The Southport Fire Department Citizen’s Academy

The Southport Fire Department (SFD) will offer its popular Citizen’s Fire Academy twice a year, in the Fall and Spring. Participants will spend quality time with Southport’s finest learning how these community heroes respond daily to the call for help.  Applicants will have a behind-the-scenes look at firefighting and emergency services in our great city.

Highlights of the program include a tour of Headquarters, being raised in a 101’ platform aerial, hands-on experience with the jaws of life, breathing apparatus, fire extinguishers, and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to drive a fire engine and ambulance!  This seriously fun and educational experience is not to be missed!

This program is designed for people who have a genuine desire to learn more about the daily lives of professional firefighters, who want to heighten their awareness regarding fire and life safety, and who wish to enhance their knowledge of the fire and EMS service industry. This program will provide its participants with a rich learning environment that will afford them an in-depth view of the SFD services and capabilities. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to perform various skills of a professional firefighter.

The Purpose of The Citizen’s Fire Academy

Our goal is to teach every participant the multitude of services and capabilities of the SFD and provide them with a clear understanding of our commitment to service. We will encourage our participants to share their experiences in the program and deliver our message of fire and life safety awareness to their families and friends — we want our message to be contagious.

The program is open to adults 16 years old or older who are residents of the Southport fire district. The program graduates will receive a certificate of completion upon successful completion of the program, Firehouse Supper, and a free t-shirt. There is no charge to the participants; all materials are provided.


The participants must realize that the Citizen’s Fire Academy is a learning experience. It is not intended to train them to become firefighters or to assist in a fire or emergency.

Measuring the Academy’s Success

To keep the Citizen’s Fire Academy informative and exciting, we encourage participants to critique the program throughout its entirety. Enhancements to the program will be implemented based on the feedback received from the participants. Students are encouraged to participate in all practical demonstrations and to interact with the instructors and one another.

Schedule of Classes

We will cover a lot over six weeks. Listed below are a program schedule and a short description for each class. Beginning May 04, classes will meet every Thursday (6 pm-9 pm), culminating with a graduation ceremony on June 8th.

Week # 1 – May 04th 

Introduction to the Fire Service

In this class, we will learn about the rich history of the Southport Fire Department. You will also learn what services the SFD provides to the fire district we cover, all about our facilities, apparatus, members, district, and how we are funded.  At the end of class, you will have a behind-the-scenes tour of the fire headquarters.

Location: SFD Headquarters Class Duration: 3 hours

Week # 2 – May 11th 

A day in the Life of a Firefighter/EMT

In this class, you will become familiar with the daily activities of a member of SFD.  You will also learn various tools, and equipment utilized by firefighters, their schedules, about calls, and how they are hired. In addition, there will be demonstrations of the tools and equipment and opportunities for you to gain hands-on experience utilizing the tools and equipment during group exercises.  At the close of class, you will have a chance to try on firefighting gear, breathing apparatus, and take a ride up the 101’ aerial platform truck to see Southport from a bird’s eye view!

Location: SFD Headquarters Class Duration: 3 hours

 Week # 3 – May 18th

Fire Prevention & Life Safety – Fire Marshal’s Office – Education, Enforcement, & Investigation

In this class, you will learn about the multitude of duties that encompass the Southport Fire Department’s office of the Fire marshal; these include:

  • The role of fire prevention and life safety.
  • The educational aspects of fire safety.
  • The enforcement of fire codes and keeping the citizens and public safe.
  • The role of SFD in Fire Investigations
  • And the proper use of fire extinguishers

At the end of this class, you will get hands-on training with fire extinguishers and a real fire.

Location: SFD Headquarters Class Duration: 3 hours

Week # 4 – May 25th

Emergency Medical Services, Technical Rescue & Extrication

In this class, you will learn about the SFD’s EMS and rescue services.  Medical Calls, motor vehicle crashes, and rescue operations are a large part of our call volume.  See the training and hear the experts teach about these emergency situations. The activity will be great, as you get the chance to use the jaws of life, and see a fire engine lifted by airbags.  You don’t want to miss this class!

Location: SFD Headquarters Class Duration: 3 hours

Week # 5 – June 1st 

Disasters & High-Risk Emergencies

This class will learn about the SFD’s capabilities regarding special emergency situations involving electricity, radioactive materials, explosives, confined space, large crowds, and weather events.  You will learn the importance of the Emergency Operations Center and you will participate in a mock drill of a category 4 hurricane approaching Southport!

Location: SFD Headquarters Class Duration: 3 hours

Week # 6 – June 8th 

Fire Academy Review & Graduation Ceremony

In this final class, you will hear a summary of all you have learned about SFD’s capabilities to mitigate emergency incidents in our community.  After all your questions have been answered, you will have a traditional firehouse meal, the Fire Chief with his command staff will present your completion certificate, a free T-Shirt and your once-in-a-lifetime chance to drive a real fire engine and an ambulance!

Location: SFD Headquarters Class Duration: 3 hours

Southport Fire Headquarters is located at 1011 North Howe Street Southport, NC  28461.  Our non-emergency phone line is 910-457-7915.  If you have further questions about the Citizens Fire Academy, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]