Her fiery passion and dedication to firefighting is what made West Virginia University Extension Service Junior Firefighter Camp attendee Brittany French a stand-out for the National Junior Firefighter of the Year award.

As a recipient, French attended the National Junior Firefighter Program award ceremony in Alexandria, Virginia on May 6 and received a $500 scholarship toward her education. The National Junior Firefighter of the Year award is presented by the National Volunteer Fire Council and Tyco.

“I’m honored to receive this award and thankful for the support of my family and friends in 4-H and the fire department,” French said.

French’s 4-H leader and Hedgesville 4-H Junior Volunteer Fire Company Adviser Keena Crowell secretly nominated her by submitting a 500-word essay about why she felt French deserved the recognition in addition to two letters of recommendation.

“I believe she was chosen for this award due to her dedication to the fire department and her willingness to ‘make the best better,” Crowell said.

French credits her experience with the Hedgesville 4-H Junior Volunteer Fire Company, where she served roles as president, vice president and secretary, for her win and life success.

“[The Hedgesville 4-H Junior Volunteer Fire Company] is the mold for my foundation,” French said. “It structured me to become a smart and independent woman.”

In 2012, French attended the WVU Extension Service Junior Firefighter Camp, an opportunity she describes as a pivotal point in driving her career in firefighting.

“She was apprehensive about camp at first, but with the knowledgeable and great staff, she learned to overcome those roadblocks and now even encourages others to participate,” Crowell said.

The WVU Extension Service Junior Firefighter Camp is a unique opportunity for campers to gain hands-on skills in not only firefighting, but teamwork and leadership.

In addition to her firefighting experience with 4-H, French has recently joined the senior fire department as a patient transporter and is enrolled in the paramedic program at the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College.

Once French finishes school, she hopes to get a job as a firefighter paramedic and eventually become a flight medic.

“The fact that I get to make a career out of helping people is incredible,” she said. “And winning National Junior Firefighter of the Year just propels me to work harder.”

For more than a century, 4-H has focused on agricultural science, electricity, mechanics, entrepreneurship and natural sciences. Today, 4-H out-of-school opportunities also exist in subjects like rocketry, robotics, biofuels, renewable energy and computer science.

To learn more or register for the 2016 WVU Extension Service Junior Firefighter Camp, visit http://bit.ly/JrFFCamp or contact your local office of the WVU Extension Service.

-WVU-

sc/05/09/16

CONTACT: Brittany Dick, WVU Extension Service
304.293.8701, Brittany.Dick@mail.wvu.edu

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