SANDY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Twenty-six kids are learning what it takes to be a firefighter at a three-day junior firefighter academy with the Sandy City Fire Department.
These kids are putting their knowledge to the test with a field day by climbing ladders, spraying fire hoses, and dumping buckets of water into a bin as they recreate the early firefighter bucket brigade system.
“We get to spray the hoses at everything that’s on fire and we get to do this cool training every day,” says junior firefighter participant, Lila Vawdrey.
Prior to field day, Battalion Chief Robert DeKorver says the eight-to-ten-year-old’s have been learning about different agencies the fire department works with and how they operate.
DeKorver says having this opportunity to teach kids is important to him and his department.
“They get to know us as firefighters, they get to trust us, and they get to learn about the fire service,” DeKorver says.
And the importance of knowing:
“That in the event of an emergency, that we are those guys that are going to come in and do the job that we’re supposed to do and be able to help them and rescue them,” DeKorver says.
While putting out flames is their job, these kids are learning that there’s more to it than just fighting fires.
“They go into fires to save you guys and go on cliffs to save the cars or something to save the people in the cars and car crashes,” Lila says.
“They train a lot and it’s really hard,” says junior firefighter participant, Ollie Collings.
DeKorver says as far as he knows, Sandy City Fire Department is the only fire station that holds these events and he hopes others will begin doing them as well.
“They see us in our gear, they see the tools, our trucks, our apparatus, what we’re using,” says DeKorver. “They have the opportunity to be able to learn about stop drop and roll, crawl low under smoke. Hopefully it helps keep them calm and to be better prepared if they were to have an emergency.”
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