Morgantown, W.Va. — Communities across West Virginia, as well as the nation, are facing a shortage of firefighters. With the number of firefighters decreasing, concerns for our communities’ safety are on the rise. That’s where the West Virginia University Extension Fire Service Extension’s Junior Firefighter Camp comes in.
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, WVU Extension is excited to announce the return of Junior Firefighter Camp. Scheduled for Saturday, June 18 through Thursday, June 23 at the State Fire Academy at WVU Jackson’s Mill in Weston, this camp prepares the next generation of firefighters and emergency operations personnel by placing youths in the heart of the action.
Under the direction of trained professionals, campers receive hands-on fire and emergency services training and education on the importance of serving their communities.
“By the completion of camp, youths will have earned certifications in CPR and first aid, which helps prepare them for roles within emergency services—and even other jobs,” Mark Lambert, WVU Extension Fire Service Extension director, said. “They also learn about teamwork, discipline and camaraderie.”
Each day, campers learn about a different aspect of fire and emergency response. From live fire training to special rescue operations, the curriculum exposes campers to a wide range of scenarios to help further develop their skill sets. Other instructional topics include hoseline and fireground procedures, operating rescue vehicle equipment and urban and rural water supply.
In addition to the practical training, this unique experience builds campers’ respect for their communities and encourages them to explore their interests while also giving back.
“This camp was created to get youths interested in firefighting and volunteering to help their communities,” Lambert said. “If we can get them interested at an early age, it’s likely they will go on to be long-term community leaders.”
With diverse representation from states across the U.S., campers have the opportunity to meet and build relationships with others from various places, interest areas and backgrounds. Unlike any other experience in the country, the camp’s influence stretches far beyond West Virginia’s state lines.
To participate, campers must be ages 14 through 17. The cost to attend is $375, which includes meals, lodging and six required camp T-shirts. Scholarships may be available to those who qualify.
The deadline to register is Friday, June 3.
For more information about the camp, contact Fire Service Extension at 304-269-0875 or visit extension.wvu.edu/community-business-safety/fire-service/junior-firefighter-camp.
If you want to learn about WVU Extension, visit extension.wvu.edu or follow @WVUExtension on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
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