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Gearing Up for Fire Safety Month

Allen Fire Department's Public Education Programs Save Lives!

Article by Angi Burns

Photography by Jill Hernandez & Rebekah Ussery

Originally published in Allen City Lifestyle

“A 1.5 - 2 hour course can save someone you love,” states Jill Hernandez, Public Education Coordinator for the Allen Fire Department. Hernandez oversees all of the educational programming, including free instruction on topics such as fire extinguishers, active shooter training, fire safety, emergency weather planning, and much more. The most popular courses, taught by EMS Specialist Tony Cooper, are the adult CPR and Stop the Bleed (STB) classes. Stop the Bleed is a National Campaign that started after Sandy Hook — out of all the casualties, research has stated that 20 of the lives taken in that tragedy were lost just from bleeding out. The Allen Fire Department provides CPR and STB classes once a month in the evenings.  

When asked his favorite thing about the community classes, Division Chief Danny Williams stated, “They come in terrified and timid. Watching the transition in confidence from the beginning to end of the class, seeing the turnaround, the ‘I can do this!’ We are taking away their apprehension and fear, which ultimately can save a life.”

The City of Allen has countless success stories of bystanders beginning CPR before professional personnel arrived. These early interventions increase the likelihood of survival for the afflicted, and make the probability of people walking out of the hospital without deficits even greater.

Division Chief Williams recalled a story regarding the effectiveness of the training. He stated that he received an email from a young man thanking the department for offering the community CPR course which ultimately saved his father’s life. His father had been out riding his bike when he had a medical emergency. A community member who had taken the CPR training course was able to keep his father alive until the medical response team arrived. According to Division Chief Williams, “There is a 3 - 5 minute response time for most calls, and those minutes are crucial to the survival or recovery odds of the victim.” He remarked that the son’s final statement made a huge impact on him. The man claimed, “We should be planning a funeral right now, but instead we get to plan another Father’s Day.”

Two additional options for those looking for a more in-depth experience include the Junior Fire Academy and Citizens Fire Academy. 

The Junior Fire Academy is a week-long summer camp for fifth and sixth-grade students. Students rehearse practical first aid and fire safety skills, learn about firefighting equipment, and build self-confidence. The 2022 camp included 32 students. It was a memorable experience for all! 11-year-old John “loved search and rescue and learning how to tie different knots.” Kylie, 10, enjoyed “listening to dispatch and hearing all the different calls coming in.” Meanwhile, 11-year-old Aiden and 12-year-old Ania were fascinated by the emergency vehicles and getting to learn more about the features on the ambulance and fire trucks. The class collectively stated that the hoses and ladders were much heavier than anticipated, and they now have a greater respect for the job since attending the camp.  

Citizens Fire Academy (CFA) is an eight-week program that gives residents an opportunity to learn about Allen Fire Department's structure and operations. The course is free and takes place each spring. Participants must be at least 18 and live or work in Allen. Citizens Fire Academy is limited to 20 total adults.

The Allen Fire Department also provides numerous online trainings for the community. Residents can learn about fire safety while getting to know the local fire department! Produced in-house by Allen City Television, their educational videos and PSAs offer lots of great information delivered by Allen firefighters. 

Additionally, Remembering When™ contains everything you need to know to conduct a comprehensive fire and fall prevention program for older adults in your community. At age 65, older adults are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires compared to the population at large. By age 75, that risk increases to three times that of the general population — and to four times by age 85. Remembering When™ is centered around 16 key safety messages – eight fire prevention and eight fall prevention – for older residents.

The Allen Fire Department also provides classes to community groups as scheduling allows. Residents can request community education and appearances by visiting

"The more courses we offer and the more we train the community, the more likely it is that someone who has been educated by us is there when an emergency occurs." – Danny Williams, Division Chief

  • Stop the Bleed Class
  • Junior Fire Academy Suiting Up for Their Big Day!