The Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services Department will host the 2018 Citizen’s Fire Academy on Thursdays, from 6-9 p.m. April 5 through May 24. The deadline to apply is March 30.

The program is free. All classes will be held at the Pine Bluff Fire Department Training Facility, 3216 W. Eighth Ave., except for nights when a tour of Fire Station #1 and the 911 Dispatch Center are scheduled.

This program is for Pine Bluff residents 20 years old and older who are interested in learning more about how the fire department operates. Criminal background checks may be conducted on all applicants for the Citizen’s Fire Academy, according to a news release.

Participants will gain knowledge of a firefighter’s core job functions with classroom instruction, hands-on participation and live demonstrations.

Topics will include the department’s organizational structure, hiring and training process, hazardous materials team, fire tactics and strategies and use of equipment.

Participants will also receive life safety CPR training and an overview of Fire Prevention and Community Outreach operations. The last week of the program will end with a graduation ceremony and presentation of certificates and awards.

“Have you ever asked yourself why do firefighters do the things they do, take the risks they take? Did you ever question how you would react in an emergency situation? Are you sure your smoke alarms are in the right locations? Can you choose and use the right fire extinguisher? If a family member had a heart attack in your home, could you help them? Why do firefighters respond to emergency medical calls? Who would you look to in case of a major local disaster? We will answer these questions and any others you may have,” according to the release.

Residents of the city of Pine Bluff will have first preference, according to the release. Classroom size is limited to 20 people. Applications are available at Pine Bluff Fire Department Administrative Offices, 200 E. Eighth Ave., the second floor of the Civic Center. or 870-730-2048 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.