Fire cadets train to serve the public


Photograph courtesy of Joseph Kall

Firefighters in training– Fire cadets (in black) and firefighters (in tan) prepare for a vehicle extrication drill. The Farmington Fire Cadets is a program that trains prospective high schoolers interested in a firefighting career.

Pei Chao Zhuo

The Farmington Fire Cadets is a program that trains high school students who are interested in a career in firefighting. The program started about thirty years ago and has prepared many aspiring firefighters. Currently, there are eight cadets in the program.

The cadets train at local firehouses, and according to the Coordinator for the Cadet Program for the Town of Farmington and a graduate of the cadet program Michael Vibert, training take place two times each month and take the form of both “hands on training and classroom learning.”

Cadets in the program study many aspects of firefighting including “fire attack, search and rescue, emergency medical service, motor vehicle and water rescue” according to Vibert. Cadets also learn how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. Once a member of the program attains the age of 16, he or she may accompany firefighters as they respond to a real emergency. At 18, cadets graduate the program and may serve as volunteer firefighters and begin the Fire Fighter 1 Certification class.

Sophomore Siram Maganti who joined the fire cadets in March of last year fondly remembers witnessing “a live burn.”

“We saw the firefighter put out the fire with the hoses and the water guns on the truck. It was very interesting to watch and made me want to come back,” Maganti said.

Senior Joseph Kall is currently the most experienced cadet, having been in the program since 2014. He joined the program to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfathers, all of whom serve as firefighters, and his sister who was a former cadet.

“My favorite memory has been to meet new people who also have an interest in the fire service and at the end of the school year and the end of the year we have get-togethers that are very fun,” Kall said.

High school students interested in pursuing a career in firefighting may sign up for the program by contacting Vibert at [email protected], and prospective cadets may apply anytime during the year.