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Limerick Fire Company Hosts 4th Annual Youth Firefighter Camp
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By Photographer John Dehaven
June 20, 2017

Ask any firefighter and they’ll tell you that one of the most important parts of being a first responder is preparation.
That’s exactly why Limerick Fire Company hosts its annual week-long youth fire camp for kids. The camp, which is now in its fourth year, teaches kids about fire safety, rescue operations and the ins and outs of being a firefighter.

Article from The Mercury

Throughout the week, campers go through different stations learning about the different facets of being a first responder. During a mock rescue on Thursday, campers got to learn how to evacuate a trapped person from a vehicle, how to transport a victim from an ambulance to a MedEvac helicopter and about the staging of tools at the scene.

“Today it’s rescue day,” said Limerick Fire Chief Ken Shuler on Thursday. “So they’re learning about the hydraulic tools, stabilization, air bags and we’re going to do a mock rescue. Yesterday was water supply and hose lines. Trappe and GoodWill ambulance were here and did an ambulance station for us as well and the Norristown arson dog was here Wednesday. Sanatoga Fire Company also came down to do a demonstration on water supply and talk to the kids about hydrants and large diameter hoses.”

In addition to those fire departments and EMS, Shuler said the camp also had help from Upper Salford Fire Company, who came to teach campers about attack lines and Perkiomen Fire Company who demonstrated how fire fighters use port-a-ponds in cases where hydrants aren’t available. Trappe Fire Company also paid a visit to the camp so that kids could have the opportunity to learn how to operate a ladder truck and Linfield Fire Company assisted with water rescue equipment, boats, and training.

The week-long camp ends Friday with a day of lessons on extinguishing fires and fire safety.

“Tomorrow they will be putting out stove fires and will be learning a little bit about home fire safety,” explained Shuler. “So it’s a combination program teaching them fire safety in general but then we also want to raise awareness for the volunteer fire service.”

That effort seems to have paid off.

In addition to having more than 100 interested campers that filled up all the spots in just a few days, Shuler said in the past four years they have had kids go through the camp who go on to join a volunteer fire company.

“I wish we could take more kids but it’s at a little over 100 and we’re tapped. We’re probably at our max. I think it was about six days before we filled up this year,” said Shuler. “We’ve had a few people join already and I know two other fire companies have had people join as volunteers because of the camp.”

While the camp is open to children ages six to 13, interested teens can start training to be a volunteer firefighter in Limerick as early as age 14. The fire company offers a cadet program for volunteers ages 14 to 15 and a junior program for volunteers ages 16 and 17. At 18, volunteers can legally begin to go to fire school, Shuler explained.

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