Frankfort Trains the Next Generation of Firefighters

The fire protection district will host a statewide fire school on Nov. 3. However, the district teaches aspiring firefighters all year round with its internal cadet program.

The Frankfort Fire Protection District will host a one-day statewide cadet fire school facilitated by the Illinois Fire Service Institute on Nov. 3.

The program is expected to draw 40-70 cadets from across the state, according to Brian Adcock, a firefighter engineer and training coordinator for the district.

The district received a grant from the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal to host the event. Cadets who attend will learn firefighting skills, such as how to use a breathing apparatus and deploy ladders.

This is the second time Frankfort has hosted the event.

Frankfort is one of a handful of suburbs that oversees an ongoing training program geared toward preparing young people for a career in firefighting.

The Frankfort Fire District Cadet Program is more than 30 years old and is open to young people between the ages of 16 and 21.

“Everything I’ve known in fire service, I learned from the cadet program,” said Jordan Kreml, who is the district cadet program's chief.

The volunteer paramilitary training program teaches fire service history and EMS services. Cadets are encouraged to pursue EMT training at age 18. They then attend the Frankfort Fire Basic Operations Fire Academy, followed by paramedic school. Cadets who follow the trajectory of the program are typically prepared to begin a career in fire service by age 21.

Kreml is currently enrolled in EMT training and hopes to enter the fire academy in January.

According to Adcock, the cadet program instills participating young adults with a sense pride, respect and discipline. Cadets provide public education about fire safety, ride along with professional firefighters, volunteer in the community and service the district’s firefighter rehab unit in extreme weather.

Approximately 13 former cadets are now professional firefighters for the Frankfort fire district.

The program is funded by the Frankfort Fire District Foundation, fire station vending machines and a small portion of the district general fund.

Cadet program applications are accepted as needed on a quarterly rolling basis. To apply, visit the fire district website.

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Eric Blair October 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Modern firefighters have become members of a 'racket' known as the "six figure club". They're grossly overpaid along with early retirement and big pensions. They make more than a skilled tradesman and many believe a tradesman is overpaid at 40$/hr. My taxes for the fire district are totally out of line with no end in sight. With what I'm paying I'm at the point where I would be better off opting out of this tax and taking my chances. Of course government won't allow that because they are in on the extortion as well. Most point the finger at schools for their high taxes but the fire district always seems to escape scrutiny. The money poured down this hole has to stop. In central Illinois and even closer fireman are volunteers and they do the job just as well as the "six figure club". Something is wrong with this picture.
Concerned citizen October 24, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Eric Blair...................Let's hope YOU or a loved one never need the Fire Department services. Wonder if you'd be singing the same tune! Our family has had to call on the fire department several times for an elderly family member and we found them to be courteous and professional. Thank God they were there!
Eric Blair October 24, 2012 at 10:13 PM
In that case lets go from a six figure salary to seven. Plus full retirement at 35 with pension. Maybe if we paid them ten million/yr we would have REALLY good fireman.
Mark Sway October 24, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Eric you sound like a very sad individual. Firemen in Frankfort do not make six figures. Many firemen work extra jobs and struggle like everyone else. I invite you to man up and get into a fire academy and watch how soon you fail out. I'm sorry but volunteers do not do a better job. It's all fine and well if you have a fire or get hurt or sick from 6pm to 4 am but who covers you when all the volunteers are at work? Volunteers are great and I applaud them for doing their job but I'd rather have staffed men and women to protect my family. Firemen work twice as many hours as the normal citizen. Firemen work about 240 hours a month. You Eric if you have job only work 160. And yes my little Eric, firemen sleep at work. Difference is they never get a good nights sleep. They are woken up and then expected to perform at 110% within seconds. I got an idea! Tonight when I have a hankering for a slider ill call you to drive me to white castles at 3am. So those are the facts my friend. If you'd like to discuss this further I'll be the man shadow boxing looking all magnanimous at 45 and 191.
Resident October 24, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Eric Blair, it's obvious you are ignorant and speak ridiculous, you have no idea how the fire service works, why would you even attempt to respond with the non sense you placed on this article. Further more it appears that the Frankfort Fire personal are performing a good deed by training these young youths, to become responsible law abiding adults who will eventually hold a good job and be able to raise a good family. Oh ya not sure if you knew this or not, but fire fighters can not collect Social Security when they retire like I'm sure you will be able to. as far as full retirement at the age of 35 that is absolutely not true, the only way a fire fighter would get a full pension at 35 is if he is injured or killed in the line of duty! So think before you write, there pension is all that they have.
Steven McCaffery October 24, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Mr. Blair, I have never heard of the term "six figure club". But one thing is for sure, after 18 years in the fire service, I do not make six figures. Also, in order to retire and collect ONLY 50%, you can choose to do so after 20 years. I don't know what you consider "early retirement", but I don't see 45 year old retired firefighters anywhere. Also, firefighters have negotiated the pension system that is in place due to the fact that they DO NOT receive social security, like most employees. I'm sure if you did some research, you would find that you need a pension system designed, like that for firefighters, to help offset the loss of not receiving social security. As far as comparing a full-time department to volunteers, it's just not close to compare. Do you know how long it takes to get an ambulance or fire engine to your house when you have a volunteer department? It's almost impossible to know since they must respond from their homes,or wherever they are, to the fire station first and then wait for other members to show up in order to get that vehicle out the door and on their way to your home. In a department that is fully staffed, the vehicle is on it's way to your address before you even hang up the phone with the dispatcher. I'm sure that may be important if someone is having a critical medical need or if their home was in need of emergency fire services.
Steven McCaffery October 24, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Although I can understand where you may be frustrated with high taxes, you really do need to understand the high quality of service you receive for the price you pay. And what price can you put on the quality and speed of service that those firefighters provide for their residents?
Eric Blair October 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM
I've read your rebuttals and stand by my first post. Fire protection/ambulance has become a RACKET. Plus I'm sick of hearing how hard you have it. FYI, we all could write a few pages on our tough life. The fact is at last look 11 fireman in Mokena made six figures and a lot more than that in Orland made six figures. Stop your whining, it's tough all over and you cost too much.
Mark Sway October 25, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Ok then guyblow what do you think firemen should make?Also look at the amount over time those men needed to work to make six figures.
John Bauer October 26, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Oh Mr. Blair, how ridiculous you sound when you write comments about a fire department wanting to train young innocent men and women that are looking for a rewarding and gratifying career. It appears that you have used 911 before or have been involved with the law and were not happy how you were treated so you feel it necessary to come on here and bash an article which has nothing to do with your comments. But I will answer this for you, I know some fire fighters and I will tell you first hand that if they did make six figures as you claim, it was due to hard working, training, schooling and required certification classes needed to respond to emergencies that residents rely on. Mr Blair maybe you should take a look at your tax bill and truly understand how little goes to fire/Ems services, but what does it matter, you should be happy that there is reliable fire/Ems services, reliable schools and excellent teachers out there that work just as hard to give educations to children. Oh wait maybe you don't have an education based off the ridiculous comments and rebuttals you pose on here. You should think before you write sir. God bless our emergency services/ and teachers. They deserve all they get.
Anna Schier (Editor) October 26, 2012 at 04:00 AM
resident, Your comment was deleted because it contained numerous personal attacks and was in violation of our commenting policy. Anna


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