citizens to the Rescue

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy accepting applications.

The Fairfax County Citizens Fire and Rescue Academy, a free nine-week program to learn about the work of firefighters and paramedics, will begin its next session March 12, with the deadline for online applications closing on Feb. 16.

“Basically, this is an overview of the fire department,” said Firefighter Capt. Willie Bailey. “It’s a nine-week course and on the last day participants will get to put on gear and fight a fire, or as I like to say, put the wet stuff on the red stuff.”

Applications for the academy will be accepted through Feb. 16 or until the class of 25 is filled. The academy will begin March 12 and will meet for nine consecutive weeks, from 6 to 9 p.m., at various locations in and outside of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Each session will cover different aspects of the organization, providing an in-depth overview of the department and of its uniformed and civilian workforce. Program topics include: fire suppression, emergency medical services, training, recruitment and special operations.

“Citizens of all ages are welcome to apply,” Bailey said. “We had an 80-year-old woman participate in our last academy and she had a blast.”

To sign up for the free program, residents must be 18 years of age and apply online at