SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. - Surfside Beach is giving residents a firsthand look at being a firefighter.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports the town will hold its first Citizens Fire Academy this fall.

It will be an eight- to 10-week course giving residents a chance to learn about fire prevention and firefighting. They will be able to wear and use firefighting equipment and go through the firefighting maze and other exercises.

The idea is to help residents better understand what the fire department does. It's modeled after an existing Citizens Police Academy program in which participants learn more about police work, including riding along with officers on patrol.

The first class of the Firefighting Academy is limited to 12 town residents at least 18 years old.