Tulsa Fire Camp Trains Teens To Be Firefighters

Friday, June 26th 2015, 11:06 pm
By: News On 6

Friday, a group of teenagers got to be firefighters at the Tulsa Fire Camp.

They learned it's not easy saving lives, but it was a great chance for them to consider their dream career before making it official.

There are about 20 taking part in the Tulsa Fire Camp, giving them hands-on training of what it takes to be a firefighter.

During one activity, they climbed in a ladder truck, up 55 feet, as if they were doing a real life rescue.

Firefighters have a wide range of skills - from climbing a ladder, to putting out fires and finding people inside a burning building.

They never know what the next call will bring, which is what excites 19-year-old Chase Smith.

"My dad is a Tulsa fireman and he told me about this and I feel like this is a great opportunity," he said.

The Tulsa Fire Camp teaches him and other teens, ages 14 to 19, what it takes to be a firefighter.

"This is a way for me to give back and get kids interested in what I love to do," said Tulsa Fire Department District Chief, Chuck French.

French took them inside a room filled with smoke and watched them check the room using a thermal imaging camera.

They found the victim - which turned out to be a white and red teddy bear.

"It was kind of hard. It is pretty dark in there and crawling around on your hands and knees trying to feel around the wall," Smith said.

Camper Gracynn Smith said, "You are constantly going to be going, it's like an adrenaline type thing."

The campers also went through combat training.

They pulled a hose, sprayed down two orange cones, climbed up a ladder to search a building and ended the challenge by rolling up the hose.

When the day ended, most were left wanting more and hope they are the next generation of firefighters.

"Love helping people, and that's what I have always wanted to do, to be there to help somebody," Smith said.

These are the last ones to go through the camp, but TFD will hold more next summer in hopes of recruiting future firefighters.