St. Cloud High School (SCHS) Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets completed the St. Cloud Fire Rescue (SCFR) Integrated Training Program (ITP) May 17. The training sessions, which began in November 2016, were part of the program that was developed to enhance the cadets’ understanding of fire rescue and emergency medical service fields during the 2016/2017 school year.

“The cadets have gained a better appreciation for community service and valuable life skills,” said SCFR Emergency Medical Technician/Firefighter and U.S. Marine Corps Reservist Michael Sims, who developed the program with the assistance of SCFR personnel and SCHS JROTC Instructor 1st Sgt. Rafael Torres Boyer. “I truly believe that these skills will enable and inspire them to assist their communities throughout their entire lives; no matter what career field they choose.”

Seventeen cadets were selected by their first sergeant to attend ITP after the program’s introduction session in September 2016. The cadets are very grateful for the unique opportunity offered by SCFR personnel.
Detachment Cadet Commander Cody Johnson – “This was very eye-opening for me. We’re trained in physical activity, but this program has helped us learn more about focusing on our minds instead of our bodies. The program has led me to look at things from a different point of view, and I think this will help me in accomplishing a lot more missions in the future.”

Cadet Jorge Garcia – “Having this opportunity to gain first-hand experience and truly see the inner workings of a fire department was great, especially for someone who is interested in this field. It was strong physical training, but definitely worth our time and effort!”

Cadet Gregory Lacer – “This was a great experience. It was a great challenge for someone like me who is joining the Army and I can really use what I’ve learned. Some things are not taught in the classroom. Sims challenged us and we felt connected to the firefighters who have military backgrounds because we all have the common themes in our lives of service and selflessness.”

The program consisted of monthly 90-minute sessions focused on fire rescue and medical-service instruction aimed at encouraging a passion for public safety. The cadets learned about emergency medical services, firefighting, equipment and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and they participated in various trauma scenarios.

“This is was a unique opportunity for the cadets,” said SCFR Chief William Sturgeon. “Not only did they get to see our career field through the eyes of our firefighters, but they interacted with firefighters who have military backgrounds. They all enjoyed a camaraderie that will be treasured and remembered. We thank them for their dedication during the past seven months and we wish them the very best!”