Firefighting Youth

An adult may ask a child,“What do you want to be when you grow up?” The child may say, “a firefighter.” If they are still determined when they reach high school, there is a class available to prove his or her devotion to the profession.The Ohio Youth Fire and EMS Training Academy isn’t for the tenderfoot. Even if a student starts out cautious, they won’t be one by the end of the week. Thirty-six high school students from 5 states gathered at Hocking College in Nelsonville for the weeklong training. The Hocking College Fire Training Center serves as the training grounds for students to learn new firefighting skills. One exercise involves students crawling through the soot covered building, up and down stairs while blindfolded. This is to designed simulate crawling through a smoke filled room with zero visibility. Another crew took turns carrying a 100 plus pound dummy down a ladder, all while wearing forty pounds of firefighting gear. It was a tough week for many, while others took it in stride. When Jaron Williams, from The Plains, was asked how the training was going, he said it was fun.

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