WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – For nearly two months, more than a dozen Stevens Point residents will step into the shoes of first responders in the Portage County Emergency Services Citizen Academy Program.
The program includes the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, Stevens Point Police Department, Plover Police Department and Stevens Point Fire Department, as well as 13 citizens who will learn the day-to-day responsibilities of first responders.
Constable Brent Thauer of the Plover Police Department said it was a hands-on learning experience.
âThis is going to give you an idea of ââwhat we do,â Thaur explained, âand how law enforcement and firefighters do things on a daily basis.â
The group meets on Thursday evenings for three hours. Each week, they participate in different trainings including fire training, drug investigation, lethal force scenario and more.
Sentry Insurance employee Tim Johnson said he enrolled in the academy to better understand what first responders do.
âEven though I had a basic understanding of what police, EMS and firefighters do,â Johnson explained, âit gave me a whole new, deeper appreciation.â
Thaur said it was also a learning experience for first responders.
“There is a lot that we can learn from the police or the fire department,” Thaur said. “And people who join the academy … there is also a lot to learn from them.”
Participants will graduate from the academy on November 11.
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