As I stood inside Fire Station #2 last night in Marion, I felt like I was in a dream sequence.  I was about to be fitted for my bunker gear.  That's right.  Fire fighting gear.  Helmet, coat, boots, the whole uniform.  Suddenly, the Marion Citizen's Fire Academy got VERY real.

This is the second year the Marion Fire Department has held it's Citizen's Fire Academy.  It is open to any Marion resident and is done to better educate people on what the department does to keep us all safe, and to better inform us on fire safety.  Last night was the first in 8 weeks of classes that will see us do everything from manning hoses, to cutting open cars and yes....putting out actual fires!

I suppose everyone at some point in their life, imagines themselves being a fire fighter.  The job is featured in movies and TV shows.  I admit, I'm no different.  The job fascinates me.  This class will get me as close as you can to seeing what the men and women of the Marion Fire Department really do to keep us safe.

The best part of last night's class though?  Taking my gear home to show my wife and kids!  They all thought I looked like a "real" fire fighter.  I'm about to find out just how far off they are!

Ryan Brainard