Jr. Fire Academy


Jr. Fire Academy campers learn how to use firefighting tools (left), how to use EMS equipment (center), and how to perform CPR (right) as well as other skills. -Abigail Hill

Jr. Fire Academy campers learn how to use firefighting tools (left), how to use EMS equipment (center), and how to perform CPR (right) as well as other skills. -Abigail Hill

Last week, 43 students attended one of the most demanding camps presented this summer. It has grown in popularity over the past several years and students look forward to attending, learning, and facing some of the challenges that firefighters experience on a regular basis. Whether it was wearing full turnout gear, climbing tall ladders, learning how to operate equipment, or receiving instruction on how to administer medical aid, these students gave it all they had to make it a successful learning experience and another successful camp.

Although it was a lot of fun, it was not an easy camp. There was a multitude of information and instruction that needed to be provided before the students could safely begin hands-on learning. Instructors from Blount, St. Clair, and Jefferson counties pitched in to share their knowledge with the students as they tried to instill that firefighting involves a lot of communication and teamwork.

Oneonta Fire and Rescue firefighter Jonathan Ledbetter said, “These young men and women are the future of the fire and EMS service. After spending the last week with them, I feel very good about the future of emergency services. We had some very bright young men and women attend this camp, and they will do some great things.”

Hopefully this camp “lit a spark” within some of the students to consider becoming a firefighter or EMS worker in the future. Even though it is demanding, it is certainly a rewarding profession.