Attending the national fire academy
From February 2nd to February 14th, 2020 I was able to attend the Fire Service Financial Management Class at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. FEMA does an amazing job of putting on great educational fire service classes at the Academy. FEMA pays for the airfare, lodging, and class for fire districts all over the US.
I walked 27 miles in two days. But every step was so worth it. I honestly couldn’t have asked for better weather or company, everything was so perfect.
Being able to attend a class at the academy is an honor. I struggle to put into words what the two weeks meant to me. The education I received was so valuable and will be used daily in my work life. This class is not death by PowerPoint. It’s a very interactive, exciting, and fast pace class. Even with homework every night. Class ended with a final that was a group mock presentation to a city council, convincing them that your idea for the fire department was something they should consider. Public speaking isn’t something I enjoy. But the skills I learned in this class prepared me, and I easily passed my final with the help of the other 3 guys in my final group. And on Thursday, February 13th I graduated.
I was in class with 17 amazing men from all over the US. This class had a wonderfully dynamic and a great relationship. Our instructors said we as a class gelled faster than any other class they have had. There was so much experience, knowledge, and mutual respect in this group. I have truly made 17 new great friends. I could reach out to any of them and get so much professional advice at any time. I am so lucky to have that.
The grounds at the academy are very beautiful. There are memorials to fallen firefighters and meaningful statues everywhere you look. The grounds are a former college so there are many buildings and a whole lot of walking!
Speaking of walking, during my weekend off between classes I was able to head into DC with one of my classmates to meet up with my Uncle who lives and works in DC as a Cornel in the US Army. Having an excellent tour guide, I was able to see the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the US Marine Corps War Memorial, the Capitol Building, many Smithsonian museums, the White House, the National Cathedral, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery and the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown, Georgetown University, and Old Town Alexandria. I walked 27 miles in two days. But every step was so worth it. I honestly couldn’t have asked for better weather or company, everything was so perfect.
By Eryn A. Micallef