Saanich firefighter Andrew Prizeman took 2017 Camp Ignite representative Makenna Child 100 feet up in the air on Saanich’s biggest fire ladder on Wednesday.
It was Child’s first day in gear, and her first exercise as a student of firefighting this summer.
“I wasn’t expecting to go up, it was cool, really amazing,” Child said.
The 16-year-old Reynolds secondary French immersion is a camp leader for the Vikes athletics and recreation summer programming and is going into Grade 11. She applied for the Camp Ignite program with an essay that included an inspirational figure in her life, her night-league basketball coach Massimo Segado.
It caught Capt. Jerry Tomljenovic’s attention, and Saanich Fire will pay for Child to attend the camp as they have in the past.
“A lot of the applicants were really well-rounded and what [Child] wrote about was really inspirational,” Tomlejnovic said.
Camp Ignite is a four-day, three-night camp from Aug. 10 to 13 that visits a series of Metro Vancouver Fire Departments local fitness venues such as Crossfit, climbing walls, hiking trails (Grouse Grind) and more.
“They’ll run through team building drills that focus on the combination of knowledge, skills and ability,” Tomlejnovic said. “The goal is to expose young women to non-traditional occupations [such as firefighting] and show them the fundamental elements of the [trade].”
Campers will run through the basic fundamentals of fire suppression, personal safety equipment, the basics of fire ground practices and terminology, apparatus and equipment training, CPR, fire extinguisher training, fitness and nutrition.
“I don’t know if I want to be a firefighter but I want to explore it and [Camp Ignite] is a great way to do that,” Child said.