On Saturday-15-July the Bogota Emergency Service Youth Academy held the second of two Parent Orientation meeting for the Students who have been accepted into Class 07 this Summer.
The meeting was lead by Program Director Sgt Craig Lynch , and Instructor Rey Sanchez
Sgt Lynch welcome those Parents in attendance and gave a brief introduction to the goals of the Youth Academy. He then showed the promotional video the Academy uses in the schools to show eligible Students about the Bogota Emergency Service Youth Academy After the video Sgt Lynch explained how this Academy is different then most others in the area. First is the fact that the Academy accepts a limited number of Students. This allows for better interaction of the Cadets with the instructors and other specialist that they will learn from during a duty day. The limited number of Cadet also serves to motivate the Cadets as to the reasons for attending the Academy. If a Cadet would like to withdraw, for any reason, the Academy will agree to it respectfully. Sgt Lynch then said there is a long waiting list of eager Student to take the open space. Of the over 300 Cadets that have been apart of the Youth Academy only 4 have dropped out. In the event of any cadet wishing to leave the Academy the fee will be returned to the Parents, but all Academy equipment must be returned. The next part of the meeting was to discuss the type of experience the Cadet will have. The Academy is based on a Military style program. However it will not be a “ Boot Camp” type of atmosphere , All of the instructor have Military, or Police backgrounds and will talk to the Cadets in a direct , but forceful manner. The Instructors mission is to encourage a Cadet to push themselves beyond what they think they can do, and acknowledge their progress in the Academy. All instructors are under the guidelines of being respectful of the Cadets at all times. However any instructor is allowed to “ adjust” a Cadet when necessary as long as it is done as a learning situation, and never for punishment. Sgt Lynch let the Parents know that there are Female staff members at the Academy to ensure the safety and comfort of all Female Cadets.
Sgt Lynch explained to the Parents about the Zero Tolerance policy of the Academy. The policy included, but not limited to, lateness, disobedient, or disrespectful behavior to the Instructors, Interns, Support Personal, and fellow Cadets. The Cadet will be subject to have a standard uniform appearance. Both sets of Uniforms are required to be washed , and dried nightly. This is due to the physical activities the Cadet will perform during a standard duty day. Two sets of uniforms will be issued to each Cadet. Both sets will be worn during the course of the day. All Cadet are recommended to wear mostly white athletic shoes, black shoes are allowed with most of the shoe a solid colour. Female Cadets are required to have hair shorten the shoulder length, or longer hair pulled into a tight bun before arriving at the Academy for the day. It is mandatory for all Female to wear a "Sports Bra" under their Uniform Shirts. This is to assure that any activity that requires the Cadet to be near or in water will not compromises the Cadet Uniform code. Male Cadet are required to have a neat business hair cut. Above the ears and off the back of the neck. All Cadet must be free of Jewelry of any type. Including, but not limited to rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces is is in order to maintain the standard uniform code as well as the safety of the Cadet and Instructors. Parents were also told that a Cadet my only bring a cell if needed, but it must be turned over to Academy Staff at the start of the Duty Day, and returned to the Cadet upon the end of the day. Cadets are to bring their own Healthy Lunch to the Academy cold sandwiches, with a fruit or vegetable is recommended. The Academy will provide Cadets with their own water bottle as part of their uniform and will regular hydrations stations during the duty day.
Sgt Lynch then gave rundown of the schedule for the Academy's Class 07. The Cadets will have a assessment day on Thursday 3-August. The first full duty days begin with Orientation on Friday -4 August. He said that a typical duty day would be like. The day starts at 7:30 and goes to 4:00p with the most intense day being Orientation on the first Friday. Then each day will follow the same schedule, except for the last Friday 5-August when the Cadets will have a morning session then be sent home for an extended break. The Cadets will then report for duty later in the that afternoon for their " Black Friday" duty. He advised the Parent to check with the Academy's web site www.bpesya.com for any changes or updates. He continued saying that the job of the Parents is to be as supportive of their Cadets as possible especially after orientation. This is the day were the Instructors try and make the Cadets stop being Children and start to become members of the Academy. After this day a Parent's job is to assist the Cadets to relax and become ready for the full Academy experience for the next seven day. Another job of the Parents is plan for Graduation on Tuesday 15-August. This will take place at Steen School and it is suggested that it is made a special event for the Graduating Cadets.
During the duty time at the Academy the Cadets will attended classes in health, life-skills, along with other instruction for personal growth. There will also be physical and drill training to assists the Cadets with team building. On other duty days the Cadets will experience hands on training with the members of Bogota's Emergency Service. Sgt Lynch stressed that the Cadets will perform the duties in which they learning about. Cadets will cut open a car with the jaws of life, Operate a fire hose under pressure, and even recover objects in the pool while scuba diving. Sgt Lynch talk about how the Bogota Youth Academy is the only one in New Jersey to allow their Cadet to experience Scuba diving by donning all the equipment needed and being taught with certified instructors. Sgt Lynch added that part of the mission of the Academy is to have the Cadets learn by doing, not just watching. So any activity the Cadets participate in will be a hands on experience. One of the activities Sgt Lynch made a mention of was firearm safety day. He assured the Parents that the Cadets will not be taught to fire a weapon. The purpose of this training is to allow the Cadet learn what to do incase they come across a weapon of any type in their daily lives. This not only includes firearms but other types of weapons as well. This activity will be led by Instructor Sanchez who is a certified NRA Instructor who will show the Cadet the different types of weapons that could be found, and explain what should done in that situation. The Cadets will also taken to the Bergen County Police firing range to experience the sounds, sights, smell, and even the feel of being near a live fire situation. The Cadet will only watch Police officers fire various weapons to show their destructive powers.
Parents were also told that this year the Academy will expand it's live feed program. This will allow the Parent to view selective scenes during the Academy day. Then there was time for the Parents to ask question and talk to a few of the instructors privately. Parents were also able to pay the entrance fee, and see a sample of the Cadet uniforms so they could size them properly.
For more information, about the Bogota Emergency Services Youth Academy, including
how Sponsor for a Cadet in Class 07 of the Bogota Emergency Services Youth Academy, and how to accesses the live feeds.please visit their website at : www.bpesya.com or by email at BPESYA@outlook.com
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