Rockford Fire Department's First Ever Girls Camp

Young girls experience training like Rockford's bravest

ROCKFORD - One of Rockford's Fire stations was filled with young girls, who wanted to get a first hand experience to what it means to be one of Rockford's bravest.  Campers said it meant all sorts of training and physical exercise, but also fun.

"Girl's flowing the water, girls trying on the fire gear, girls just getting in, touching it, feeling it, picking it up.  Just seeing that they too can become a firefighter, if they choose to." Firefighter and Paramedic, Sheena Amble, describing the First Annual Rockford Fire Girls Camp.

Girls from ages nine to 13, were able to interact with the fire hoses and climb the fire engine ladders at Rockford Fire station six.  Which gave them a glimpse of what its like to be one of Rockford's bravest.  Firefighter Amble led the program showing young campers  what they can be capable of, through the program's training exercises.

"We are dabbling on everything that pretty much makes up the fire department, in order to inspire these girls," said Amble.  "Even if we get just one or two, that are inspired to be a firefighter or paramedic, we feel its a complete success."

Amble says the program took about 9 months to bring to life. The help and support came from the Rockford Fire Department and others from across the nation.  Campers learned fire safety and prevention tips, but having fun while doing it.  The camper raced against each other in relays and dressing up in fire gear. Of course, sounding the siren.

One camper, Kaiya Durso, says shes considering a career as a firefighter, but she has to overcome one fear first...

"You have to climb a tall ladder, thats about 105 feet up," said Durso. "And I'm kind of afraid of heights!"

Other campers, like Maya Howard, are attending to get a better understanding of their heroes day-to-day duties.

"My grandfather is a firefighter," said Howard. "I would wonder what it would be to have a day in the life of a firefighter."

Firefighter Amble says this camp gives the young girls a worthwhile experience.

"I want them to know that they too could be a firefighter," said Amble.  "It's not the hardest job in the world, but it is the most rewarding job in the world."

And camper Howard says she agrees.

"They're definitely brave...It takes a lot." said Howard.

The Rockford Fire Department has plans in the future to create a boys camp and a co-ed camp.  The camp ends on Sunday and family members will be invited to a graduation ceremony for the campers.

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