The National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) National Junior Firefighter Program, in partnership with Spartan Motors, Inc., California Casualty, and Firehouse Expo, presented the second annual National Junior Firefighter Academy on July 23 as part of Firehouse Expo in Baltimore, MD. The Academy, which was held from 9am-12pm, consisted of two sessions that ran concurrently - one for junior firefighters and one for advisors. The event built on a successful inaugural Academy held in July 2010 at Firehouse Expo.
“We were pleased to partner again with Firehouse Expo, Spartan Motors, and California Casualty to bring together a wide range of youth and adult members of the fire service interested in building and strengthening their department’s junior firefighter program,” said Heather Schafer, NVFC Executive Director. “The feedback we have received from the attendees has been very positive.”
Dozens of junior firefighters and program advisors attended the Academy, which received great reviews. Speakers and topics included:
- Junior firefighters Kevin Roman and Rachel Cotton of the Rockville (MD) Volunteer Fire Department led a youth leadership panel.
- Mike Barnett, Elkridge (MD) Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighter Program Coordinator, shared activity ideas.
- Jeff Cash, NVFC 1st Vice Chairman and Chief of the Cherryville (NC) Fire Department, led a session for advisors on youth safety standards and serving as a youth mentor.
- Nick Bailey, founder of FDLiveIn.com and member of the Hyattsville (MD) Volunteer Fire Department, led a session for youth on future career and college paths in the fire service.
- NVFC staff members Heather Schafer and Rachel Buczynski discussed the resources and initiatives of the National Junior Firefighter Program.
- Amy Grosso of California Casualty shared information with the group about the company’s services.
The National Junior Firefighter Program serves as an umbrella for junior firefighter programs nationwide to promote youth participation within the fire and emergency services community. In addition, youth can use the program to locate a local junior firefighter program, keep track of their hours of service, and learn what it means to be a firefighter. The National Junior Firefighter Program promotes the future of the fire service by encouraging youth to form a connection with their emergency service department so that hopefully as adults they will either join the fire service or become a community supporter of the fire service. The National Junior Firefighter Program is part of the National Volunteer Fire Council and supported by Spartan Motors, Inc., Tyco International, and California Casualty. Learn more at www.nvfc.org/juniors.