Every summer a group of young women aged 15 to 18 participate in a week long firefighter training camp to introduce them to a career in firefighting and to learn the mental and emotional challenges while taking part in physical training.
Camp FFIT (Female Firefighters in Training) is a recruitment tool to encourage women to look at firefighting as a career choice.
During Camp FFIT, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services has the opportunity to teach the campers about their partnership with the city and other agencies and the services they provide to those impacted by an emergency. EDS’s focus is on attending to the human needs during a disaster or fire.
At the scene of a fire or disaster, our city’s first responders are there to attend to the emergency and save lives.
When needed, there is also another organization called to the scene to offer a variety of services and emotional and spiritual support to survivors, volunteers and first responders.
The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) is called by the city to offer food, hydration and a variety of emergency support services to those in crises. The Salvation Army’s team of volunteers also support first responders at the scene.
“I think the partnership with The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is fantastic,” said Sue Jones, Director of Camp FFIT. “It’s important for both emergency responders and our campers to learn that there is another side to the fire.”
For many campers, like Makayla French, this was their first time hearing about the EDS program and many expressed they would be interested in joining.
“I have seen their truck in places but didn’t realize what they were doing so the presentation was an eye opener,” said Makayla, a 16 year old camper. “Yes, I definitely would volunteer with The Salvation Army. I think it’s important to support not only the victims of fires but the first responders as well because sometimes they can be at a call for a long time.”
Sue shared that since the training began a few years ago, several campers have become volunteers with The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services team in Ottawa as well as in other parts of the province.
“I think it gives them [campers] a better appreciation for what could be happening when they go to a call if they become firefighters later on in life,” said Sue. “It takes away a little from the excitement and reminds them of the human side.”
For more information, please contact Emergency Disaster Services Coordinator, Craig Dunbar at 613-233-8428 x. 224.
Watch the video to learn more! https://youtu.be/Q1GbwHgoZak