Last week, Camp Ignite hosted 34 high school students, the largest group to date.
For two days, participants walked from workshop to workshop learning how to extinguish burning cars, smash windows or untangle tangled electrical wires, among other things.
The goal, according to Vancouver Fire Chief Karen Frye, is to challenge young women and help them believe in themselves.
Anyone can do the job. […] Women have a lot of skills and just need a chance to see other women doing this work to realize that they can do it tooas you say.
16-year-old Gorja Kaufman says the biggest lesson she learned at camp is the importance of teamwork.
The hoses were pretty heavy and all the tools were heavy so it was tough, but it was really fun.
She fully intends to make a career in the fire department.
Debra Rogers is one of the leaders of Camp Ignite. She is also the first and only firefighter in the Campbell River Fire Department.
According to her, campers are not just about learning a few exercises. It is also a starting point for participating in mentorship programs and forging lasting relationships in the community.
She points out that many of the teenage girls who have joined over the years now work for pay in various fire departments.
Debra Rogers notes that since entering the profession, things have changed. Despite the remaining obstacles, she is optimistic about the future.
Twenty years ago, I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of women in our fire departments. […] Now I see a lot.
The camp usually lasts four days, but due to the pandemic it has been shortened to two days.
With information from Michelle Gomez
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