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The original item was published from 4/24/2020 2:41:24 PM to 4/24/2020 2:42:08 PM.

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Posted on: April 24, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Westmont Offers First Virtual Citizens Fire Academy

Westmont, Illinois
Date Issued: April 24, 2020
“Working with our Communications Department, we’re trying to come up with new and innovative ways in which we can offer programs safely while we navigate our COVID-19 response,” said Westmont Fire Chief Steve Riley.  “Our Social Distance Celebrations program, which was launched last week, has been a huge hit.  Now we’re rolling out our first-ever Virtual Citizens Fire Academy.”  CFA Coordinator Neil Berkowitz added, “We invite everyone to sign up and learn more about your Westmont Fire Department directly from our first responders.  The program is free and online registration has begun.”
The virtual CFA will begin Wednesday, May 6 at 6 p.m. and continue every Wednesday through May 27.  Classes will be approximately one hour each.  The program is free to citizens who live, work or volunteer in Westmont.  There will be a virtual graduation ceremony after the class has been completed.
“As we were developing the protocols for this program, we discussed trying to accomplish several goals at the same time,” said Communications Director Larry McIntyre.  “While it’s not mandatory, we encourage all of our participants to order carryout food from a local, Westmont restaurant prior to each of the classes.  This way, not only are you learning important information about our local heroes and their jobs, but you’re also supporting our Westmont business community.  We appreciate everyone’s consideration.”
The curriculum will include: 
  • Westmont Fire Department history
  • A tour of the Johanik Fire Station headquarters
  • An overview of our EMS operations
  • Various equipment demonstrations
  • Fire extinguisher training
  • Information regarding CPR, first aid, and AEDs and information pertaining to COVID-19
“We truly have an incredible Fire Department,” said Village Trustee and Public Safety Committee Chair Marie Johanik-Guzzo.  “This is a chance for our residents to see why we are the only Fire Department in the country to be both nationally accredited while maintaining a Class I ISO rating.  I hope that our citizens can find time to participate.”  
For more information, contact program coordinator Neil Berkowitz at or 630-981-6442.


Contact: Larry McIntyre
Village of Westmont
Communications Director/Public Information Officer

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