Volunteer Firefighters Visit the OEC

This week, the Leaders In Action (LIA) students were able to share in a unique experience and learn a little something about serving their community.  Three volunteer firefighters took time out of their schedules to speak with our students. The guest speakers from Citizens Fire Company here in JeffersonCounty discussed career opportunities, fire prevention, and the overall life of a volunteer firefighter. A large portion of the conversation was geared towards fire prevention and creating an emergency plan at home, which most students had not previously considered. Not only did they discuss the functions of their equipment, differences in gear, and type of smoke detectors, they focused on the need for determination, courage, and having a passion for the community in any career they choose.

The firefighters touched on the importance of leadership skills in the work place by choosing to take action when the community is at risk.  They also talked about the necessity of managing their time with volunteering and other careers, and working together to end a hazard to their neighborhood. Leadership and teamwork skills can apply to many situations for our LIA students, whether it is working on a group project, being on an athletic team, or even doing chores at home. The fire fighters discussed with the students the importance of social and civic responsibility, which is one of the many goals of the Leaders in Action program.

After the discussion and exploration of the fire truck, one of the volunteers demonstrated the technique to extending and climbing the 105 ft. ladder. He then proceeded to climb the 85 steps to the top. At this point, the children were extremely excited and ready to start fighting fires! Having the firefighters meet with our students was great. The visit really opened many eyes and motivated students to consider a potential career of protecting our community.

(Sarah Nowicki is a WV Promise Vista at the Outdoor Education Center).

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