This summer, two lucky Vancouver students from David Thompson and King George Secondary Schools headed to Camp Ignite, a four day adventure camp sponsored by the Vancouver Fire Department. Camp Ignite is a local community program which draws girls from across Metro Vancouver and gives them an opportunity to experience a career as a firefighter.
Letitia Kwong, a Grade 12 David Thompson participant in the camp, says at first she was nervous about enrolling. But the once in a lifetime chance to try something completely new and different made her decide to give it a go.
"Over the four days of Camp Ignite, we learned all about the duties of a firefighter," said Kwong. "We had the chance to go up thirty feet into the air in the bucket of a fire truck, spray fire hoses, rappel off a building, prepare a fire hydrant and engine to fight a fire, and so much more."
She says her most memorable moment of the camp was going into a pitch black building to do a full search equipped with turn out gear (20-30 lbs) and an air tank (40-50 lbs.).
"This didn't include the weight of the hose that we had to carry as well. With the camp operating in mid-August, the turnout gear, the air tank, the hose, and the heat, made every task a lot more challenging (not to mention very sweaty), especially while searching for victims blindly in a tower," she says. "On the other hand, the difficulty of the tasks was what made it thrilling and enjoyable."
Both Kwong and Parmida Atashzay, a Grade 12 student from King George say they learned a great deal and will meet up again, along with their other campers for Camp Re-Ignite, where they will once again be put to the test as fire fighters in February of 2014.