“I’m really excited, but also kind of scared because I don’t like heights. But I think this is going to be a fun experience,” said the boy with a muscle disorder.
Once strapped in, the Arizona youngster scaled without hesitation Wednesday.
“I want to try to be a firefighter someday to prove that people with a muscle disorder or any kind of disease can still shine,” said Gavin, among 100 boys and girls ages 10-16 learning the ins and outs of being a firefighter.
“I get tired out quicker, but I am going to try this camp because a lot of things I can’t do, but I am going to try this,” Gavin said. “It’s actually really fun,” he said of the weeklong camp at the firefighter training facility just north of Lindbergh Field.
Gavin says he encourages others at the camp.
“So for people who have headaches or sore throats, I encourage you to try to do things that you think that you cannot do,” the boy said.
His favorite activity so far is rappelling down a three-story building, which also required him to face down his fear.
“It is very scary at first, but once you start to do it, it’s really fun. Someone lowers you down slowly, so you really don’t need to be scared.”
The first junior firefighting camp of its kind in San Diego gives boys and girls a chance to learn about the fire service through challenging physical activities and competitions.
Campers have a chance to use firefighting equipment, including hoses and ladders, and are learning search and rescue skills and basic first aid.
The boys and girls view demonstrations from a SDFD technical rescue team, the Metro Arson Strike Team and the Bomb Squad. The camp is staffed by current SDFD firefighters.
“This camp gives kids the chance to participate in firefighting activities which may spark their interest in a fire service career,” said San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy.
“It allows us to engage potential firefighters of the future while at the same time giving kids valuable teamwork and leadership skills.”
Rappelling was the activity that 12-year-old Rider Caswell also enjoyed the most “because we got to jump out of a three-story window and technically just walk down the side of the building,” the Chula Vistan said.
The most difficult?
Knocking down cones with water from a fire hose.
“I really wanted to see what job I want to do in the future,” Rider said. “I’m not sure, so I’ve been going to different camps like a police camp and a fire camp.”
The camp now is giving him ideas of becoming a firefighter.
Kids were invited to take part in an open application process. The only cost associated with the camp this summer is the camp shirt.
Junior Firefighter Camp: Kids Climb, Rappel, Douse Fears, Ignite Career Interest was last modified: July 13th, 2017 by Chris Stone
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