By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Local youth recently strapped on their boots and helmets to become firefighters in the City of Oshawa – at least for one week.
On July 12, the first graduates of the 2019 Junior Firefighter Camp received their certificates and had a chance to show the skills taught to them during the program.
The Junior Firefighters Program runs in partnership with the city and Oshawa Fire Services.
According to Andy Banga, chief fire prevention officer for Oshawa, participants learn about fire safety and prevention, as well as fire-related equipment such as extinguishers, and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
“The idea is they take this knowledge back to their families and make their homes safer than they already are,” Banga told The Oshawa Express.
Banga says the youth, ages 10 to 12, are very happy to be recognized during the graduation ceremony.
“They are proud of what they have learned and proud to demonstrate it to their families,” he says. “It’s really wonderful to see them grasp the concept of fire safety, and some of them love the idea so much, we have return customers who come to do the camp a second time.”
This year’s Junior Firefighter Summer program is sponsored by the Oshawa Professional Firefighter Association Local 465. Through their donation, the association is providing bucket-style sun hats for every child, pizza lunches on Fridays and in partnership with the City Of Oshawa, 40 of the 210 campers who attend will be able to attend for free.
More information on the program can be found at https://www.oshawa.ca/residents/junior-fire-program.asp