‘A cool opportunity’: Brockville Fire Department holding firefighting camp for girls

Photo via Brockville Fire Department

Given that March is Women’s History Month, it seems fitting that the Brockville Fire Department recently announced their inaugural Girls Firefighter Camp is coming this summer.

Brockvilleist spoke with Brockville Fire Chief Melanie Jones about this exciting new opportunity. 

“I’ve been involved in girls’ camps before with my previous job,” Jones explained. “When I came to Brockville, the firefighters were like ‘Hey, we want to run one of those here!’ So it was really a group decision. We all figured it would be a good thing to do since they haven’t done one here before.”

The camp is designated for girls aged 15-18 in the Brockville area.

“I think a camp like this is important because some of them wouldn’t even consider firefighting as an option,” Jones noted. “It doesn’t mean it’ll be a career for them so at least this gives them an opportunity to try something and see if it’s something they might like to do and then maybe down the road they can take the training, take the schooling,  and do whatever it takes to keep going.”

As with any new venture, it’s unclear whether this new camp will be a success or not amongst teenagers in the region. In response to this, Jones stated “Usually, with what I’ve been involved with in the past, there’s been more applications than what we can take. Although it’s disappointing for those who can’t participate, I can only hope that we get more applications than we need.” 

In terms of camp programming, Jones said she has a lot of fun activities and experiences in store.

“Everyone will be in different groups and they’ll move through the different activities and stations where firefighters and coaches will be on deck,” she explained.

“They might be doing hose handling and trying to climb a ladder, a lot of the things that we do in firefighter training. It’s not regular equipment that people can easily get their hands on so this will be a cool opportunity.”

Jones continued, “Above all, whether they follow the route or not, the girls who come out of the camps have usually gained a lot of confidence and learned that they’re able to do things they didn’t think they could do before! No matter what, it’s a win-win.” 

The camp will be held at the Fire Hall #2 on Laurier Boulevard from July 3 – 5, 2024.

Registration is not yet open but should be available to the public in the coming weeks. Jones urged those who are interested to check in with the Brockville Fire Department website and social media for an official registration date to not miss out.

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