The majority of those calls were for emergency medical assistance, requiring various levels of specialized training. Youth who are age 14 or older have put an end to boring summers by becoming volunteers at local fire stations. They are well on their way to gaining the specialized skills needed to make a difference when calls for help come from neighbors in their communities.
One of those youth is 2018 EMS scholarship recipient Seth Mills from Skyline High School. Mills joined South Warren Volunteer Fire Company 3 in March and has completed orientation and CPR certification. One of his first calls was for emergency medical assistance. Since he had just memorized where all the equipment on the ambulance was located, he was able to support EMTs by quickly providing the items they needed for patient care. Another emergency call involved responding with his company to secure the scene when an electrical powerline came down during one of the recent heavy storm events. Although youth under the age of 18 cannot be placed in danger of life or health, they can assist with non-hazardous duties and assist certified firefighters and EMS personnel on some emergency scenes.
Ashley Foster is another Skyline High School student who has become a volunteer at Front Royal Volunteer Fire Company 1. Foster, along with fellow volunteers Connor and Hunter Jost, attend weekly training sessions to familiarize themselves with the apparatus and the tools and equipment used in emergency response.
North Warren Volunteer Fire Company 10 volunteer Katlyn Neale was just 14 when she joined last year. Working alongside her dad, President Jason Neale, she is getting a taste of all that is involved in serving the community through fire and rescue activities. Since not all volunteer work involves emergency response, some youth assist with events and fundraising. Neale is currently preparing for their upcoming Open House on June 30, and has also recently helped with boot drives to raise money for equipment.
Older youth volunteers are preparing for Warren County’s 2018 Firefighter Academy to be held August 20, 2018 through January 16, 2019. Interested students are age 16 and up and are obtaining their training at no cost as affiliated volunteers in Warren County. These young volunteers have a lot to do this summer to prepare for future service to this community. It is clear that their summer break will not be boring!
For more information about volunteering, visit www.warrencountyfire.com/join-us, or call Recruitment and Retention Coordinator Brenda Diehl at (540) 636-3830.