EDDINGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Every year, people across Maine and the nation decide to take on the noble role of being volunteer firefighters. But training to save lives can be difficult and expensive. That's why each year, a program here in Penobscot County provides it for free.
The Penobscot Fire Academy aims to give training at no cost to those who wish to dedicate their lives to helping their communities.
Organizers say candidates who are chosen have some fire station experience, and are looking to move their skills to the next level.
The two week intensive course gives them the opportunity to do things they've never had the chance to do, such as run into a burning building, or climb a 96 foot ladder.
Academy directors say the goal is to give the students a leg up on their resumes, and hopefully expand the number of qualified volunteer fighters in the state.
"National trends show a lack of volunteer fire departments," say Lt. Chris Beaumont. "More departments are going to the paid on call or trying to find different ways to get their members to come in. Putting them through a two week academy like this is a great opportunity."
The program is paid for by donations and resources from fire stations surrounding the Bangor area.
This year's academy has 12 students who will be qualified to volunteer at their local fire departments once they graduate from training.