Teens can fight live fires, train in emergency response techniques, learn life-long leadership skills and forge new friendships during West Virginia University Extension Service’s Junior Firefighter Camp, June 27 through July 2 at the State Fire Academy at WVU Jackson’s Mill.
Unlike typical summer camps, teens gain insight and interest in becoming long-term members of emergency services through hands-on training exercises under the supervision of firefighters and other emergency professionals.
“When teens volunteer at their local fire department, they’re usually tasked to do some of the more mundane things, simply because they’re not old enough to be trained for emergency calls,” said Brian Grieco, adjunct instructor for the WVU Fire Service Extension. “We give them an opportunity to break out, explore and safely experience different facets of firefighting at the camp so they can add to their knowledge base to serve their communities when the time is right.”
Campers are taught the basics of firefighting operations, including CPR and first aid, fire apparatus, hose line operations, personal protective equipment, ground and aerial ladder operations and self-contained breathing apparatus.
“The camp provides future first responders with vital training while they learn the importance of teamwork and leadership,” said Grieco. “It’s a unique opportunity. Campers from different parts of the country come together and develop camaraderie through a common interest that is vital to their communities.”
In addition to firefighting basics, campers will also receive training in a variety of simulated emergency situations, including vehicle extrication and fires, airplane fires, wilderness firefighting and search and rescue.
Registration for the camp is open for teens ages 14-17 wishing to participate. The cost is $295, which includes lodging, meals and camp T-shirts. Scholarships may be available for qualified participants. The deadline for registration is June 14.
For more information regarding the camp, call 304-269-0875 or visit fireservice.ext.wvu.edu.
CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU Extension Service
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