Stevens Point residents take part in emergency services trainings

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 9:56 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - For almost two months, more than a dozen Stevens Point residents will walk in the shoes of first responders in Portage County’s Emergency Services Citizens Academy Program.

The program consists of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, Stevens Point Police Department, Plover Police Department and Stevens Point Fire Department, along with 13 citizens who will learn the first responders’ every day responsibilities.

Officer Brent Thauer with Plover Police Department said it is a hands-on learning experience.

“It’s going to give you an idea of kind of what we’re up to,” Thaur explained, “and how law enforcement and fire services do things on a day to day basis.”

The group meets Thursday nights for three hours. Each week they participate in different trainings including fire training, drug investigation, a deadly force scenario and more.

Sentry Insurance worker Tim Johnson said he signed up for the academy to get a better understanding of what first responders do.

“Even though I had a basic understanding of what the police do, EMS and fire,” Johnson explained, “it gave me a whole new, deeper appreciation for it.”

Thaur said it is also a learning experience for the first responders.

“There’s a lot that we can learn the police or the fire side,” Thaur said. “And from the folks joining the academy... there’s a lot for us to learn from them as well.”

The participants will graduate from the academy on November 11th.

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