The National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) National Junior Firefighter Program, in partnership with Scott Safety and Tyco International, presented a hands-on National Junior Firefighter Academy on September 29 at the Scott Safety headquarters in Monroe, NC. Academy attendees participated in classroom sessions, product demos, a facility tour, and hands-on training drills.
More than 60 youth and almost 30 program advisors attended the Academy. During the classroom session in the morning, junior firefighters learned about future paths in the fire service through an interactive career panel and then divided into breakout groups to discuss activity ideas. In a separate classroom, program advisors learned about being a leader to youth and grants and fundraising ideas.
After a facility tour and lunch hosted by the NVFC, the group practiced donning and doffing turnout gear. Then youth and their advisors were divided into five groups for hands-on drills:
- Tire Test – Juniors navigated a tire maze while wearing a blacked-out mask, with the goal of acclimating them to search and rescue, blind searching, working as a team, and communications.
- Thermal Imaging Scavenger Hunt – Using a Scott thermal imager, juniors worked in teams to find a heat source in a dark room.
- Hose Obstacle Course – Junior firefighters put on a blacked-out mask and then followed an uncharged hose line over wooden pallets, under tables, and around cones.
- Dummy Drag – After a lesson on proper lifting and search and rescue techniques, juniors practiced safely dragging a "victim" to safety.
- Stokes Basket – Junior firefighters practiced working with ropes and knots to secure a "victim" for transport.
The Academy provided an excellent opportunity for youth and advisors to share ideas, learn new drills, and make connections with firefighters from other departments. The NVFC thanks Scott Safety for hosting this important training opportunity and all the youth and adult participants who helped make the day a great success.
The next National Junior Firefighter Academy will take place on Saturday, November 3, at the Harrisburg (PA) Area Community College. Stay tuned to the National Junior Firefighter Program web site for additional future training dates and locations. For information on hosting an Academy at your department or training facility, visit www.nvfc.org/trainingeducation/nvfc-academy-on-site-training/.