The St Leonard Volunteer Fire Department graduated 37 students from the second yearly Junior Firefighters Camp on August 5, 2016 at the St. Leonard Fire Department Company 7 firehouse in St Leonard. The middle-school aged students completed five days of emergency services training facilitated by personnel of the fire department and all other Calvert County fire and rescue department companies, as well as the county dive force. The graduation recognized the work and dedication that the students demonstrated throughout the duration of the camp and was attended by the families of the students and community partners who taught skills and programming throughout the camp.
Sterling Myers, who has served as Deputy EMS Chief at Company 7 for 14 years, coordinated many of the events for the students and cultivated the culture of responsibility for the students during their 5-day experience. Myers officiated the final activity for the Junior Firefighters, an obstacle course that required students to demonstrate their strength and endurance training, as well as their sense of unity and pride for their fellow campers. Parents were invited to see what the 5-day camp taught their students about the skills that are constantly applied in the daily life of a firefighter.
Once all students completed their final training of Junior Firefighters Camp, Myers opened the graduation, providing a perspective of the achievements that the participants made in their days as camp, including earning CPR-certified status and being trained in the same advanced safety protocols that adults seeking to join the volunteer companies spend at least six months on. Deputy Chief Myers said one of the most crucial parts of the Junior Firefighter training was that “[the students] learned how important it is to work as a team,” as essential idea to being effective in volunteer companies and in emergency services.
Calvert County Commissioner Steve Weems was present for the graduation ceremony to extend congratulations to the students for taking on the challenge of the program and remarked that Calvert County looks forward to their future as community volunteers. All 37 participants were then awarded certificates commemorating their completion of the rigorous training and being the second graduating class of the current program.
Please enjoy the picture gallery below.
Alexya Brown / Calvert Beacon Intern