Ready Army: Kids Fire Academy teaches youth hands-on safety
C.J. Cox, age 2, learns how to use a fire extinguisher during the Carlisle Barracks Kids Fire Academy on Oct. 13. Josh Yale, Carlisle Barracks firefighter, taught kids how to stay safe and be ready in the event of a fire.

Knowing how to be safe doesn't have an age requirement, as shown at the 2nd annual Kids Fire Academy, held Oct. 11 at the post Fire Department.

The academy had two sessions, with a total of 30 children attending. The kids were given hands-on classes to learn about firefighters and what they do to protect people in a fire.

"The idea of the program is to give kids age 6 to 13 a glimpse of what it is like to be a firefighter, by participating in a number of tasks that firefighters would perform at an emergency scene," said Chief Michael Cain, Carlisle Barracks Fire Department Station Chief. "It differs from the traditional fire prevention program in that it gives the kids a hands-on, interactive activity."

The kids got to see a fire truck and the tools it carries up close, and try on the protective clothing and equipment that firefighters must wear. They also learned how to use a fire extinguisher and put out a vehicle fire.

The most popular event was the search and rescue mission. Cain and fire fighter/emergency medical technician Jeannine Lafranchise taught the kids the basics of searching a building for people, and then crawled through a maze blind-folded searching for a baby. They worked in teams of two, following a hose through the maze and maneuvering around and through obstacles.

While the search and rescue was the most exciting portion of the class, the kids seemed to like all of it.

"I can't pick a favorite part," said nine-year-old Ellie Knutson. "I liked all of it!"

At the end of the session, each child was given a junior firefighter certificate signed by the Director of Emergency Services and the Fire Chief.

Page last updated Fri October 24th, 2008 at 14:21