Kids Fire Camp a success
July 5, 2013
Starting June 25, Nevada County Fire Agencies, the Firefighters Union 3800 and Local Firefighter Associations created new strides in reaching out to the youth of Nevada County.
We are proud to say that 15 campers ranging from the ages 11 to 14 years old are now official Fire Camp graduates.
It has been an honor working side by side with these tremendous campers.
The Junior Firefighters got a true Nevada County firefighter welcome during their time spent at Fire Camp.
Just over 400 volunteer hours in four days were donated by local firefighters, union members, association members, family members and clerical staff.
Day one of camp, the campers came face-to-face with a downpour of high professional standards and expectations from the staff, along with the tremendous downpour of the rain.
Splashing through the rainy weather and endless water coming from the fire engines, the campers illustrated their quick ability to grasp teamwork and compassion for each other. The campers’ timid behaviors and insecurities were swept down the drain with all the water due to the friendships that were forged by fire.
The campers were separated into battalions (a geographical identifier used in the Fire Service) for accountability and the understanding that firefighters never work alone. They swiftly understood the importance of how many firefighters it takes to mitigate all kinds of emergencies safely.
They participated in multiple tasks and evolutions throughout the week including fighting live fire, rappeling, CPR classes, ladder climbs, auto extrication, multiple helicopter demonstrations, team building exercises, physical fitness importance and many more valuable skills.
These skills were proven to be no challenge for the campers with the support from one another.
The week passed quickly at the Fire Training Center on Sierra College Drive, while applying multiple layers of raingear and sunblock in a matter of a few days.
All skills were put to the test as the last day of camp rolled around. The campers participated in a traditional “Fire Muster,” allowing for friendly but stout competition. The campers showed true sportsmanship and maturity during the competition.
It was expressed to the campers as the week passed, not only do firefighters put out fire, but we are public servants and are proud to care for people during some of the worst days they may encounter. We challenged the campers as they departed camp to take pride in their work, be proud of their accomplishments, and to always treat people with compassion and respect.
Once the gates to the camp were closed for another year, it is time to reflect on the tremendous amount of support which Kid’s Fire Camp 2013 received. Just over 400 volunteer hours in four days were donated by local firefighters, union members, association members, family members and clerical staff.
This camp was a true logistical challenge and a combined effort from many parties was the reason for its existence.
We would like to show special appreciation to the following groups and businesses for their assistance in making the camp a grand success: Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, Grass Valley Fire Department, Nevada City Fire Department, Penn Valley Fire District, Nevada City Firefighters Association, Gold Flat FFA, Watt Park FFA, Local 3800, Tripp’s Auto Body, Streamline Construction, Armstrong Photography, Miner Moe’s Pizza, Safeway, Porta Subs, Reach Helicopter, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District and the City of Roseville Fire Department.
Supporters such as these groups make the community a better place and take pride in creating a better future for children of Nevada County. Thank you.
Nathan Menth is an engineer with Nevada County Consolidated Fire District.