Using hoses, learning how to save lives with CPR and planning how to escape a house fire – all skills that young people can learn if they join a junior firefighter program.
Now, one such program is starting in Takoma Park.
Thanks to a grant from the Takoma Foundation, the Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department (TPVFD) will host twelve children aged 11-13 every Sunday for just over three months.
Starting on the 3rd of March, the junior firefighters will also learn other skills such as how to dial 911 effectively, how to wear breathing apparatus, and first aid.
The students will also be given a healthy lunch and TPVFD members will be on hand to help with school homework.
TPVFD’s Junior Firefighter Program Director, Amee Bearne, said: “We’re excited to get involved in the community beyond our role in providing emergency services. We hope that our junior firefighters will learn the value of working together in teams and become more active members in society. Who knows, the skills they pick up in the program might even save their lives or the life of someone else.”
The department hopes the program will also get young people interested in becoming volunteers in the future.
Currently, anyone aged 16 or over can join as volunteers and begin learning how to be an EMT or firefighter.
Any young people who want to join the junior firefighter program are encouraged to email Amee at firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be an orientation session this Sunday (24th Feb) for parents and guardians to let them know what the junior firefighters will be doing.
TPVFD is the oldest organized fire department in Montgomery County with a long tradition of volunteering.