On Friday, June 18, Asheville Fire Department wrapped up its first annual fire camp for kids. The day camp, which was held June 16-18 at the Asheville Firefighters Association Camp off Clayton Road, gave 18 boys and girls the opportunity to learn more about the tools and skills firefighters use, and even let them get their hands on some of the equipment.
Over three days, the youths got to go up in the department’s bucket truck, raced each other in putting on firefighter gear, learned to handle a fire hose, witnessed a staged vehicle extraction and learned about fire extinguisher safety.
Asheville Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Kelley Webb said the activities were geared to keep kids active, having fun and engaged in team-building exercises in a safe environment.
The camp was made possible by grants from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and the Asheville Housing Authority. Thanks to those grants, the camp was free to children, and included snacks, lunches, T-shirts and some take-home goodies.
The Asheville Fire Department hopes the camp will be the first of many over the coming years, Webb said.
The department is also host to Asheville Fire Explorer Post 77, which trains young adults ages 13-20 firefighting skills. Youths participating in this camp were encouraged to join Explorer Post 77 if they wanted to continue learning more about firefighting and rescue response.
For information about future camp opportunities, contact Kelley Webb at (828) 251-4011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.