Friday, April 18, 2008

What’s someone from the fire department doing in the police academy?

When you scan the classroom or see all 23 cadets together, one immediately catches your attention. William Bouse, who’s a 20-year EMS veteran with the Bryan Fire Department.

Bouse, at a spry 47 years, is 27 years older than the youngest cadet in the 142nd Central Texas Police Academy.

“It’s an interesting aspect when some of the instructors are younger than you,” Bouse chuckled.

While working for an electrical firm and serving as a volunteer firefighter, Bouse took a basic and then an intermediate EMT class through the
Kinesiology Department at Texas A&M. About the time the latter of the two classes was wrapping up, he took a test with the Bryan Fire Department and was hired as an Emergency Medical Technician.

You might be wondering why a 20-year veteran of the Bryan FIRE Department is going through the police academy. Bouse was recently promoted to arson investigator and in Texas, all arson investigators must be licensed peace officers.

Does he ever get ribbed by his classmates for being the elder statesman of the group?

“We give him a hard time every now and then, but not too often” said 24-year-old recruit
Cody Chandler. “Everybody here calls each other by their last name, but instead of calling him just ‘Bouse,’ we call him ‘Mr. Bouse.’ You could call it a healthy respect for his age and he fits in great with the rest of the class.”

“I hope I bring across a feeling that they can come and talk to me about issues,” Bouse said. “Issues that they feel like somebody with more years and experience might be of help.”

Evidently, that is the case … “He is a wealth of knowledge,” Chandler added. “Especially when we’re learning stuff like we’re learning right now.

Thursday and Friday the cadets learned basic
first aid and CPR. And that’s right up Mr. Bouse’s alley.

“It’s absolutely important that all first responders have a basic level of first aid and CPR training,” Bouse said. “It’s also important that they can recognize what is life-threatning and what is not, be able to stabilize the scene and be able to pass on some information to the EMS when they arrive.”

Interesting tidbits:

Monday and Tuesday the cadets studied accident investigation. Wednesday they had a guest speaker from the
Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission and learned basic information about hazardous materials situations.

Bouse is not the only member of a fire department in the police academy. Gerald Burnett with the Bryan Fire Department is also earning his peace officer certification for the exact same reason as Bouse. (Both pictured to the left.)

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