Palm Coast, FL – Out to show off their skills during Saturday’s Palm Coast Easter Egg’Stravaganza, members of the Palm Coast Fire Department’s Junior Firefighter Program’s inaugural group were on scene to give demos to families while practicing their skills.
The program officially launched in January 2021, and includes students from the area’s middle and high schools who are interested in firefighting or EMT as a potential career, according to Palm Coast Fire Department member Katelyn Baller.
“It’s from ages 13 to 17. They can come and volunteer and learn everything there is to know about the fire service, as well as do rides on our engine and go to calls,” explained Baller. “We’re more than happy to teach them everything they need to know.”
Demonstrating CPR and First Aid skills, students like 14-year old Hayley Davis said she joined the junior firefighter program to follow in the footsteps of family members.
“I have a lot of family that’s always been first responders and when I was little I always wanted to be a fire fighter or police officer because of my cousin,” she said. “Right now he’s in Oregon fighting those big fires up there.”
As a ninth grade student currently attending the Fire Academy at Flagler Palm Coast High School, Davis said she’s determined to stick with the program to support her future career.
“This is really something I’m passionate about, and I want to keep going.”
Learning other valuable skills, the students are building confidence and how to work as a team in addition to learning life saving techniques.
“Since we know each other it helps if we go to different stations and we have to, for whatever reason come together, we’ve already worked with each other before, so we could possibly pick that up again,” she said.
“It also gives us social skills. Some of us when we first started were like ‘I don’t know you, I don’t really want to talk to you’ but we definitely came out of our shells.”
For more information on the City of Palm Coast Junior Firefighter Program, call 386-986-2300.
Featured Photo: Palm Coast Fire Department Junior Firefighters demonstrate their skills during the Palm Coast Easter Egg’Stravaganza on Saturday, March 27, 2021.